As June draws to a close, the celebration of Black Music Appreciation Month still continues on YouTube Music. The defense of black artists remains at the forefront, thanks to two black female executives in attendance.
Head of artistic collaborations Brittany Lewis and Global Music Strategist Lead Mahlet Seyoum have teamed up to carry out the same amplification efforts as black voices.
From Senior Music Editor at Global Grind to Creative Manager, Hip-Hop and R&B, at Spotify, Lewis is familiar with artist coverage and presentation. He leverages this experience in his current role at YouTube to offer artists the practical support they need to thrive on the music platform. He also oversees the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund as a co-star.
Launched in 2020, the fund is a multi-year commitment “dedicated to highlighting and growing black creators and music on our platform, giving them access to resources to help them thrive on YouTube,” according to the YouTube Creators website.
“I feel like the work I do every day, whether for a cause or a policy, I always think about artists and their teams first,” Lewis told AfroTech. “And always thinking, ‘How does this program or this policy help this artist? Or how does this hurt them? ‘ Just always speak from their point of view or point of view and get feedback from the artists and their teams. Only by making sure that on YouTube we make informed decisions that have the contribution of the artist. “
Seyoum, on the other hand, has a theatrical background. His professional experience of hers includes serving as head of sales development and head of digital brand strategy for Emea Brandworks at Google before joining YouTube. In her current role, Seyoum prioritizes the needs of artists and discovering creative ways to connect with fans.
The Global Music Strategist executive is preparing to launch a new initiative, called YouTube Avenues.
“This will really help close the gap and perhaps the knowledge gap regarding YouTube and YouTube Music and how artists, disadvantaged communities and black artists in particular can use YouTube for their monetization and to reach new fans,” said Seyoum. “Sometimes that knowledge gap makes it insurmountable and so that’s what we’re really trying to work on. This is just one of many, but I think there is a good group of us who will always drive it forward. “
Since June 1, YouTube has launched a series of weekly scheduled playlists in four parts in honor of Black Music Month and Juneteenth. If you haven’t already, tune in to learn more about the YouTube Music lineup here.