Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys received the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) Songwriter Icon award during their annual meeting in New York last week, and the multi-Grammy award winner took the opportunity to announce She is the Music, a program that will promote female advancement within the music industry.
During her acceptance speech, Keys expanded on the forthcoming program. “I’ve joined forces with a group of really powerful female executives, songwriters, artists, engineers, producers and publishers to help reshape the industry that we all love by creating real opportunities and a pipeline of talent for other women,” said Keys. “We’re calling our initiative She Is the Music. We want to create a model for change that affects women across all industries."
Expanding on the current state of the music industry, Keys cited statistics from a recent study from USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “We have to do something because the statistics are brutal,” said Keys. “Of almost 3,000 pop songwriters credited last year only 12% were female, only 3% of the engineers were female, and....Only 2% of producers are female and one of them is me! Our world is 50-50, and it’s time for our industry to reflect that." For the record, Keys' longtime engineer is a woman, Ann Mincieli.
Keys also took the time to remind the executives in the audience to level the playing field and give women an opportunity. Continued Keys, "So the next time that you get a chance to hire someone, whether it’s the biggest producer or the newest intern, look for a woman — especially a woman of color, a fresh voice, who brings something new to the spectrum. She is the music so give her a shot!"