A leading writer and producer and a powerful on-air personality and advocate for songwriter’s rights, Autumn Rowe won the Grammy Award for Best Album at last year’s ceremony, one of two nominations in major categories for her extensive writing and producing work on Jon Batiste’s album “We Are.” Rowe co-wrote five of the album’s thirteen tracks, including the single “Freedom,” for which she also received a nomination in the Record of the Year category. Rowe, who grew up in the South Bronx without connections to the music industry, has become a rare woman of color to reach the most sought-after echelons of songwriting talent. She has collaborated with many of music’s biggest names, including Dua Lipa, Diana Ross, Pitbull, Zendaya, Ava Max, FKA Twigs, and Leona Lewis. Rowe’s hits as a songwriter include Alexis Jordan’s “Happiness,” which served as the official song of the FIFA World Cup and recently resurged in popularity after going viral on TikTok. Rowe is a celebrated vocal coach: she has appeared on The X Factor and on America’s Got Talent, where she served as the show’s only vocal coach for five years. She is also a talented DJ, who studied at Scratch Academy.
Along the way, Rowe has become a prominent player in the fight for songwriter’s rights, against the backdrop of a rapidly changing media landscape. She serves on the board of Songwriters of North America (SONA), where she sits on several committees, including DEI. During the pandemic, Rowe co-founded and became co-director of the Songwriter Fund, a nonprofit enterprise that provides emergency relief grants to songwriters affected by covid. The Fund has raised and distributed more than $500,000 in such grants to date. Rowe has used her place in the Recording Academy community to help advance the causes of musicians. She attended last year’s Grammys on the Hill awards, and lobbied extensively for songwriters’ rights with members of congress. She helped to fundraise, including through her DJ’ing talents, for Raphael Warnock and Nancy Pelosi. Rowe was also a group leader for the Recording Academy’s District Advocate Day. In the recent Copyright Royalty Board trial, Rowe served as a key witness, sharing her personal story as a songwriter and helping to secure a landmark ruling in favor of fairer compensation for songwriters.
Rowe has also been an outspoken champion for women songwriters and producers. In June 2022, she spoke at the annual NMPA event, alongside Jody Gerson, Carriane Marshall, and Golnar Khosrowshahi, on ‘Unsafe Situations’ and Other Challenges Facing Women in Music Business. The event, and Rowe’s contributions to it, received public attention, including coverage in Variety Magazine. In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Rowe, along with MILCK, Ani Difranco and BIIANCO, created the song “We Won’t Go Back.” The song led them to headline the Women’s March in D.C and perform for an audience of world and private sector leaders at the Kennedy Center.
For her advocacy for women in music, Autumn was last year appointed a Spotify Songwriter Equal Ambassador and showcased on a Billboard in Time Square. Last year, she traveled to South Africa to speak to an audience of 1000 women, sharing her story of resilience and empowerment.
Rowe has also devoted her advocacy to fighting anti-semitism and racism; last year, she received a Peace Award from the CCFP for her activism in these areas alongside Darren Star and Eugine Levy. She is an executive board member of the The Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance (BJEA).
When Rowe isn’t busy in the studio, she spends her time volunteering as a Grammy U mentor. She has also lectured at Berklee school of music and at Stargate’s music schools LAAMP in LA and LIMPI in Norway She recently launched a mentorship program with BMG and SONA called “Ask the Insider,” which matches industry experts and mentees. She continues to bring her powerful message of personal triumph and advocacy for others to audiences around the world. Autumn Rowe sees her success as a win for everyone. She uses her growing platform as an opportunity to give back to her community and fight for inclusivity, knowing from her own experience that, in a world where not all musicians can survive, there can be no music in the world.