As Head of Artist and Label Partnerships for Spotify, LatAm, one of the Roberta PateS goal is to have LGBTQIA + artists represented in every music initiative. From Spotify’s Global Pride campaign to its emerging artist program, RADAR, launched in 2020.
“The industry needs to reflect culture and the culture is what people (creators and audiences) talk about and experience in their lives,” says the Miami-based executive, who has worked at Spotify for eight years. “Diversity and inclusion are becoming fundamental values of companies. Diversity is not a campaign, it is a value that we have to live with.
To celebrate Pride Month, Pate – who was among the LGBTQ professionals shaping the industry on our 2021 Pride List – talks about the importance of having a sense of belonging and how coming out can help change society.
How did the decision to go out impact your professional life?
How you feel in your work environment has a huge impact on your actual work. In my case, I was fortunate enough to work in a company (Sony Music Brazil) that encouraged employees to be themselves. The sense of belonging and inclusion has a direct impact on how you engage with your work, your colleagues, and your overall purpose. I’ve been with Spotify for almost eight years now and what I experience is a non-discriminatory workplace that creates a real safe place for minorities in general.
Have you ever grown up with an LGBTQ + idol?
I grew up in Brazil and I clearly remember the power that Cassia Eller had on my generation. She was a rock idol, a strong woman, a mother, and happened to be a lesbian. Ultimately, what makes an LGBTQ + artist an idol for the cause has everything to do with authenticity and attitude. It is the benchmark we need to bring about social change.
Would you say the industry is more tolerant of the LGBTQ + community than at the start of your career?
Absolutely yes. Industry must reflect culture, and culture is what people (creators and audiences) talk about and experience in their lives. Needless to say, all of the campaigns that go on during Pride Months, and on top of that, what I’ve observed is that diversity and inclusion are now a core business value. Diversity is not a campaign, it is a value that we have to live with.
What would you say to new artists or anyone in the music industry who is unsure of their release date?
Coming out is an attitude that doesn’t have to be a flashy moment in your life, but depending on the context of your life, it can become more important than you expect. I think coming out is your personal choice, but it’s also a revelation that can also have an impact on your environment. Whether you are a public figure or not, you will influence people with your attitude and that is a good thing. It will help the society to change.
Are you passionate about a promising LGBTQ + artist?
Linker is one of my favorite emerging artists from Brazil. She is a transgender woman, so talented and true to her art. The music video for the song “Zero” had a huge impact on the industry. Brazil is ranked first among the deadliest countries in the world for the trans community and the presence of an artist like Liniker is above all an act of resistance.