In this series, we will be profiling music professionals from all facets of the industry to learn more about their involvement in the CARAS Academy Delegate program.
What inspired you to become an Academy Delegate?
What inspired me to become a delegate was the love of the culture of Canadian Music. From my first interactions of popping in a CD from Glenn Lewis to Kardinal Offishall to becoming a trusted voice in the Black Canadian music scene, this propelled me to become a part of CARAS as an Academy Delegate.
Why is it important to be active in the Canadian music industry?
It’s very important to be active in the Canadian music industry because I believe it’s our DUTY to represent artists and creators and propel them to the stardom that they need to get to. We need to be the advocates for the underdog artists that cannot get the airplay on radio stations or to be the ear to the streets and let people know about the next breakthrough artist. Our level of influence needs to be felt from the top choice makers to the fans that will one day be inspired to become artists themselves.
What do you enjoy most about being an Academy Delegate?
The one thing I enjoy the MOST about being an Academy Delegate is to be in the know of who’s who and to listen to the NUMEROUS amounts of talent throughout Canada. A bonus of being a delegate is the network of individuals that you can connect with and having the opportunity to learn and be mentored by some of the game changers in Canadian music.
Why do you think it’s important to promote and celebrate Canadian music and artists?
My answer would be: WHY NOT? – Canada has been enriched with amazing songwriters, producers, singers and performers and it is a MUST that they are represented and celebrated. If we don’t celebrate our own, who will? We’ve seen the lack of celebration for artists where they are celebrated abroad, especially in the categories of black music. Not to sound redundant, but it is NECESSARY that we promote and celebrate artists here FIRST while they are home FIRST.
“Your opinions will be valued, your voice will be heard but most importantly, you will have the opportunity to be entrusted to make an impact…”
– Ryan Chung
Why is diversity within the Academy Delegate program and the Canadian music industry so essential?
“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people” and so is the same in the music industry. For far too long there have been many underrepresented creators that have had a hard time breaking out and becoming the stars they need to be. Diversity should be an essential FABRIC because not everyone thinks the same.
Different creeds, different thoughts, different colours end up creating a beautiful masterpiece within the music circle, and if these ideas are not shown, it creates a wall that we will never be able to break out of. We need to make sure that EVERY MUSICAL CREATOR is shown the same fairness on all sides, no matter what colour you are, no matter what gender you are – equality and equity need to be shared throughout the industry.
What has been your favourite JUNOS moment? / What are you most excited about for the upcoming JUNO Awards?
My favourite JUNO moment was seeing the emphasis of Black Music finally being recognized within the televised ceremony, plus Savannah Re winning big with the award. I am most excited that there will be more opportunities for black representation being showcased for decades to come.
How does being an Academy Delegate allow you to help shape the industry?
Becoming an Academy Delegate allows you to help shape the industry by becoming someone who truly represents the music culture in Canada. Your opinions will be valued, your voice will be heard but most importantly, you will have the opportunity to be entrusted to make an impact within the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Why should fellow industry members apply to be a CARAS Academy Delegate?
I would implore fellow industry members to become a CARAS Academy Delegate so you can leave your imprint on the industry. There are amazing resources that you can be connected to and you can create relationships with like-minded individuals that love Canadian Music.
Applications for the CARAS Academy Delegate program are now open! Learn more about becoming a member and how you can help shape the future of Canadian music.