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Tileyard – Working Towards Positive Change

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It has been one year since ‘Black Out Tuesday’, a digital and collective act of solidarity that saw the music industry stand together to call for equality, protest racism and police brutality following the tragic murder of George Floyd.

We have long championed equality and diversity at Tileyard but like many other organisations we took the time during Black Out Tuesday to see what more we can be doing to help achieve true transformative change across our industry.  We’ve reflected on how we’ve contributed towards positive change and how we intend to continue this going forward and wanted to share some of the work we’ve been up to and actively encourage our friends, business partners and residents to join us in making the music business a fair and equal industry for all. 

As part of our ongoing learning and awareness across all companies, we will all be taking part in AIM’s Diversity and Inclusive training, happening from June throughout the rest of 2021. If you are an AIM member please do take a moment to check out the brilliant work and training they’re providing here and sign up if you can. We believe that the more we collectively learn the more we can make positive change. If you’re not already a member you can sign up HERE

In 2019 we set up Tileyard Impact, a work experience programme from Tileyard London, taking young people from local estates, schools and colleges and introducing them to real work creative industry projects. Through our work with Tileyard Impact we aimed to create change and opportunity from the ground up and are pleased to say we are doing just that.

We have been working for the last 3 years to bridge the gap between creative education and creative careers with a focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds while championing emerging, diverse talent both on stage and off stage. Across that time 70% of their beneficiaries have been of Black African or Caribbean descent creating 220 physical work experience placements and 68 virtual placements.

Through the Industry’ strand, Impact have successfully delivered 11 work experience opportunities including audio production, fashion content creation,  bar and events management, product releases and many others with businesses including Apple Radio, The Royal Albert Hall, Key Productions, the Printworks, Pioneer DJ, Talk Sport, Hospital Records, Tileyard Music and many others. They have also delivered 3 rounds of virtual work experiences in conjunction with Urban Partners, a collective of Kings Cross businesses.

As a result, Impact helped 27 young people into creative employment through their Access programme, including 13 during the pandemic. This has included Erin Jay who is now working for Proud Events on Afronation and Cookies & Cream and Shakeel who now works for Graduation records and were both part of our programme in conjunction with the Prince’s Trust that was unfortunately cut short by the pandemic.

Shakeel 20:  “Thanks to Tileyard and Graduation they both gave me the confidence to allow me manage artists, I used to have a bit of imposter syndrome but then I realised that yeah, I’m capable. Now because of this I manage two artists, one of my artists is now signed to Graduation Records”.

Erin 22: “I was then given the opportunity to work with a company called Proud Events as an Events Coordinator, Wizdom and Savannah put me through for that role and helped me throughout the interview process and with cleaning up my CV.  I have settled in quite well, the role has been easy to adapt to from  the experience that I have had previously, yeah, it’s really enjoyable and I’m having a great time!”

Tileyard Impact also have an Artistry Programme, they are the London lead for the MAS Records artist development programme, working with 100 solo artists and 25 bands annually which also offers a Level 2 RSL qualification for young people involved. The programme provides free access to rehearsal rooms, 12 hours of free recording time, masterclasses and training in music marketing and promotion. 

Impact also supports young artists in residence and have been championing dark skin black female vocalists for the last 3 years, including Esther Durin who was part of the Little Mix house on ‘The Search’, joining band ‘Nostalia’, with fellow Impactor, Zitah. Since the show, Impact have been able to create 6 music videos with diverse talent creating 108 work experience opportunities including stylists, videographers, photographers and set designers.

Impact continues to be a partner of Access All Areas Seminars that take place monthly and currently has nearly 8k online views broadcasted from Tileyard covering topics including Racism In Music, Diversity In Dance, Women In Music and others with established industry professionals discussing their experiences to a free online audience. The seminars are also a platform for emerging talent to perform which has been of short supply during the pandemic and a life line for young talent.

Tileyard Impact are about to begin a 6 week Featured Vocal program with Hospital Records which will include masterclasses from the likes of Becky Hill, Liam Bailey, Kelli-Leigh and Vula of Basement Jaxx supported by UKF, Drum N Bass Arena, the Halley and Focusrite. The cohort of 20 will include vocalists from our Amplify Academy programme, MAS Records programme and local schools, colleges and youth groups that we have worked with.

You can support our work with Tileyard Impact by engaging directly with our programmes and young people. If you or your company want to get involved please email savannah@tileyardimpact.co.uk to find out more about the ways you can help make a difference. You can also help us by voting for Tileyard Impact to secure funding from LNER Customer and Community investment fund here.

In addition to our work at Tileyard Impact and ongoing company wide training, Tileyard Education have worked with Senior Wellness Manager, Suzanna Storey to run ‘wellness check in’s’ as part of their Instagram Live series. As well as this, Education has consciously diversified the selection of talent delivering masterclasses to students, and actively work across equal representation in digital marketing and campaign work.Tileyard Education are committed to continuing to consciously expand their teaching and opportunity rosters and will be working closely with the wider Tileyard brands on promoting change.

We believe a better future is possible and look forward to continuing our work and pushing for equality and change across the music business, starting from the group up. If you want to support any of the programmes we have mentioned here today please email us directly at info@tileyard.co.uk .

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