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Increasing Inclusion and Diversity in Music and Sound

12/05/2021

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Increasing Inclusion and Diversity in Music and Sound

Netflix Music Teams

Social Impact

12 May 2021

GlobalUnited States

Participating Netflix music executives, top row from left, Jackie Shuman, Charlene Huang, Steven Gizicki, Gabrielle Mandel, bottom row from left, Vince Villanueva, Bridget Ward, Margaret Yen and Lisa Azille.

At Netflix, representation on screen is just as important off-screen. And that goes for sounds as well as images. Whether it's selecting an up-and-coming composer for their first feature film credit, like Tamar-Kali's powerful original score for Mudbound, or working with music supervisor Morgan Rhodes to create a soundtrack featuring exclusively Black female artists for Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, new voices in music and sound can open our ears to different worlds and perspectives.

That's why we're committed to finding new musicians, composers and other emerging artists in these fields. And we want to do more to expand the ways we discover new talent.

In recent years, our music teams have organized several outreach and networking events to help empower underrepresented and emerging talent in the music industry. And when these in-person events were halted in March 2020 due to Covid, we didn't want to press pause.

So we moved to a series of online networking events - including large Q&A sessions for groups focused on diversity and inclusion in the music industry, and small virtual meetings to connect underrepresented composers and music supervisors directly with directors and producers.

For the former, we hosted virtual Q&As with non-profits such as She Is the Music and shesaid.so, which support women and gender minorities in music; Pride in Music, which champions members of the LGBTQ+ community; and Sphinx Organization, which addresses the underrepresentation of people of color in classical music.

"The team gave invaluable feedback during the session that covered a wide range of topics while giving our artists a direct platform to submit their work and ask questions that would ultimately help propel each of their respective careers, said Andre Dowell, Chief of Artist Engagement of Sphinx Organization (pictured here).

These quarterly Q&As, organized by Jackie Shuman and Bridget Ward from our Marketing Music and Music Creative Production teams, respectively, allowed members of these organizations to submit questions directly to a panel of Netflix music executives in such areas as marketing, clearance, and creative from departments including films, series, animation, and kids & family.

After each group Q&A, participants were invited to submit music to Netflix for future consideration and feedback. These songs are also added to an internal Netflix database which our music teams use for licensing and custom music opportunities.

Our smaller meetups, titled Music Virtual Connections, were organized by Gabrielle Mandel and Lisa Azille from our Music Creative Production team under ION, our inclusion, outreach and networking group at Netflix. We held 33 online meetings with participants including composers Sherri Chung (Riverdale), Amritha Vaz (Home), Toby Chu (Bao), and Academy Award winners Jon Batiste (Soul) and Michael Abels (Get Out), music supervisors Yvette Metoyer (Halt and Catch Fire) and Aaron Byrd (When They See Us), directors Jason Hehir (The Last Dance), Jorge Gutierrez (Maya & The Three) and Alex Stapleton (Pride), and producers Jinko Gotoh (Klaus) and Julia Pistor (The Magician's Elephant).

So far, we've had more than 400 participants across these events - and there are more ahead. They've already spawned some exciting opportunities. Several artists from our event with shesaid.so and She Is the Music were subsequently hired to create imaginative covers of an iconic song for the marketing campaign of an upcoming Netflix drama series. And we're excited that other composers and music supervisors we've met are now in consideration for upcoming Netflix projects. We're off to a good start, and we're excited to continue bringing new voices and sounds into the storytelling experience.
LINK: https://about.netflix.com/en/news/increasing-inclusion-and-diversity-i...
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