Gifted and Black Youth: Women In Music x YouTube Music – Christine Osazuwa | Talent
Music Week partners with YouTube Music for the Women In Music Awards in October – Black History Month – with a content series and webinar, Young, Gifted and Black: Women In Music. Here, Adenike Adenitire meets Christine Osazuwa …
Christine Osazuwa accomplished a lot in a very short period of time, but if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she hasn’t even scratched the surface of “doing it”.
The first-generation Nigerian-American, originally from Baltimore, has lived in London for two and a half years and is currently the global marketing director for data and ideas at Warner Music.
The 31-year-old “very ambitious” young woman made her debut at the age of 14, when she started leading street teams for artists in the region.
“It was mostly street marketing, which isn’t really a thing anymore,” she says wistfully.
By age 15, she had started booking shows, and by age 16, she ran Scene Trash, a monthly music magazine featuring local and national artists. Roles in a handful of marketing and music start-ups followed, along with a stint at Atlantic Records.
The travel enthusiast, who sees her meeting with Michelle Obama as a moment she “won’t let anyone forget,” also knew early on that she had a passion for marketing and data, which led her to earn a master’s degree in data science and an MBA in marketing following her degree in music journalism and entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. Before moving to London, she lived in Stockholm for three years where she worked for Universal Music Group in the marketing and sales team, specializing in data.
As well as making sure she gives back by attending countless industry events to share her knowledge on the importance and how to get the most out of data for labels, managers and artists. , she also feels lucky to have been a part of key initiatives such as as Power Up. The long-term program set up and managed by the PRS Foundation in partnership with YouTube Music, Beggars Group, Spotify and the Black Music Coalition is aimed at black musicians and professionals in the UK music industry to tackle the anti-black racism and racial disparities in the sector.
“It’s a program to help people advance in their careers,” she explains. “I was chosen from a cohort of 40 people. “
Here Christine Osazuwa shares her thoughts on the importance of truly understanding data in music and how she works to improve diversity, …
You are the Global Data and Insights Marketing Director at Warner Music. What is your part ?
“I’m part of the Warner Music team with high priorities for Warner as a whole. So that’s it, from our superstars, like Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Cardi B and Bruno Mars, etc. But we also deal with emerging and developing artists, for example Anita in Brazil and Burna Boy in Nigeria are all priorities at different times.
“Our team oversees all of the different priorities of Warner Music Group, and we are working with the various marketing teams across the globe to ensure that we are achieving our goal of smashing superstars across the globe. I’m managing the data strategy, looking at our streaming numbers as well as things like downloads, physical sales, etc. to make sure we continue to deliver on that promise to break artist across the world.
You do an incredible job of bridging the gap between music, data and business. How do you plan to handle this?
“I started to work in marketing and in music. And so this is the space that I have always been very comfortable and familiar with. But I can also code, which in my experience is not an overlap that is usually found in the music industry. It is therefore very easy for me to have conversations with the marketing and sales teams, while being able to discuss with our technical teams with real understanding. I think it definitely gave me an edge because I can work from start to finish on campaigns. I can visualize it and automate it without needing a lot of additional support. I also find it never difficult for me to find a new job, which is very nice [laughs]. “
I’m so glad people understand the usefulness of understanding data
There are a disproportionate number of black women and women in the tech space, including the music industry, what do you think about how that can be improved?
“Within Warner Music, we have ERGs – Employee Resource Groups – and I am currently the co-leader of the People of Color group within Warner Music. And I’m also a member of the Women of Warner group, as well as the Women in Tech group for Warner. And in this last group, it would be generous if I said that there are 20 of us. Representation as it relates to blacks basically declines from the second quartile upwards, so from that point of view there is a retention issue. and progression. So this is an area that needs to be addressed, ensuring that people are properly trained and progressing within the companies they are in, and that they have safe spaces and feel they can and should. stay with the company. And then additionally, from a technical point of view, the representation of people of color is there, but with women, that’s where you see the most issues, and that’s a global issue within STEM. . [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in general. I think it’s slowly starting to be rectified, but it’s definitely not where it needs to be, and it could actually be more of a pipeline issue. “
You started the Measure of Music three-day conference last year, what inspired you?
“Yeah, so I started this during the pandemic. It’s a conference and workshop hackathon. And the point was to make people understand that music and data exist together and to understand what kind of work can be done with data. And so people ended up doing projects on A&R, live streaming, and marketing campaigns all using data and looking at how data works with all these different departments in the music industry. Everything was online and 75 people participated in the hackathon and around 1000 people signed up to watch the presentations and various videos of the speakers throughout the conference itself. And one thing I’m really proud of is that there were about 25 speakers and 75 attendees, and both were in the majority minority by gender and race.
What are you optimistic about regarding the music industry and data?
“I’m really excited that people understand the usefulness of understanding data, and I think it’s moving slowly. Digital service providers like Spotify, Apple, I think they are very much aware of the importance of mastery of data. And then when it comes to diversity and inclusion, I’m really excited that people are starting to take data very seriously when it comes to hiring and retaining representation.
“There is another trend that seems to have started and I hope it continues. Joe Kentish became chairman of Warner Records UK earlier this year, and it’s amazing because he’s the senior manager of the Black label at Warner Music. One of his biggest claims to fame is that he’s the A&R of Dua Lipa. So, hopefully people of color and black people within the industry will have more opportunities to work outside of one gender. “
Stay tuned to musicweek.com for more interviews during Black History Month as part of Young Gifted And Black: Women In Music x YouTube Music.