Billboard Japan has been interviewing varied ladies who’ve established themselves within the Japanese music trade for its Girls in Music initiative since its inception final 12 months. In the identical spirit of Billboard’s annual Girls in Music occasion that started in 2007, Billboard Japan additionally goals to rejoice ladies who proceed to interrupt new floor within the nation’s music enterprise via varied contents together with interviews, dwell performances, and panel discussions.
YouTube’s Mai Sasaki, who oversees Artist Relations in Japan on the video sharing large, is the following featured visitor within the interview sequence. Sasaki helps artists in Japan broaden the scope of their musical actions by offering a platform and operational help, a significant instance being the official Fuji Rock Pageant YouTube channel that started in 2018 that includes livestreams and archives from Japan’s pioneering summer season music pageant. Having been concerned within the music enterprise in her residence nation and overseas earlier than assuming her present submit, how does Sasaki view the Japanese music scene as we speak?
You at present work in Artists Relations at YouTube. What particularly does this part do?
Our job is to make varied proposals and supply operational help for artists to make the most of YouTube as a platform. The issues our music workforce can suggest to our purchasers are growing in multifaceted methods every day, similar to the best way to actively function official channels, or internet hosting livestreams.
I see, so it’s not nearly opening up your platform. The pandemic has modified the way in which music is made out there on-line, so it seems like increasingly more artists are using YouTube now.
It goes with out saying that the shock of the pandemic has been immense for the music trade, from not with the ability to maintain in-person occasions like dwell live shows and music festivals to having to postpone releases as a result of the recording and promotion course of grew to become tougher to hold out. Within the midst of all this, YouTube has been holding on-line seminars for artists, report firms, and different music professionals on the best way to profit from our platform. This initiative was extra about desirous to work collectively in the direction of a typical purpose slightly than attempting to promote our companies. Because of this, our platform has been used as a spot for artists and followers to attach — via livestreaming reveals with out in-person audiences, or streaming performances from the artists’ personal areas — and even now that motion restrictions have been lifted, such developments on the platform proceed to broaden.
Might you inform us a bit about your profession earlier than taking on your present place?
I’ve cherished music for so long as I can bear in mind, and after graduating school, I landed a job at a report firm in Japan. After that, I moved to San Francisco. I didn’t have any connections; I did my very own analysis, obtained related to an organization that I needed to work for, arrange an appointment for an interview, and obtained the job at a digital music distribution start-up.
Having skilled working within the music trade each in Japan and the U.S., have you ever felt any variations between the 2?
After returning to Japan, I actually observed the massive share of males within the trade as an entire. On the firm I labored for in San Francisco, there have been many ladies in key positions such because the heads of the manufacturing and advertising and marketing departments, so the truth that such key positions in Japan are normally crammed by males in darkish fits grew to become obviously obvious to me after coming again.
What do you suppose are among the causes which have led to this present scenario?
This isn’t simply in regards to the music trade, however I really feel that there’s nonetheless a robust sense of gender roles in Japan, that ladies are purported to deal with youngsters and do house responsibilities. After all there are regional variations in different international locations as nicely, however San Francisco is a really liberal-leaning metropolis, so I believe the distinction I felt once I got here again to Japan was vital.
What’s the present scenario like at Google?
Google has a company philosophy that emphasizes variety, fairness, and inclusiveness. The truth is, we’ve got as many ladies as males. That is subjective, however my impression is that the precise persons are positioned in the precise locations with extra emphasis on particular person careers and dealing types than on gender. Working remotely was additionally allowed earlier than the pandemic, and help is in place for ladies to proceed their careers whereas going via childbirth and childcare. In an effort to promote ladies’s management, we additionally provide a coaching program referred to as the “Girls Will Management Program” for each administration and people who aspire to turn out to be leaders, and it’s been very efficient.
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