Mura Masa funds new programme to train black women in live music roles

"Inaction is what got us here. Let's move on this together and seize this opportunity for action"

Mura Masa has announced that he is helping to fund a new programme to train black women in live music industry roles.

Speaking on Blackout Tuesday yesterday (June 2) – a social media “blackout” event organised by the music industry to show solidarity following the death of George Floyd in the US – Masa said that instead of staying silent he wanted to be pro-active in organising something to change the lives of black women in the music industry.

Writing on Instagram, Masa said: “Please don’t be silent today music industry, silence is not what’s needed. Be helpful, share resources, allow space and amplification for the voices that need it, educate yourself and those around you.”

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Announcing a new 12-week scheme for ten black females, Masa explained the reasoning behind the scheme came from there being “a serious, serious lack of women of colour” in roles in the music industry.

Masa wrote: “My management and some of my touring crew are organising a free, 12-week weekend course for 10 black women to train in live music roles (specifically crew roles like front of house/mixing/monitor engineering, lighting technician).

“It begins to address a problem that we’ve privately discussed at length whilst putting my own show together, in that there is a serious, serious lack of women of colour occupying these roles and we would love to have that change. If you’re in the industry then you know just how true this is.”

He continued: “I have personally committed to funding for this project and can’t wait to commit my time and any help that I can give to this. I would urge and compel my peers in music, at all levels but especially those in positions of power and wealth, to investigate how they can put weight and funding into creating or assisting programmes like this, rather than being silent or releasing statements of outrage.

“Inaction is what got us here. Let’s move on this together and seize this opportunity for action.” Those interested in applying for the scheme can do so here.

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A host of record labels and other music industry figures are took part in the social media blackout yesterday in solidarity with the black community.

Messages shared by Warner, Universal, Dirty Hit and more set out a plan to “disconnect from work and reconnect with our community” for the day, held as “an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change.”

The decision comes in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota last week (May 25). Floyd was a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after being apprehended by a white police officer. Officer Derek Chauvin has since been sacked and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

“Due to recent events please join us as we take an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change,” the message began. “As gatekeepers of the culture, it’s our responsibility to not only come together to celebrate the wins, but also hold each other up during a loss.

“Join us on Tuesday June 2 as a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community,” the message concluded, adding the hashtag “#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED.”

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