Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

Buy Now

Black History Month: Creatives Making Moves In The Music Industry

First on our list is Sheniece Charway. Sheniece is currently an Artist Relations Manager at YouTube Music and is committed to amplifying young black voices in the creative space,  using music as her primary tool. Last year, she partnered with Socialfixt, which helps nurture the future black voices within the music industry and equip them with the tools, information and resources they need to help them on their career path in the space. Sheniece constantly advocates for young black women within the industry that work both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, highlighting the success stories of her peers and bringing their stories to light to inspire the next generation. As well as this, she shares the obstacles that she and her peers had to overcome to get to where they are. 

As a result of her bringing people together to share their journeys within the music industry,  Sheniece has rapidly become a powerful voice in the community and is now reaping the rewards of her hard work. In the last few years, Sheniece has been awarded “Rising Star” by Music Week, was nominated for Best Publicity & Relations by Young Music Boss and shortlisted for the “Future is Female” Award by Advertising Week.

Before her role as Artist Relations Manager at YouTube Music, she started as an intern with Sony Music, leading to her getting a permanent role in marketing at Columbia Records. Through this, she has worked with plenty of exciting talent, including Skepta, Rick Ross and George Ezra. Sheniece has worked hard to get to where she is and deserves all the success she is now seeing. 

Next on our list is Joseph Patterson. Joseph Patterson is considered one of the pioneers in championing young black musicians and is widely recognised as one of the most influential journalists in the UK music scene. Joseph is the founder of Trench Magazine and the Editor in Chief at Complex UK. 

Joseph started his career in the industry by hosting his own raves called ChockABlock in Northampton. The first rave took place in 2007 and saw several grime heavyweights touch down, such as Skepta, Tinchy Stryder and Logan Sama. The raves were a big success in the underground scene and eventually migrated to Kings Cross in London. 

One thing that has always kept Joseph as a key figure within the industry is that he can spot talent early on and give them a platform. A testament to this is that Joseph was the first person to book Giggs and interview him just after his underground hit “Talking the Hardest” was released in 2008. In 2010, he was then approached to be the new editor for the MTV platform The Wrap Up, which was focused on highlighting black music, where he honed his writing skills and started interviewing artists on camera. 

Since then, he has moved to Complex UK, where he is now acting as the Editor In Chief and in 2017, he started his own publication called Trench Magazine. His visions for both of his roles are to help uplift artists who don’t get the attention they rightly deserve in the black community, especially in the UK scene. As a result, he is now seen as a critical tastemaker within the industry. An artist with a co-sign from Joseph is seen as a high accolade.  As a result of his constant grind, Joseph has been profiled by Forbes and previously been named as one of London’s most influential people by The Evening Standard.

Char Grant also joins our list as she has constantly been climbing the ranks within the industry and has proven herself to be one of the top tastemakers within the UK music climate. Char currently holds the position of A&R Director at 0207 Def Jam UK, a relatively new label part of Universal Music Group, which is now home to UK stars Stormzy, Potter Payper and rising newcomer Debbie.

Before her appointment with 0207, Char was a senior A&R at BMG Publishing, where she worked on the massive hit “Boasty” by Wiley, Idris Elba and Sean Paul, and worked alongside Giggs and Mostack. Char first started her professional career within the music industry as a manager at Modest Management.

Now, Char is making sure she is creating safe spaces for young black creatives, especially women, to talk openly and to make sure they are getting heard in a very loud industry. Her work proves this as co-founder and executive director of The Black Music Coalition, and co-founder of The Debrief. The Black Music Coalition is a non-profit organisation which acts to eradicate racism and bring equality between the industry and the young black professionals working within the industry. The Debrief acts as a safe space for Black Women and Women of Colour to share their voices, opinions and stories that can help others and give tips and advice to the next generation. It is a result of all this hard work to help lift others that Char Grant is included on our list. 

Last but by no means least on our list is the incomparable Grace Ladoja. Grace is a force to be reckoned with as she is the manager of none other than UK heavyweight Skepta. Grace became co-manager to Skepta in 2014 when they met at a Danny Brown gig in London. Since then, they have been going from strength to strength in the industry, taking off with the release of the album “Konnichiwa” by Skepta, which went on to win the coveted Mercury Prize Award in 2016. 

Before working alongside Skepta, Grace wanted to be a filmmaker and directed a commercial for Nike in 2003. She then directed several music videos for FKA twigs in 2012 and even produced the music video “Shutdown” for Skepta in 2015. In 2018, Grace hit a milestone in her career as she was awarded an MBE for her contributions to music and was included in The Most Influential Women of the Year in 2018 by Vogue. In 2021, Grace was also awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the Artist and Manager Awards. 

Grace gives back to the culture in many ways – notably by running “The Homecoming Project”, a cultural exchange platform, and promoting the growth of Selby Studio in Tottenham, a facility for young aspiring musicians to help develop their talent as much as possible. These achievements and her determination to give back to her community earn her a well-deserved spot on our list.

Words by Jack Shephard

Posted On 14 November, 2022