Research Outline

Independent Pop Music Artist 6


To identify how artists have overcome the problems of diversity and lack of funding in the music industry including how the issues have impacted on artists in the past, possible solutions, examples of independent artists who have overcome the problem, possible funding streams, how artists have marketed themselves on a limited budget, and any mentors or similar available to assist independent artists at the start of their careers. This information will be used to inform a buiness plan.

Early Findings

Overcoming the Lack of Diversity

  • The music industry has announced two initiatives to overcome the lack of diversity within it. The Recording Academy, Grammy Awards, and Women in Music have announced major reforms. One of the initiatives will see the organizations actively seek memberships so that the diversity of the industry is more closely represented.
  • The industry is already recording and making public figures and data regarding diversity across all aspects, including senior positions within the industry.
  • The outreach for diverse communities has been expanded.
  • Formal goals are to be introduced regarding diversity in the Recording Academy to ensure the organization is working in the best interests of all its members.
  • One of the difficulties is that much of the focus on lack of diversity is around the lack of women in the industry, which, while important, fails to address the lack of diversity related to race and color. Admittedly the figures regarding gender diversity make stark reading, with women making up just 7.9% of the rosters at talent agencies.

Mentors in Music

  • Rolling Stone India has emphasized the place that mentors play in the music industry when it featured A.R. Rahman and 44 of his mentorees on the cover. Competition is tight to gain the attention of those who are looking for a mentor. A.R. Rahman selected the 24 acts he will work with from over 1,000. Part of this program saw the artists recording a single with the assistance of the star.
  • NEXA music, A.R. Rahman's label, actively looks for diverse acts by trying not to restrict themselves to a particular music genre or type. They actively try to be inclusive.
  • In an interview with Rolling Stone India, A.R. Rahman spoke about the mentorship, and how the "idea of finding inspiration in another artist is an integral part of every musician's journey. It pushes you to be your best. "I mean, "Someone mentored me," he says with a smile. "Many people, I would say." He recalls how elated he was when one of his mentors, the legendary English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, complimented him once, "He said to me, 'Oh my God, what a composer you are!' And you know, it's sweet coming from someone of another culture."


  • In this hour of research, we have attempted to address the issue of diversity. There are a multitude of articles available on the topic. However, the difficulty we encountered is that the issue is mainly being discussed at an industry level, meaning there are few practical examples for up and coming artists to follow.
  • While additional research into this area will provide industry-level information, we do not believe it will address how to deal with the lack of diversity on an individual level.