June 29 2016

Octagon Team Supports Black Music Month

Diversity, HR

In support of Black Music Month, Octagon employees based in New York and Stamford, CT were proud to attend the Black Entertainment Network Black Music Month Event, Black Music and the Movement: Where We Have Been and Where We're Going. The event featured a panel moderated by Nikki Buchanan (African American Multicultural Segments, Pandora) and explored how Black Music has shaped history and influences today's world. Through comments from panelists Shanequa Golding (Vibe Magazine), Dr. Glory Van Scott (Producer, Performer, Educator and Civic Activist), Tamish (Independent Artist), and Aulston Taylor (BET) attendees left with a renewed appreciation for black music and artists.

Check out our thoughts on the event and Black Music below: 


Melissa Johnson // Content + Production // Currently listening to: William Murphy's Everlasting God on repeat to get me through this thing called life. For the culture, I’m bangin’ Mask Off (Remix) with Kendrick — Just Kendrick’s verse! lol

The event was a good look into the movement that is Black Music. In the words of Bruno Mars, “it’s what gives America it’s swag.” Black Music, all forms of it- from Caribbean, to African, to genres like hip-hop and jazz, is expression for the voices of a people that’s been oppressed. It’s our identity mixed in rhythms, rhymes and syncopations. I honestly think the younger the generation, the more ‘Black Music’ is pushing the limits of what’s deemed ‘appropriate,’ but I think it will come full circle. 


Cole Habersham // Global Communications // Currently listening to: Two years after its release, Leon Bridges' Coming Home is still my default work album. Come Friday, Jay's 4:44, I'm sure.

There's no shortage of variety in Black Music. There's a song for turning up, a song to inspire, and a song to heal — often on the same album, à la Beyoncé's Lemonade or Kendrick's DAMN. That kind of dimension is so reflective of black people and the dynamic, multifaceted nature of our story. 



Tianna Howard // Consulting // Currently listening to: Daniel Caesar. He gives me all the feels right now. He’s mellow, aware and makes you want to fall in love. #IssaVibe


Kierra Holroyd // Talent Acquisition // Currently listening to: Migos' T-Shirt is my absolute fave right now. Yea shawty bad, but she broke and she don’t own [nothing]. That line is straight fire.

The event was incredibly inspiring. In the true form of black culture, the dialogue was passionate and the perspectives varied. All of the burning questions were raised: Is the vulgar music “doing it for the culture”? How have the legends influenced today’s music? Is Wild Thoughts actually a remix?

Black Music for me has always been an expression of who I am and what I am feeling in the moment. But more than that, it transcends any present mood to make me fully aware of what the artist wants to convey. It does that with rhythm, succinct and astute lyrics, and a distinct attitude.


Shadyra Santiana // Insights + Strategy // Currently listening to: DJ Khaled's Wild Thoughts is my song right now. I love the Carlos Santana beat in it. I'm also vibing to Despacito!

Black Music to me has always been a reflection of society. It’s like the consciousness of America. It talks about the good, the bad and the mundane but no matter what it’s the stories that draw you in. One thing that has always stood out for me with Black Music is the truth that lies behind the lyrics. They are fascinating stories and the reason why I think the music has reached and touched so many. Panelist Dr. Glory Van Scott's comment really resonated with me: I may not like [the music that's] out there all the time but I need to listen, hear the story and understand it.