Music organisation UD reveals line-up for flagship ‘industry takeover’ festival16 March 2023 - Press release
0207 Def Jam, Music Against Racism, Rio Ferdinand Foundation, PPL, BBC’s Chi Chi Izundu, Elijah, Ray BLK and more to take part in the week-long programme
Leading youth music organisation, UD, bringing communities together around Black music and Black music culture, has today announced the full programme for its flagship event, Industry Takeover, taking place for the first time in UD’s new state-of-the-art east London home, the Talent House, from 27 March to 2 April.
Co-curated by UD’s community of aspiring artists and creatives, the 2023 programme sees the expansion of the event from a one-day seminar to a week-long festival, comprising a series of workshops, conversations, and performance opportunities, all aimed at equipping the next generation of music and professional talent with the tools they need to navigate and build alliances within the music business. Tickets for all events are free, reflecting UD’s ongoing commitment to providing accessible opportunities to young people to engage with the music industry.
In one house, across seven days and with more than 20 events planned, the week will kick off with an In Conversation with 0207 Def Jam founders, the twins Alex and Alec Boateng, steered by BBC Correspondent, Chi Chi Izundu, whilst Jacqueline Springer, Curator Africa & Diaspora: Performance at the Victoria & Albert Museum, will interview Ray BLK, UD’s first ambassador who has previously collaborated with in-house choir Flames Collective, on a cover of her hit track My Hood feat. Stormzy. Completing the trio of ‘In Conversations’ is the UK’s first dedicated race correspondent, Nadine White from The Independent, and Athian Akec, member of the UK Youth Parliament and an active campaigner on knife crime, Brexit and climate change.
The focus on community development and Black music culture continues with Music Against Racism, who will stage their own takeover of the festival on Friday 31st March, collaborating with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, UD and Warner Music UK in a special series of workshops and discussions. Young people will hear first hand from a number of industry executives about the journey of a song and the myriad of roles behind the scenes that help shape an artist's success. From the practical to the societal, Music Against Racism will also bring young people together with professionals in the music business to explore how to tackle racism, with a particular focus on the role and responsibilities of social media platforms. The event will be a safe space for open discussion and young people's views will be canvassed to inform the development of a youth-driven strategy for the campaign group.
With more than 30 companies across the music industry taking part, the week will get down to business on educating young people on how the industry really works. There will be a panel with top A&R executives from Sony Music’s Robot + Humans, Secretly Canadian, and PIAS whilst TRENCH Magazine will hold The Knowledge Exchange, a panel, to explore how different generations of emerging and established artists can work together to create a more empowered landscape and stay relevant to enjoy sustainable careers in music.
The multi-platinum producer TSB (J Hus, Dave, Headie One) will deliver a Production Masterclass powered by The Flight Club in the state of the art studios at the Talent House; Music Entrepreneur of the Year at the Young Music Boss Awards, Finesse Foreva, will take part in a Q&A hosted by the MMF; and a series of interactive workshops will be provided by experts from PPL and PRS for Music as well as grime artist and founder of influential label Butterz, Elijah, and TikTok.
Live music will play an important part in the week’s activities with The Spit Game filming one of their renowned live cyphers at UD’s Talent House. Complex UK will keep the music coming by powering UD’s Open Mic night (with the best performers set to feature online post-event), whilst GUAP will host a live showcase of up and coming talent with Orii Jam closing Industry Takeover 2023 with the ultimate live jazz session.
Commenting on this year’s Industry Takeover line-up, UD Founder and CEO Pamela McCormick said, “This year’s programme for Industry Takeover is bigger and bolder than ever before, with 20 events across seven days in our brand new state-of-the art Talent House. The festival content, co-designed with the young people we empower, is a reflection of the discussions they want to have with the music industry around Black music culture and the people with whom they want to build alliances and expand their network. UD’s role is to develop, educate and connect young Black talent to the business, and I’m excited that, throughout this week of events, we will be providing a platform to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities and drive positive change to create a more diverse industry. I’m grateful to all of our partners, funders and speakers for their engagement and would encourage others who do not know UD so well to come down and check us out.”
Alex Boateng, Co- President, 0207 Def Jam, said: “For years, UD Music has been at the centre of youth music culture in London, having a big hand in the careers of many artists and execs behind the scenes, including mine! Their events are always a must attend and we’re looking forward to connecting with everybody on Monday.”
Paul Samuels, Founder of Music Against Racism & VP, A&R, Atlantic Records UK, said: “Following last weekend’s Into The Music event in Salford with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and KISS, it’s great to be brought into the fold with UD and contribute towards their incredible week of programming. The collaboration with UD and its excellent partners will help enable the leaders of tomorrow and shape our industry for the next generation of talent.”
Kate Reilly, Chief Membership and People Officer from PPL, a funder and supporter of UD and the Talent House, said: "This year's Industry Takeover programme is incredible; it delves deep into the reality of working in the music business and takes some of the biggest challenges facing the industry and explores them from a youth perspective. The festival is an extension of the critical work being undertaken by UD to educate and develop Black music talent and the team at PPL is proud to be part of it."
Shauna Belvett, London Regional Manager at the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, added: “The partnership between Rio Ferdinand Foundation and Warner Music is designed to inspire young people to pursue their careers and skills through engagement with the music industry, and to give them a voice to deliver personal and social change. This collaboration with Music Against Racism and UD will put the voices of young people at the heart of a future strategy to tackle racism head on.”
Since its launch in 2009, Industry Takeover has built a reputation for offering an unrivalled programme of professional development, entertainment, education and networking opportunities to hundreds of industry-minded hopefuls and is now regarded as one of the most informative career programmes within the wider music industry, with more than 1,000 young people expected to attend in 2023.
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