The Raedio Creators Program Supported by Google is designed to provide underrepresented independent artists with more resources as well as bring more representation of women of color in the music industry, which the actress critiqued in a now-viral Los Angeles Times interview. “It’s probably the worst industry that I have ever come across. I thought Hollywood was crazy. The music industry, it needs to start over,” Rae said. “Conflicts of interest abound. Archaic mentalities. Crooks and criminals! It’s an abusive industry, and I really feel for artists that have to come up in it.”
She started Raedio — “an audio everywhere company” with a record label joint venture with Atlantic Records and four more branches dedicated to publishing, live events, music supervision and a music library — in October 2019. Rae’s venture into the music business has proven fruitful in breaking new, mostly female and/or POC artists in the R&B and hip-hop space, including Baby Tate and TeaMarrr.
“This partnership is perfectly aligned with my mission in helping open doors and provide opportunities for women to succeed and flourish in their craft,” Rae said in a statement to Billboard. “I can’t wait to see the impact this program and partnership has on the selectees and the music that is created as a result.”
The Raedio Creator Program Supported by Google will select two female artists and two composers to receive funding and resources to create and retain full ownership of their music. The funding from Google will cover recording fees, producer costs and marketing expenses for the female artists to put out a three-to-five song EP. The Raedio record label branch will supervise and distribute the projects, which will be available on all digital service providers (DSPs). The songs from each EP will be added to Raedio’s music library so that they can be pitched for sync opportunities. Google will also fund the production and development of one music video for each artist.
Google’s funding specifically dedicated to the two composers will cover recording and artist collaboration costs for a series of collections for TV, film and brand syncs. The Raedio music supervision branch will search for opportunities to place the composers’ original songs in various Hollywood projects.
“We are proud to create these four grants in partnership with Raedio with a goal of underscoring the importance in providing access and opportunity for women of color pursuing audio careers within the entertainment industry,” said Elle Roth-Brunet, Google’s entertainment partnerships lead, in a statement. “This program is an extension of Google’s dedication to championing diversity within the entertainment industry and we look forward to hearing the artistic contributions of all who participate.”
Rae has given emerging and established artists opportunities to secure lucrative sync placements by placing their music in her hit HBO series Insecure, which came to an end last month after a successful five-season run. In an interview with Billboard last fall, Raedio president and Rae’s longtime business partner Benoni Tagoe described the show as “the starting point, but it’s definitely not the finish line” for artists signed to Raedio, which has been working on music supervision for series such as Epix’s Godfather of Harlem, Starz’s Power and Rae’s upcoming HBO Max series Rap Sh*t about two struggling rappers in Miami, which is co executive-produced by City Girls.
“We are proud to partner with Google to support women in music,” adds Tagoe. “As an audio everywhere company, Raedio places artists’ work in as many places where music is consumed as possible, increasing their visibility among fans and consumers, in turn increasing their earning potential. Raedio Creators Program Supported by Google is another way for us to do this by providing a platform, tangible resources, mentorship, and amplification for aspiring talent. We look forward to selecting the final artists and composers and supporting them in their musical journeys.”
Artists and composers can begin submitting their work for consideration in the Raedio Creators Program Supported by Google starting in February. Recipients will be announced in March.
The partnership was brokered by UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing, the brand consulting division of UTA, which represents Google.