- 10 Dec 21
Solomon Adesiyan shares his thoughts and experiences as part of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism.
CEO & Director, Trust It Entertainment
I come from a little town in Clare called Ennis, so I grew up with more traditional Irish people. I didn’t really face racism – or not as much as when I came to Dublin. But what I can talk about is the racism in the corporate sector, the government sector and business in general.
I know there’s a lot of stuff holding us back, but we do need more Black professionals in bigger places, creating more jobs and more opportunities for Black people in Ireland. Unfortunately, a lot of stuff doesn’t get supported unless there’s a white person inside that actually advocates for Black people. There’s no grants to support Black people or even just to empower Black people. There’s no extra help trying to encourage. Not just the music sector, that goes all across sectors.
I’ll tell you the truth – none of my big-time success came from Ireland. Nobody wanted to support my thing. If it wasn’t for the Black community that I knew because I grew up in church, I probably wouldn't be making any money.
It’s not about the quality of work – it’s just that they don’t want to give us a chance. It’s only now that the validation comes, maybe because they feel like it looks too bad, so they just threw an outlier into the equation. There’s one Black artist just to make sure they’re not looking racist.
They do that thing sometimes: just throw one Black person out of 100 into the shortlist. We’re not dumb. There’s a problem there. My goal is to really get into the sector and get to the hands that can actually make change, and influence their minds to follow through.
I joined the board of AIM (Association of Independent Music) two weeks ago – I’m the only Black person on the board. There’s no change in the corporate system of Ireland. Council, music, tech, anything. There are more than enough qualified people. And what happens if you do get up the ladder? London offers you something better, America offers you something better. It’s happening to me now because I’m getting offers to go other places.
No talent ever stays in Ireland.
Read Part 2 of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism in the current issue of Hot Press:
Special thanks to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for their support in this project.