Universal Music Group has announced the launch of the Masterclass, a six-part college speaking series which will feature both artists and music executives. The series premiered yesterday (Sept 12) at New York University with Pusha T and UMG’s SVP of A&R Steven Victor and was moderated by Soraya Joseph, digital content curator Ebony-JET’s.
Here before some 400 NYU students, the Masterclass kicked off with a 45 minute Q&A that covered such topics as career paths, the role of a modern label, balancing being an artist and exec (Pusha T is also president of G.O.O.D. Music), how to work within multiple roles as well as new music and discovery and the A&R process.
“There are very few instances you have the opportunity to stand 15 feet from your favorite artist and ask them questions,” Todd Goodwin, UMG’s VP of college and lifestyle marketing, told Billboard. “It was incredible to be in a room full of energetic young people who are truly interested in learning from our artist and executives.”
The UMG Masterclass series, which is being done in partnership with Ebony Media Operation’s newly redesigned JET, will travel to Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. The L.A. edition at USC will feature Ethiopia Habtemariam, president of Motown.
Colleges for the other cities that have yet to be confirmed, include Colombia College in Chicago, American University College in Atlanta (a partnership between Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine, Spelman and Clark Atlanta), Texas Southern in Houston and Howard in D.C.
“We are always looking for new opportunities for our artists to connect with their fans and the Masterclass allows students to hear directly from some of their favorite artist,” said Goodwin in a statement. “College students continue to be among the most passionate music fans and we’re excited to bring programming like this to these campuses allowing students to explore music in a different way,”
“We’re excited to partner with Universal Music’s college marketing team to bring The Masterclass series to our readers on these campuses,” stated Ebony-JET’s Joseph.