Mastercard shines a light on music trailblazers ahead of The BRIT Awards 2024

February 21, 2024 | London, United Kingdom

Mastercard is celebrating its 26th year as headline sponsor of The BRIT Awards. This year, as part of our ongoing commitment to championing the next generation, we are shining a light on a group of trailblazing individuals driving positive change in the music industry across technology, diversity and inclusion.    

At a panel event held on Tuesday 20 February, radio DJ Vick Hope discussed the future of music and the work underway to make music more accessible for all. The panel included Mastercard ambassador Young Athena, BRIT School Principal Stuart Worden, Orchestra Live’s Sooree Pillay, and musician Elizabeth J Birch.   

Vick Hope, radio and TV presenter, author, and journalist, commented: “I feel so inspired by the individuals and organisations Mastercard has showcased today, all of whom are contributing to greater accessibility and inclusion in our thriving industry and are carving a path for a whole new generation of music makers and listeners.”   

Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing Officer, Mastercard added: “As the biggest night in British music, The BRIT Awards are the perfect opportunity to rally people to come together thorough the power of music. This year, we’re proud to once again team up with The BRIT School to champion their creative works and all those blazing a trail for the future. Ensuring the longevity and legacy of music and creative arts is core to our campaign and we’re delighted to work with The BRITs and our partners to support a diverse and inclusive industry for the next generation.”

The Mastercard music trailblazers are:  

  • Geo Aghinea – An electronic artist harnessing innovative technology to produce distinct auditory encounters and soundscapes that sonically reflect their experience as a deaf artist.  
  • Elizabeth. J. Birch – An award-winning young musician known for using synthesisers, vocals, and ordinary everyday objects to craft unique sonic landscapes.  
  • Kris Halpin – A musician who leads Dyskinetic, a movement amplifying the intersection between music and disability. Kris is Sense’s Artistic Director of Music, and is known for his use of the innovative Mi.Mu gloves to make music.  
  • Joe Hastings – CEO of Music Support which helps people who work in music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction and to promote early intervention through support services, education, and workshops.  
  • Gawain Hewitt – One of the UK’s leading music interface innovators working on bespoke designs for people with disabilities, rooted in his belief in the power of music to drive “togetherness” and striving to ensure disability is not a limitation to the creation of music for an artist.  
  • Sooree Pillay – A regional producer for Orchestras Live, an organisation working with communities, young people and those with health or wellbeing issues to create and heal with music.  
  • Megan Steinberg – An experimental composer and abstract turntablist, Megan works with found sound, chance procedures, graphic scores, quietness and microtonality. Her PHd is focused on the creation of works for disabled musicians, new instruments, and AI, placing accessibility at the beginning of the compositional process, with a specific focus on accessibility for neurodivergent musicians to the traditional score. 

Young Athena, artist, and Mastercard Artist Accelerator programme graduate added: “Innovation in the music industry is key to ensuring increased accessibility, diversity, and creativity, and as an artist I’m always looking for ways to embrace emerging technology and incorporate it into my work. It’s incredible to see some of the exciting work the Mastercard music trailblazers are doing in their fields and how they are changing the industry for the better.” 

Kelly Devine, Division President for Mastercard UK and Ireland, said: “The UK continues to be at the forefront of innovation and it’s inspiring to see artists, producers and grassroots campaigners drive inclusion and embrace technology to create opportunities for the next generation to make and experience music in new and exciting ways. Mastercard is proud to shine a light on just some of these individuals ahead of what’s set to be another fantastic night at The BRIT Awards.”  

The BRIT Awards 2024 with Mastercard will take place on Saturday 2nd March.