Young, Gifted and Black: Women in Music x YouTube Music – Sheniece Charway | Media
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 Sheniece Charway …
Sheniece Charway is clearly in the right profession. After chatting for five minutes with the 29-year-old YouTube Music Artist Relations Manager, “bubbly”, “sharp” and “pleasant” are a few words that immediately spring to mind. Plus, the passion and dedication with which she talks about her work and the creativity that drives her are just what it takes to excel in a role like this.
“When I used to work in a media agency, I always thought about the transferable skills that I could acquire in a role in music,” she says. “Back then it was about things like putting together a game or being good at email, which it still is. But it’s more than that, it’s about going beyond that, making sure that you are there and that you understand what is going on.
The exciting series of YouTube Music events that Sheniece Charway has spearheaded for the past two years is proof of that. There have been some memorable collaborations with top black music talent, which has seen her work directly with UK fan favorites such as Ghetts, Skepta and Stefflon Don, as well as with international artists such as WizKid and Tiwa. Savage.
Currently one of the most notable rising stars in the UK music industry, Charway made her debut through an internship at Columbia Records, which lasted two and a half years before being recruited by YouTube Music in December 2019 for a coordinator role. . Unsurprisingly, this was eventually converted into a full-time gig, which she’s been working in for about a year and a half now.
“I’ve always wanted to work in music,” she says. “But I didn’t know in what role. I knew I couldn’t sing, rap, or dance. But I knew I really had a huge passion for artists and helping them reach their fan base, so getting the role I’m in now was definitely organic.
This dedication has undoubtedly strengthened her position as an ambassador of the Power Up initiative, which supports black music creators and professionals within the industry.
Here, Sheniece Charway talks about her role on YouTube Music, mentors, diversity and plans for Black History Month …
What are some notable projects you worked on while you were on YouTube?
“I think one of the ones people always bring to mind is YouTube Originals: A Day in the Live with WizKid, which happened last November. We really wanted to work with Wizkid and his manager Jada. [Pollock] and I’ve been talking about doing something with YouTube for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity. People had never seen him that way before, so it was exciting for the fans to be able to see him with his family and the producers he works with and also see the album we’ve all been waiting for.
“We also hosted the Excellence Brunch last February which was a celebration of black British culture and music, which was just a really nice way for all of us to come together as a community. Another was YouTube Music Presents The Legacy Series: Fashion x Music. That’s where we started the Legacy series, which is all about British black culture, and celebrating it without always having to say the word ‘Black’, which is awesome. We partnered up with Westfield and had a pop-up store and there we had a livestream, which we partnered with GUAP for, which was just great. It’s really great to pair black British artists and black fashion designers, as well as black British fashion designers.
What are you planning for Black History Month this year?
“In fact, as part of Music Week’s Women In Music, we’re hosting a panel called Young, Black And Gifted, which Colleen Harris and I will host. This will be uploaded on October 28. For that, we’re going to spotlight some amazing black women in the industry, let them tell their stories, to help inspire people. We also have other things in the works, but they are not yet confirmed. We do things throughout the year because we think it’s important that it’s an ongoing narrative. “
There are a lot of young black women out there who are making a lot of moves and waves in the music industry right now. How important do you think this is for the industry?
“I think it’s so important for other people, especially young black women who are trying to get out of it, to see people who are like them. And it also helped with the change and having other people in the room, so it’s not always the same people. And I think even in this climate where popular culture is black music, that representation has to be there. But I think it needs to be a little bigger because it’s still not where it needs to be yet. Hopefully in the next couple of years we will see more people in positions like me, in labels or as president of a label. I think it’s important for the culture and the music industry as a whole.
And are there any mentors you have in the industry? And how have they played a role in your career?
“I have been very fortunate to have worked with so many amazing people, men and women, who have been able to guide me throughout my career, people like Stacey Tang, Executive Vice President of RCA UK. She was so awesome and really helped me. And then there’s my whole team on YouTube. I have such an amazing team, and they really were able to guide me. And then there are the likes of Grace Ladoja [co-founder of Metallic Inc and manager of Skepta], who has always been a great champion for me, and Vanessa Amadi-Ogbonna who runs Davido. There are a lot of women in this industry who have always been so supportive. I could list so many, but these are just a few of my head. ”
I’m really excited to see more black people in positions that can make a difference
What are you most optimistic about for the industry over the next five to ten years? What are you excited about?
“I’m really excited to see more black people in positions that can make change and move the next generation through. I think we are slowly seeing it happening. And it’s pretty awesome to see bands like 0207 Def Jam, Dream Life, Since ’93 and all those Black labels coming up. And then you also see black people in changing positions, for example Colin Batsa at Virgin brings in a lot of exciting new artists. I also hope that at some point there will be more internships for the next generation to help with this performance.
Are you currently an ambassador for the PRS Power Up initiative which is sponsored by YouTube? What does this imply?
“It’s basically about making sure that whatever Power Up needs in terms of additional internal support, I make sure I have those conversations. We also have masterclasses and workshops – we had one the other day where we got to sit down with the cohort and introduce them to YouTube products and the best way they can use them. This is essential, especially since many of them are artists, so we want to make sure they get the most out of their YouTube channel and understand how to monetize it. So being ambassadors is just making sure that we stand up for them and make sure they get what they need.
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. And click here for our YouTube channel.