28 Jun What has contributed to diversity in UK music?
The UK music scene is arguably one acclaimed for its diversity in both genre and artists, highlighted by the presence of award ceremonies such as the MOBOs initiated over two decades ago to promote more fair representation. Latterly, the independent music scene has nurtured the career of a wide array of artists from BAME communities, with Arlo Parks, M1llionz, and AJ Tracey currently at the forefront of the sector. The independent scene has steadily utilised live streaming platforms as a method with which to engage with the critical mass and monetise their creativity, gaining access to a diverse fan base that may not have been as accessible pre-live streaming. Latest BPI figures show live streaming is now worth £500 million which is in no small part because of BAME communities and their artists and genres which people have turned to being significantly represented by these artists, explaining their rise to fame throughout lockdown.
2,889,000 Brits discovered genres significantly represented by independent artists from BAME communities such as Afrobeats and Trap during lockdown
2,977,000 Brits say they are planning to see artists in genres significantly represented by independent artists from BAME communities that they wouldn’t have done pre-pandemic
Championing fair representation for artists within BAME communities is of paramount importance, and in what seems like a mutually supportive relationship, the monumental rise of live streaming is in no small part thanks to the representation independent artists from BAME communities are achieving. The UK’s independent scene has long been one of note with the early stage careers of Arlo Parks, Nadine Shah, and AJ Tracey testament to the potential scale of an independent start; the shift has caught international momentum resulting in the simultaneous expansion of live-streaming and social media interaction with fans. These artists have been able to use platforms such as DICE, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok to share their music with a significantly more receptive fanbase, keen for explorative escapism in the context of a corridor of lockdowns.
Consequently, a monumental success of live streaming has emerged as a hand in hand companion to independent artists breaking into the mainstream, with BPI this week reporting that 26% of all music consumed in the UK comes from independent artists.
DICE – a global ticketing and livestream specialist – has been at the centre of this evolution as the definitive platform for independent artists, having hosted more than 6,000 live streamed shows since Covid-19 began. Independent artists are our new generation of break throughs, competing on the main stage with major industry names; all without the backing of one of the three major labels. Previously bedroom producers, the now critically acclaimed independent artists such as Arlo Parks are AIM and Grammy award winners, a feat achieved in large part thanks to the accessibility of live streaming platforms such as DICE, TikTok, Instagram, and more.
Landmark research from DICE shows the fans that have discovered genres typically dominated by independent artists from BAME communities, allowing for ownership of these artists’ music as they break into the mainstream, competing with leading artists.
Through live streaming, platforms such as Facebook – which has called for more live streams from independent artists on their platforms – have monetised digital gigs and concerts. These calls have come in response to the artists fans listen to having fundamentally changed due to new live streaming norms. This shift has encouraged support for independent artists in a truly unprecedented manner, as barriers to releasing music that fans are removed, allowing for accurate representation for artists from BAME communities and their fans.