Universal Music Group (UMG) will expand its early career development program Bonus Tracks to Atlanta’s Frederick Douglass High School and through Motown Museum’s Hitsville NEXT in Detroit this coming Spring semester. Last spring, the company completed its first year in New York at Brooklyn’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). Bonus Tracks, a multi-week after-school program for students grades 11th and 12th, is dedicated to discovering and developing future executive talent by giving students the opportunity to learn about the music industry through immersive programming.
In making this partnership announcement, Brian Nolan, EVP, Motown and co-founder of Bonus Tracks said, “We’re excited to see Bonus Tracks continue to expand and look forward to bringing the program to students in Detroit and Atlanta this fall. We knew Bonus Tracks could thrive and scale in the most meaningful ways in order to reach the next generation of music industry leaders. I am grateful to Micah Ali for his partnership in this incredible journey and to UMG for fully embracing and supporting the vision of the program: Inspiration, Education, and Pathway."
“Access is everything. P-TECH is delighted to partner with Bonus Tracks so that students see that there are many paths to a successful future. Public/Private partnerships are essential to helping students see themselves in productive lives beyond high school,” said P-TECH Founding Principal, Davis Rashid.
“Bonus Tracks has always been about giving students the opportunity to learn about career pathways in a way that meets their passion for music and curiosity about the industry. As this program moves into it’s fifth year, I’m incredibly honored to continue to expand this program to reach students across the country,” said Micah Ali, co-founder of Bonus Tracks and President of Emeritus Compton School District.
“Motown Museum’s Hitsville NEXT is devoted to supporting creativity in today’s young artists, entrepreneurs and changemakers,” said Robin Terry, Chairwoman and CEO of Motown Museum. “Partnering with Bonus Tracks is a perfect reflection of our mission. We can’t wait to work with the entire Detroit Public School system and grow this great program in our community.”
"I am truly excited to launch the Bonus Tracks program at Frederick Douglass high school in Atlanta, Georgia. With Atlanta being the music capital of the south and Frederick Douglass high school has produced some of the most famous music industry icons such as Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., better known by the stage names T.I. and Tip, Jonathan Henry Smith better known by his stage name Lil Jon, and Michael Santiago Render, better known by his stage name Killer Mike, to name a few. Bonus Tracks will create pathways for our students to learn about the music industry's business, provide mentorships with music executives, and allow our students post-graduation to have access to internships at Universal Music Group or receive a scholarship toward college. Of course, this would not be possible without Micah Ali and Brian Nolan, whom I greatly appreciate for their vision and willingness to be innovative.
I am looking forward to expanding this partnership into Benjamin E. Mays high school in the near future," said Erika Y. Mitchell, School Board Member, Atlanta Public Schools.
Natoya Brown, SVP of People Inclusion & Culture at UMG, said, “It is critically important for UMG to provide early career opportunities as an investment in the future of this industry, both from a business and fan perspective. Bonus Tracks is a way to begin discovering and cultivating the next generation of music industry leaders.”
Additionally, the company has created The Bonus Tracks Scholarship Award, a college scholarship that continues supporting the development of the next generation of music industry leadership. One student per Bonus Tracks program in each city will be recognized for their community leadership, commitment to academic excellence and completion of the program including the presentation of the capstone project.
Bonus Tracks was launched in 2019 in partnership with Capitol Music Group (CMG) and the Compton Unified School District in Dominguez High School in Los Angeles and later expanded to Nashville through Capitol Christian Music Group and Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School. The program was founded by Brian Nolan EVP marketing and EVP, Motown; Patrick Stephens, manager of brand partnerships at CMG and Compton Unified School District’s President, Micah Ali. The program works to elevate the arts in schools while also providing opportunities for students to learn about the music industry by expanding their knowledge of a full spectrum of careers and transferrable skills.
The program is part of UMG’s commitment to increase opportunity and diversity in executive ranks within the company, the music industry and beyond. Bonus Tracks gives students access to an immersive experience within a modern record label by meeting weekly with executives from all areas of the company including creative, marketing, commercial partnerships and promotion. Speakers have included Brian Nolan; Eric Hutcherrson, EVP, Chief People and Inclusion Officer; Imran Majid, Co-President and Co-CEO, Island Records; Michele Anthony, EVP, UMG; Susan Mazo, EVP Global Corporate Social Responsibility, Events and Special Projects; and Xiarra Diamond Nimrod, VP, Marketing Strategy, Republic Records among others.