Music Week has announced this year’s Roll Of Honour, in association with TikTok, for our Women In Music Awards 2021.
There are 14 names on this year’s list, drawn from all sectors of the music industry and all with tremendous achievements to celebrate. They join the pantheon of previous honorees, including some of the biggest names in the business, from Emma Banks and Sarah Stennett to Kanya King, Rebecca Allen and Stacey Tang, that have been selected since the awards began in 2014.
In the run-up to the ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton on October 22, here's a chance to learn more about this year's Roll Of Honour inductees. Today, we're introducing Indy Vidyalankara, head of communications at Tomorrow's Warriors....
Indy is an accomplished communications professional with a diverse career spanning over two decades across music, media, and third sector. She has worked in high profile organisations such as Sony Music UK, Saatchi & Saatchi, and the BBC where she spent 11 years in publicity across Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, and BBC TV.
With a vision to work with charities and with a social purpose, Indy left the life of corporates to set up her own business. In 2015, she founded Indypendent PR, a boutique music PR, communication brand, and diversity consultancy. Indypendent PR’s past and present clients include Gary Crosby OBE, Richard Antwi Scholarship, Jules Buckley, Tonic Music For Mental Health, Bez, Cassie Kinoshi, Kings Place, Malik Al Nasir, Mavin Records, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Help Musicians, MOBO Trust, Nitin Sawhney OBE, Youth, Girls I Rate, Eddy Grant, Carla Marie Williams, Urban Development, TuneCore, and more.
Indy is also currently part-time head of communications at award-winning talent development organisation and charity Tomorrow’s Warriors.
Janine Irons, CEO and co-founder of the charity, speaks highly of her, “Indy is a highly skilled and respected communications professional of great integrity who has proved to be an invaluable asset, supporting us in communicating our value and purpose, connecting with the music industry and building our media profile to an unprecedented level. She is a woman of colour, a mother, and steadfast advocate for diversity, and has helped us to communicate the contribution we make to the UK’s diverse music ecology and the positive impact we have on young women and black musicians. We are proudly a black founded and led organisation and Indy has supported the company in telling our story with boldness and confidence.”
Prior to her work at Tomorrow’s Warriors, Indy was head of strategic communications at Help Musicians, where she launched mental health service Music Minds Matter. Indy was the first woman of colour in the role of Sony Music UK director of communications, her second tenure there following a three-year stint at Columbia Records, where she started her career in music.
Actively participating in pushing forward positive change for diversity in the music industry, Indy chairs and speaks on panels and government roundtables, sharing insights and learnings through her lived experience, whilst pushing for positive change. She is a member of both the BPI Equality & Justice Advisory Group and the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, where she is an independent voice, helping to shape the comms, strategy, and implementation of the Ten Point Plan. She is also a trustee of charities Parents In Performing Arts (PiPA) and Midi Music Company.
Paulette Long, OBE, has said, “I first came into contact with Indy when we were both part of a team of 35 Inspiring Women in Music who, at the Royal Albert Hall, ‘speed mentored’ 150 young girls from various schools across London. That type of giving, to me, is such a big part of who Indy is. Beyond her great skills in the world of Public Relations and outside her astute business acumen, she is a woman of integrity and grit. A champion for worthy causes where she gives her time and expertise, Indy’s passion really shines through in her tireless work for more diversity within the music industry. Indy is like a Trojan Horse, coming in quietly and very unassuming but unleashing a stream of lived experience, strategic planning and positive drive that is hard to beat. As a member of the BPI’s Equality Justice Advisory Group and UK Music Diversity Task Force, I have seen Indy put her words into action, helping to keep the momentum going in both groups, with great ideas and excellent time bound plans. I have worked with Indy as a client and worked alongside her as a diversity advocate, she is a real trooper, the music industry is much better with her in its ranks.”
Indy talks openly about her experience and her mission, “Being a woman in music who first entered the industry over twenty years ago, I saw very few women who looked like me in high positions to aspire to. Today the music industry is so much more diverse, and a dynamic place to work and thrive in, but the inequities are prevalent, just less visible to us, much more digging is needed to find out the root cause of the gaps and barriers that exist for women and diverse talent. I love this industry and I’m committed to using my voice as a force for good and a force for change for underrepresented and vulnerable groups.”
The Women In Music awards, sponsored by YouTube Music, comprises the Roll Of Honour and an additional 12 categories, including the all-new Entrepreneur Award which recognises a woman who has been the driving force in founding and/or building a business, displaying considerable innovation and success.
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