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Home > Keychange U.S. debuts Talent Development Program and shares full list of participants in inaugural cohort

Keychange U.S. debuts Talent Development Program and shares full list of participants in inaugural cohort

Following its 2022 launch, the Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program will provide career development and mentorship opportunities to 25 participants from across the United States to further its mission of greater gender equity and inclusion within the music industry

Learn more about the Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program Here

Keychange U.S., a charitable non-profit organization working to foster and champion greater gender equity and inclusion within the music industry, has announced the inaugural cohort of its U.S. Talent Development Program. Through this program, Keychange U.S. will provide career development, mentorship, team meet-ups, and career-defining showcase and speaking opportunities to 25 participants from Los Angeles, Nashville and New York City.

Originally founded in Europe in 2017 under the leadership of Vanessa Reed and PRS Foundation (UK), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), and Musikcentrum Öst (Sweden), the organization rapidly accrued international presence. The Global Keychange Pledge boasts more than 615 signatories across the music ecosystem. The U.S. expansion of Keychange was launched in June 2022 in close collaboration with Founding Donors Believe and TuneCore. Keychange U.S. is building on the global success of the movement to authentically develop a stronger, safer, and more inclusive music industry for all.

“Congratulations to the 25 artists and innovators who’ve been selected for the first edition of  Keychange in the U.S. and huge thanks to Believe and Tunecore for investing in gender equity and making this possible,” says Vanessa Reed, President/CEO of New Music USA and Keychange U.S. board member. “We know from the impact of Keychange in Europe that participants benefit significantly from the network and learning opportunities that this international program creates. I’m looking forward to following the change that Keychange can influence here in the U.S., the world’s biggest music market.”

The newly launched Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program will impart holistic professional development and practical career support to women and gender-expansive emerging artists and innovators. The program will run for a period of seven months, from September 2023 through March 2024.

“Knowing that women in music comprise only 14.4% of songwriters and 2.8% of producers – according to 2021 stats – is enough for anyone to give pause,” says NYC-based artist and 2023 cohort participant Queen Esther.“Keychange is achieving the unthinkable by strategically shifting this paradigm, one of us at a time. I am so proud to be amongst their ranks.”

“I am thrilled to join the inaugural Keychange U.S. program and support their mission for gender equality in music,” says Zarrin Alam, Streaming Strategy & Marketing Specialist at Sony Music Entertainment. “I look forward to connecting with fellow music trailblazers as we open more doors of collaboration and growth in our industry.”

The full list of participants in the inaugural Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program is below:

Natalie Greffel (She/Her)
Piper Page (She/Her)
Angie K (She/Her)
HIEN (She/Her)
LAYNA (She/Her)
Queen Esther (She/Her)
Dom Jones (She/Her)
Angélica Garcia (She/Her)
Elsa Nilsson – Band Of Pulses (She/Her)
Danielle Lande (She/They)
Medusa (They/Them)

Sam Viotty (She/Her)
Jashima Wadehra (She/Her)
Gemma McInturff (She/Her)
Sabeerah Najee-Ullah (She/Her)
Alexandria Davis (She/Her)
Colby Lapolla (She/Her)
Dani Thomas (She/Her)
Zarrin Alam (She/Her)
Shelly Hartman (She/Her)
Alexa Disney (She/Her)
Liv Lombardi (They/Them)
Katie Hargrove (She/Her)


For the launch of the Talent Development Program, Keychange U.S. has partnered with a variety of companies, festivals, and industry conferences whose values align with the Keychange mission of cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the music business.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Keychange, supporting their inaugural U.S. Talent Development Program cohort of 25 members,” says Sat Bisla, President & Founder of A&R Worldwide and MUSEXPO. “As an independent global music business conference, MUSEXPO has long championed independence, diversity, and inclusion – values at the core of our mission. Welcoming Keychange to our community enriches our commitment to fostering a more inclusive and vibrant music industry.”

“As Believe continuously works to further shape the music industry into a place where women and people of diverse genders can thrive, we are thrilled to support Keychange U.S. as it launches its U.S. Talent Development Program and look forward to further supporting the participants as they transform our industry for the better,” says Denis Ladegaillerie, Founder and CEO of Believe.

“The Keychange mission resonates deeply with our festival ethos,” says Barnett English, Founder and Organizer of Joshua Tree Music Festival. We consciously curate a lineup with over 50% of the artists being women or gender-expansive people. But we are just one event!  So we are honored and thrilled to work with Keychange in their efforts to help underrepresented genders grace more festival stages around the country.”

The full list of Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program Partners can be found below:

Festival & Conference Partners
Mondo.NYC, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Winter Jazz Fest, MUSEXPO, The New Colossus Festival, Sync Summit LA, Gritty In Pink, The Wavy Awards, Berklee Alumni Affairs, Power Station at Berklee NYC, The Village Studios

Founding Donors
TuneCore, Believe

“Since its launch in Europe and Canada, the Keychange movement has proven that while the music industry has a gender problem, targeted action works,” says Joe Frankland, CEO of PRS Foundation & Keychange U.S. Director. “We’re proud to break down systemic and cultural barriers preventing women and gender-expansive artists and professionals from succeeding in the industry, and so much of Keychange’s success is down to the inspiring participants at the heart of our programs who shape the future of music. Advisors and partners were blown away by the quality of applications received for the brand new Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program. Each selected artist and innovator brings valuable expertise and exciting ideas to this change-making network and we cannot wait to uplift their careers and transform the music industry together.” 

“I’ve been part of Keychange for four years and it’s amazing to see the expansion on Keychange U.S.,” says Marie Fol, Global Project Lead of Keychange. “With this new, diverse cohort of U.S. talented musicians and professionals Keychange will have supported some 300 people in their professional development, contributing directly to a more equitable and inclusive music industry moving forward. I cannot wait to see the 25 participants thrive and grow further on national and international scale.”


About Keychange & The Keychange U.S. Talent Development Program

Keychange (Europe/Canada/U.S.A.): Keychange is a global gender equity initiative that counts the discounted, empowering talented underrepresented genders and taking action to bring sustainable changes to the music industry. Launched in 2017 with key partners including PRS Foundation (UK), Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), and Musikcentrum Öst (Sweden), and supported by Creative Europe from its beginning, Keychange has evolved into a global network with partners and staff in 13 countries. Keychange promotes gender equity and inclusivity through an annual talent development program in Europe and Canada for 74 artists and professionals since 2018, and for 25 participants in the USA since 2023. The initiative also encourages organizations to sign the Keychange Pledge – committing to balanced representation within five years. And partners share proposals for collective change through the Keychange Manifesto. Learn more at the Keychange U.S. Website.