The Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion launches new initiative for women. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Grammys launch initiative aiding women producers, engineers

NEW YORK — The Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion is launching a new initiative to create and expand more opportunities to female music producers and engineers.

The academy on Friday announced the Producer & Engineer Inclusion Initiative, which asks that musicians, record labels and others consider at least two female producers or engineers when working on a project, whether it’s a song or an album.

More than 200 have already pledged and are committed to the ask, including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Pearl Jam, Quincy Jones, Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Ariana Grande, Common, Pink, Nicki Minaj and Shawn Mendes.

“It’s a really important step to make sure you’re considering a diverse slate when you’re going to pick a producer or engineer,” said Tina Tchen, chair of the academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, in an interview with The Associated Press. “Pick whoever you want, because we want people to make their own artistic decisions, but we do know the more that women are included in the mix and get a look at and are seen, then doors are going to open up.

“And that’s what this is about — making sure all of those doors of opportunities are open to everyone and that women who for so long really haven’t had their shot can get a fair shot.”

The initiative comes after last year’s USC Annenberg study, which said only 2 per cent of music producers and 3 per cent of engineers are women. Others who have signed on to the new call-to-action include Jennifer Lopez, Maroon 5, Carrie Underwood, the Killers, Kacey Musgraves, Meek Mill, Usher and Selena Gomez. Multiple music producers, record labels, management companies and agencies are also on board.

“It’s not just about the artists that we know, but it’s the behind-the-scenes folks who are involved: other producers and engineers, the labels, the studios, the agents, the publishers recognizing that they all have a role to play and they can all play a positive role in the change that needs to be made,” said Tchen, who was the chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama and is a partner at Buckley LLP.

The academy announced the new task force last year after Grammys CEO Neil Portnow said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of female winners backstage at the 2018 Grammys. Only two female performers won awards during the live telecast and the Grammys were criticized for not letting singer Lorde, the only women nominated for album of the year, perform at the show.

Portnow called his comments a “poor choice of words” and later announced he would leave his post this year.

This year’s Grammys, however, include more female nominees in the top categories. Linda Perry, who said she will participate in the new initiative, also made history as the first woman nominated for non-classical producer of the year in 15 years.

To help artists and others find success with the Producer & Engineer Inclusion Initiative, the academy will list working female producers and engineers on their website. The academy is also working with the organizations Women’s Audio Mission and She is The Music to connect artists with female creators.

Tchen said to another way they’re trying to move the needle is through mentorship: “We’re also asking producers and engineers, both men and women, to also mentor young women.”

By The Associated Press

Just Posted

Kaillie Humphries participates in USA bobsled push trials in unofficial role

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Kaillie Humphries competed as a guest in USA… Continue reading

With a new syphilis outbreak in Alberta, infectious disease testing is made easier in Red Deer

Shining Mountains Living Community Services staff can do quick, simple dry blood spot test

Central Alberta home sales down 10 per cent from 2018

August sales 17.7 per cent lower than August 2018

Singh urges Canadians to consider troubling impact of Trudeau photos, video

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh challenged Canadians Thursday to try to see through… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Logan Kilgore gets start at QB for Edmonton Eskimos with Trevor Harris hurt

EDMONTON — In just his second regular-season game at quarterback in almost… Continue reading

Kaillie Humphries participates in USA bobsled push trials in unofficial role

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Kaillie Humphries competed as a guest in USA… Continue reading

Swimmer Rivard weighs in on five-medal haul and overcoming breathing issue

A five-medal haul from the recent world para swimming championships left Canada’s… Continue reading

Toronto a launching pad for Dream Gap Tour women’s hockey games

Marie-Philip Poulin dreams of a day when hockey is a career option… Continue reading

Red Deer, Innisfail to host high school golf provincials next week

Nearly 150 of the best golfers across the province are set to… Continue reading

Senate tech critic tells Facebook CEO: Sell message services

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s most vocal critic of the tech industry offered… Continue reading

Walgreens, Google affiliate to launch drone delivery test

Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put… Continue reading

Most Read