London, Tuesday 22North Dakota November 2022: The son of Dominicans, music executive Riki Bleau, is the only Dominican to make it to the 2023 Powerlist, an annual directory of the 100 most influential people of African or African Caribbean descent in the UK. First launched in 2007, Powerlist highlights the work of black leaders in various professional sectors.
“It is truly an honor to be on this esteemed list.” says Blau. He adds, “As the son of immigrants, I am proud to have achieved this and hope that I can inspire not only UK citizens of Dominican descent, but also born and bred Dominicans that there truly is no limit to your talent and that there is a reward for your efforts.”
Bleau was listed in the Media, Publishing, Entertainment & Sports category, joining the likes of footballers. sterling rahim whose roots are Jamaican and Mark Rashford whose family hails from St. Kitts; as well as actors Sir Lenny Henry (of Jamaican descent) Idris Elba OBE (of Sierra Leonean/Ghanaian heritage), michaela coel (from Ghanaian roots), and daniel kaluya (whose family is from Uganda). Also in this category are Grime Artist and Philanthropist stormywhose roots are Ghanaian; akala– a poet and activist of Jamaican origin, edward enninful OBEEditor-in-Chief of British Vogue and European Vogue Editorial Director, who was born in Ghana before emigrating to the UK and vanessa kingori EMB, commercial director of Condé Nast Great Britain and European commercial adviser to Vogue, born in Kenya and raised in St. Kitts. The influencers in the chart also come from or have roots in countries like Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Barbados, Guyana, and more.
Aside from the top ten on the list, the other awardees are ranked in no particular order and are organized under the following headings, Arts, Fashion and Design; Business, Corporate, Financial and Entrepreneurs; Politics, Law and Religion; Public, Third Sector and Education; Sciences, Medicine and Engineering and, lastly, Technology.
Bleau, who was born in London, is the son of Joseph and Edmay Caprice-Bleau of Scotts Head. He got his start in music at Channel U, an innovative youth culture platform in the UK.
Finding his niche in publishing, Bleau hired platinum-selling producer, writer and artist Labrinth, genius producer Naughty Boy, noted singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé and megastar Sam Smith. A testament to his success is his 2011 Editor of the Year, Ivor Novello Award presented by the British Academy of Composers, Songwriters and Authors. Bleau is also part of the management team of Afrobeats superstar Wizkid and Jamaican dancehall phenomenon Popcaan, and is founder and co-chairman of their Sony Joint Venture label, Since ’93 Records.
Over the decades, Bleau has established himself as a curator of British black music, lifestyle and culture, and his influence and reach have grown steadily. His experience in the international space can be of great benefit to local industry players and he is eager to make his mark in the Dominican music industry, having started the process by meeting with executive members of the Association of Music Professionals ( AMP), Discover Dominica CEO Colin Piper and Trade Minister Ian Douglas.
Regarded as a leading authority on black influence in the UK, Powerlist is open to black Britons around the world, as well as black residents of the UK. Previous Dominican heritage winners include Principal Baroness of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland and Professor Laura Serrant, a leading nursing educator in the UK. Sir Lewis Hamilton (Grenada) and Dame Pat MaGrath (Jamaica) are two esteemed past laureates with Caribbean roots.
The top ten Powerlistees for 2023 are Dame Sharon White (Chairman, John Lewis Partnership), Dean Forbes (CEO, Forterro, Partner at Corten Capital), Anne Mensah (VP of UK Content, Netflix), Tunde Olanrewaju (Senior Partner, McKinsey and Company), Steven Bartlett (Entrepreneur and Dragon, Dragon’s Den), David Olusoga (Historian; Joint Creative Director, Uplands Television Ltd.), Lord Simon Woolley (Co-Founder/Director, Operation Black Vote and Director, Homerton College, Cambridge University ), Paulette Simpson CBE (Executive, Corporate Affairs and Public Policy, National Bank of Jamaica; CEO, The Voice Media Group), Richard Iferenta (Partner, Vice President, KPMG) and Dr. Sandie Okoro (Group General Counsel, Standard Chartered Bank).
The 2023 Powerlist is published by Powerful Media and is sponsored by PwC, BP, the Executive Leadership Council, The London Stock Exchange Group, Meta and Mastercard. The 2023 cohort was celebrated on Friday 28 October at the Powerlist Black Excellence Awards hosted by Colin Salmon at the Savoy Hotel in London.
Click here for a complete list.