MISSING: Music Week came under fire for the lack of diversity in their annual 30 Under 30 round-up
INDUSTRY INSIDER publication Music Week has responded to criticism over the lack of diversity on its annual 30 Under 30 list.
The round-up, titled Meet the Future of The Music Biz, profiles 30 under the age of 30 figures across the music industry and has been criticised for its lack of diversity, with only two non-white professionals profiled.
In an open letter, penned by contributing editor Mark Sutherland, the respected title argued that the lack of diversity on the list "may reflect a wider lack of diversity in the industry itself. It certainly reflects a relative lack of diversity in the nominations we received".
Sutherland wrote: “It might be helpful to point out that the 30 Under 30 selection process relies entirely upon nominations from within the music industry. The lack of diversity on the list may reflect a wider lack of diversity in the industry itself.”
From roles in public relations to A&R, the list features individuals who have been particularly influential in the past year and are predicted to be leaders in their fields.
Responding to criticisms that the list failed to truly reflect the contributions made by black music professionals, Sutherland insisted that Music Week welcomed applications “from all sectors of society".
“The publication does not request photos or personal information as part of the process, and the list is picked entirely on the basis of the achievements that are put in front of us by those nominating (and, yes, you are allowed to nominate yourself) and the level of support from the wider industry for those nominees."
Leading the call for answers, was UK songwriter and recording artist Justin Smith Uzomba, better known by his stage moniker Mikill Pane.
Pane publicly called out the magazine in a series of tweets before putting together a well-worded email addressed to the editor.
“I want to survive in this industry, so I'm not trying to get blacklisted (which is so painfully ironic), but I have to call some things out,” he told his 40,000 twitter followers.
In his email, he noted that magazine was particularly influential and "people see the printed edition on tables in industry offices everywhere, people from all walks of life. Is that the impression that you want to give young people from ethnic minorities?"
He went on: "In order to get your foot in the door to work behind the scenes of an industry where Rihanna, Beyoncé, Zayn Malik and Kanye West are among the highest grossing artists in the world, you have to be white? Are you trying to insinuate that in the future, all power will be wielded by Caucasians?”
He described the list as "damaging" and candidly asked: “Were there absolutely no more people of colour that are eligible for inclusion on that list?”
Past individuals who have been spotlighted on the list include BBC 1Xtra host Sian Anderson and A&R Director at Atlantic Records UK Twin B.
Both music professionals expressed shared disappointment alongside other music insiders who voiced their gripes online.
The well respected DJ Semtex wrote: "Dear @MusicWeek, I know a lot people of colour under 30 that are also the future. You could include them."
Brief mention was given to 'The Best of The Rest', Rashid Kasirye, the founder of Link Up TV and Complex magazine’s senior editor Joseph Patterson in the list dedicated to those who just missed out on the top 30.
Patterson joked about his special mention on Twitter, writing: “I dunno how to feel about this sidemanation.”