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Source: Courtesy / Femme It Forward

Multi-format music and entertainment company Femme It Forward (FIF) announces its latest mentorship endeavors with the launch of “MUSE” (Musicians Uplifting Stars Everyday). Read more about their new mentorship program created to guide emerging female artists and creatives in music.

The Femme It Forward platform continues its’ mission to celebrate, educate, empower and mentor female visionaries. The company has expanded its reach with the latest launch of MUSE, which is a new Mentorship Program specifically created to guide and advise emerging female artists and creatives in the music industry.

Under the direction of FIF’s Founder and President, Live Nation Partner Heather Lowery, “MUSE” will serve the creative side of the business and complement FIF’s existing Next Gem Femme mentorship program, which offers a mentorship track for rising women of color executives and entrepreneurs to find space in the entertainment industry.

MUSE is a multi-pronged initiative that will bring together women across different disciplines within the music industry to inspire, empower, and mentor one another, uplift their communities, and generate new music.

“I have made it my mission to pave the way for future generations of women to be equipped with the tools they need to sit at any table,” says FIF’s President and Founder, Heather Lowery. “MUSE has lived in my heart for the last 3 years, and I am honored to release it into reality as a high-powered program to combat the inequities, disparities, and disturbing statistics around the historic underrepresentation of women in the music industry, especially women of color.”

Recent findings from USC Annenberg’s “Inclusion Initiative,” in collaboration with Spotify, shed light on some concerning statistics on women in the music industry. The study reveals that a mere 6.5 percent of producers are women, with only 19 out of 1,972 producing credits going to women of color. Additionally, less than 1 percent of 1,200 popular songs have women as the sole songwriters.

Despite these staggering numbers, there’s a positive trend: in 2023, 40.6 percent of solo or featured artists were women, a notable increase from 2022’s 34.8 percent, though the change from 2012 (35.8 percent) was just shy of significance at 0.2 percent.

As for engineers, only 1.9 percent of credited engineers on popular songs being women or non-binary individuals, as highlighted in the “Lost In The Mix,” Fix The Mix Annual Report from April 2023.

These findings emphasize why the music industry needs initiatives like MUSE to help foster more pathways for artists and creatives to thrive, innovate, and leave an indelible mark on the industry.

Lowery recruited music industry powerhouses Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, and Teyana Taylor as MUSE advisors. They will each participate in a moderated conversation and unique Q&A programming, led by Lowery, to serve as an open forum for the creatives in the MUSE program to receive advice and anecdotes to illuminate new career paths.

“Heather’s MUSE is creating a powerful circle of women from different backgrounds and across multiple generations,” Erykah Badu said. “I am choosing to share my legacy by becoming a MUSE advisor to encourage and educate this circle and help the next generation become an improvement on the design that precedes them.”

In addition to these advisors, a bench of award-winning artists and creatives will serve as hands-on mentors including producer and songwriter duo Nova Wav, songwriter and artist Nija, songwriter and artist Jozzy, and 4x Grammy-winning engineer Ann Mincieli. Rapper Rapsody is paired with Brittany Carter, Trina is paired with Kaliii, and Amber Riley is paired with Jane Handcock under the MUSE mentorship umbrella.

In addition, music from FIF’s MUSE Labs will be included in FIF’s second Big Femme Energy music compilation album slated for late 2024.

Femme It Forward is honored to announce 2024’s inaugural MUSE list.

Learn more about MUSE here.