Skip to main content

New research out of the U.K. has put numbers to the issue of racism in the music industry. Thorough and wide-reaching, the first-of-its-kind study, titled "Being Black in the UK Music Industry," quantifies experiences of anti-Blackness and its consequences on wages, mental health and education.

On both the creative and business ends, 88% of Black music professionals have experienced direct or indirect racism in their line of work, according to the study. 

"We're not allowed to be above average...We're expected to be perfect," one respondent described. "We're expected to be the full package before our career has even started." 

Nearly three in four Black respondents have also experienced racial microaggressions: "jokes about sin color, Africa, persistent questioning about where I really come from," one recalled. 57% of Black creators have also seen their white contemporaries promoted ahead of them, despite being less qualified.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Martin Garrix

Martin Garrix Is Launching a Music Academy to Help New Artists

The program will offer masterclasses from Garrix himself, among other initiatives designed to equip young artists with tools to navigate the music industry.


Here Are the Best Spotify Wrapped Memes of 2022

Let's laugh away all the tracking we let this giant tech company get away with this year.

EDC Vegas 2022_brphotoco-01

Insomniac's Unique Hotel Experience for EDC Las Vegas 2023 Is a "Rave Wonderland"

"Hotel EDC" will take over Resorts World’s Las Vegas Hilton next spring.

The study was commissioned by Black Lives in Music, an organization seeking to address and ameliorate race-based industry inequities, who partnered with Opinium Research and artist development agency Believe for the survey. In total, they collected data from a diverse pool of 1,718 participants. 

"You cannot change what you cannot measure...This is data. You cannot ignore it," said Charisse Beaumont, the chief executive of BLiM, in a press release. "[It] clearly shows that change is needed across the entire music ecosystem, from grass room education all the way up to record labels."  

You can download and read the full study here.  



"Progressing Gender Representation In UK Dance Music": A Look Into the Jaguar Foundation's Report

In collaboration with Sony Music's Global Social Justice Fund, the organization examined how female and non-binary artists are represented across the music industry.


Electronic Music Is More Infectious Than The Common Cold, Study Finds

Researchers now know that music popularity spreads through social contact and connections—just like disease.

Screen Shot 2020-10-17 at 7.18.21 AM

Disabled Musicians Face "Significant Barriers" to Music Education, New Study Shows

The "Reshape Music" study recommends more representation of disabled people in the music industry, including in venues and educational organizations.


Digital Audio Engages Long-Term Memory More, According to Spotify "Neuromarketing" Study

600 Spotify listeners were studied and found digital audio to be more engaging than radio, TV, social media, or digital video.

general music producer

The Changing Role of a Music Distributor in 2022

We caught up with Kevin Breuner of CD Baby to discuss the role a music distribution company plays in today's music industry.

Empty Seats in Venue

A Fifth of Musicians Are Considering a Career Change Due to Lack of Income: Study

In the wake of the pandemic, artists can't get a break financially and are departing the music industry in droves.


Mass Gatherings Are No More Risky Than Shopping, According to Study

A study by the UK government's Event Research Programme has offered promising results.

Music Minds Matter Hotline

Help Musicians UK is Leading the Discussion on Mental Health in Music

A UK based charity is making dedicated mental health support for music industry professionals just a phone call away.