The BPI has announced its new Chair as acclaimed musician, composer and broadcaster YolanDa Brown.
Brown takes over from film producer and ex-head of Sony Music UK Ged Doherty, who announced in February that he would be standing down after seven years in the role.
The appointment follows an extensive search led by the BPI Council to identify suitable candidates with a strong working knowledge of the music industry as well as appreciation of the exciting opportunities and challenging issues that are currently shaping British music.
A champion for the importance of music education, YolanDa is Chair of Youth Music, on the national council of the Arts Council, a trustee of PRS Foundation, an ambassador for both the Prince’s Trust and London Music Fund and a champion for the children’s mental health charity Place2Be. She also sits on the advisory board of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and contributes to the Government’s advisory panel on Music Education.
Brown is a MOBO Award winning saxophonist who in the past has benefitted from Music Export Growth Scheme funding to cross borders with her music. She is a respected broadcaster across TV and radio and known to younger generations through her eponymous series for CBeebies, "YolanDa’s Band Jam" and the music she composes for the iconic Sesame Street.
“There is something special about British music – our artists across many genres and generations have been the soundtrack to people’s lives,” Brown commented. “The last few years have been challenging for our music community – we’ve had to evolve, listen more and show greater empathy, address past issues and collaborate to a much greater extent. There’s still more to do, but there are also so many exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
“I am honoured to take on this role as Chair of the BPI. A big thank you to my predecessor Ged Doherty for his drive and dedication, which I will continue to build on. I am looking forward to working with the entire BPI Council and members, CEO Geoff Taylor and his team, labels of all shapes and sizes, and of course artists and the wider industry bodies as we all continue to fly the flag for British music.”
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said: “I am delighted that someone of YolanDa’s extraordinary talent and creative energy is joining the BPI as its new Chair, and I also welcome the fresh perspective that she will bring to our work at this pivotal and exciting time for British music. Her breadth of experience drawn from across so many parts of the music community will prove invaluable as we continue to support the success of our label members and their artists globally.”
Ged Doherty, outgoing BPI Chair, added: “This is an exciting appointment for the BPI, and I congratulate YolanDa and wish her all the very best in the role. It’s been an honour serving the BPI, its Council and hundreds of wonderful members, and I thank Geoff and his great team for their valued support as well as the members of the BPI’s Equity and Justice Advisory Group for their never-less-than passionate contributions. The last seven years have been a joy and I wish everyone well, and I look forward to seeing British music continue to thrive.”