LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Sonic Advancement

Idea by Faum

Faum's Sonic Advancement Initiative is a transformative program designed to dismantle the financial barriers faced by marginalized artists. By fully covering the recording, production, and publishing costs of five artists annually, this initiative addresses the racial and financial disparities prevalent in the music industry. Our primary objective is to create a nurturing space where creativity thrives, unencumbered by limitations.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by the Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

South LA

West LA

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Faum seeks to address the systemic barriers that have hindered the success and recognition of artists of color. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that these disparities still exist today. According to a study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only 22% of artists on the top 600 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts from 2012 to 2019 were from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds. Similarly, a report by the Recording Academy revealed that only 2% of music producers and 12% of songwriters are from underrepresented communities. These disparities in representation have real-world consequences for artists of color. A study by the University of California, Irvine also found that artists from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds receive significantly lower streaming revenue than their white counterparts. Additionally, they face challenges in accessing recording studios and other resources necessary for their careers.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

We are fully devoted to our aim of breaking down the obstacles that have long hindered underprivileged artists and professionals from accessing equitable opportunities in the music business through the Sonic Advancement Initiative. Our approach to music sustainability is holistic, encompassing not only programs and resources, but also active monitoring and analysis of data to ensure that our efforts have a meaningful impact. By creating new pathways for these individuals to succeed, we aim to foster a more diverse and inclusive music industry for generations to come. Moreover, we acknowledge that socioeconomic disparities are complex and multifaceted, requiring a multifaceted approach. Therefore, we are resolute in addressing these disparities head-on, working in partnership with communities and organizations to create lasting change that will benefit all members of the music community.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Our ultimate vision for Los Angeles County is to create a vibrant music ecosystem that embodies inclusivity, artistic excellence, and fair compensation. We strive to set a new standard in the industry, starting with Los Angeles County as our foundation. The Sonic Advancement Initiative will bring about a transformative change in the music landscape by establishing a thriving community of artists, amplifying marginalized voices, nurturing creativity, and promoting equity. And to ensure the long-term scalability and expansion of the initiative, our plan includes acquiring state-of-the-art studio facilities that will serve as a hub for artists to freely express themselves in-house. Eventually, these facilities will provide us to support an environment for artists to collaborate and develop their craft at a lower cost. Through the establishment of this vibrant community, we aim to foster opportunities for career growth and sustainability.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

A key indicator we monitor is the music streams generated by the artists we support. By analyzing streaming data, we can assess the reach and engagement of their music, providing insights that reflect the increasing visibility and recognition of marginalized artists through our initiative. Furthermore, we conduct surveys and collect testimonials from the artists themselves to gather qualitative feedback on the support and resources provided. Their stories and experiences provide firsthand evidence of how our initiative has empowered them and helped overcome the barriers they face in the industry. By combining quantitative data, such as monthly streams and social media engagements, with qualitative survey feedback from artists, we can comprehensively assess the impact of our Initiative. These metrics demonstrate the progress we are making in addressing racial and financial disparities, amplifying marginalized voices, and creating a more equitable and inclusive music industry.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 5

Indirect Impact: 1,000