Pharrell Williams On The Current State Of The Music Industry — 'There's Not Enough Black Leadership'
Photo Credit: Mauricio Santana

Pharrell Williams On The Current State Of The Music Industry — 'There's Not Enough Black Leadership'

Similar to fellow musicians, Pharrell Williams isn’t happy with the current state of the music industry.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, the music veteran was outspoken about how there are not enough leaders who look like him in the space calling the shots nor are there many who have ownership.

“There’s not enough Black leadership. There’s not enough leadership from people of color,” he firmly stated. “There’s also not enough ownership — there just isn’t. As much as the music industry has given me, when you really love something or love someone you can be honest about the things that could be better. I gotta say that the ownership with people of color it’s just not been the same. And that’s something we’re working on now.”

The interviewer went on to mention non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which Pharrell welcomes into the conversation, but recognizes that there will have to be more revolutionary ways to dismantle the barriers for minorities in music. When addressing the need for change, he went on to praise how today’s generation is taking powerful strides to create innovative ways to steer clear of the industry’s terrors.

“They’re essentially socialists by nature, they share everything. They stand for something. They’re no longer doing the deals that a lot of the older generations would fall for in the past,” Pharrell told Bloomberg. “And there are good people in the industry who know these things and they’re making these changes now as we speak.”

Pharrell's Black Ambition

The fight for change in the music industry is currently ongoing, but Pharrell has been on top of supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs through his national prize competition Black Ambition.

As previously reported by AfroTech, the initiative has returned for its second year with awards including a $100,000 HBCU prize and $1 million to one founder or co-founder.

“When you realize how lucky you are to be in the constellation of the universe and when you learn how it really works, you stop buying vehicles and you create vehicles to drive you. That’s what Black Ambition is, it’s a vehicle for impact. At Black Ambition, we find you and then we fund you,” Williams said, according to a press release.