Check out our interview with Color of Music Collective and join their weekly panels here!
1) CARLA: Hi Color of Music Collective! Thanks for chatting with us:) So what is the Collective and how did it come to be?
Color of Music Collective is an organization started by me and Mia that provides free, virtual panels once a week. Color of Music Collective was started to amplify the voices of people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals working in the music industry. Our goal is to change the lack of representation for these groups in music by uniting our communities.
Mia approached me and Emily in early May with the idea for this organization. We spent quite some time trying to decide on what to name this collective and ultimately decided on calling it “Color of Music Collective” as it’s all-encompassing and invites individuals from all walks of life to collectively share their voices and experiences.
Mia being a person of color and me being a member of the LGBTQ+ community thought we could help overcome some of the underrepresentation that our communities face by banding together. This is so important right now as our industry is being hit hard COVID-19 and our world is hurting from the painful reality of police brutality. Something I wanted to achieve with our collective, and that I have heard echoed in our panelists and from our audience, is increasing dialog surrounding representation in our industry.
Simply seeing someone who I relate to in a powerful position in the music business makes me feel like I can achieve that too, one day. The amount of support we’ve received about the collective has been overwhelming and we are so excited to show you all what we have in store!
2) MIA: We're living in a heartbreaking yet revolutionary time right now. How does your mission align with making sure the music industry is held accountable in regard to its long history of racism and sexism?
Our political climate is at an all-time low. I know speaking for myself and many other people of color, I felt hopeless for quite some time. Going to multiple virtual networking events and seeing people who not only looked like me but have achieved my lifelong dream of holding an executive position felt like I could be invincible. I wanted other people in the LGBTQ+ and POC community to feel that as well. The music industry is such a unique business compared to most. It might seem big, but really it is quite small. Because it is so small, I’ve had such a strong support system made up of people from all different types of communities. I always had someone to lift me up when I was feeling down. I don’t know where I’d be without those people in my life. I believe everyone should have that support system no matter their gender, race, religion, sex, etc.
We are finally going through a major change in our industry. Labels, agencies, promotors, EVERYONE is coming together and coming to terms with their past mistakes on not representing or supporting people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. I’m so proud of long-time leaders in our industry, especially diverse female leaders, who are getting the recognition they deserve. People of color are getting promoted to SVP, EVP, and even CEO and President positions. What a crazy world we’re living in, but I know 10 years from now, I’ll look back and know that I showed up when my community needed me the most and played an active part in the change. A CHANGE that was long overdue.
3) EMILY: Tell us more about your panels!
Our panels are every Monday on Zoom! We invite panelists across the music industry who have made an impact and are paving the way for aspiring music professionals who are POC, are part of the LGBTQ+ community, or are allies to these communities. We’re excited for them to be able to share their insight and personal experiences in the industry with our audience and interact with them as well.
4) EMILY: That's amazing! How can someone find out more and join the collective/panels?
To learn more about the collective and our upcoming panels you can check out our website: colorofmusiccollective.com or check us out on Facebook and Instagram @colorofmusiccollective where we share weekly updates and announcements. And you can also check out our YouTube channel to explore our previous panels.
5) CARLA: Any words of wisdom for other young womxn in the music industry right now?
Work hard and have faith in yourself. When I first started my career in music I heard the phrase ‘cut-throat’ a lot in reference to the music industry. I think I let that scare me too much. Yes, you do need to know what you’re talking about in this space, but if you are truly passionate about being here you will put in the work to educate yourself on the industry. If this is your passion and you are willing to work hard for it, there are plenty of people who will help support you along the way as you grow in your career. Also, pay it forward. If you share what you’ve learned along the way instead of viewing everyone as competition, you will make more connections and ultimately be more successful.