Five-time Grammy nominee Harvey Mason Jr. is an acclaimed songwriter and producer who’s worked with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and many more.

In early 2020, he added Recording Academy interim president and CEO to his list of credits.

Spectrum News 1 anchor Bianca Rae talked with Mason Jr. about his transformative first year in office and the academy’s renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion under his watch. Click the arrow above to watch the video.

“I think there was a lot of progress made. We've really transformed a lot about the academy. We've changed so many things about how we operate, how we vote, how we bring members, what we do with our shows," he said. "There's been wholesale changes that have been taking place over the last 12 months, and there's still a lot more to come.”

Mason Jr. said they knew they needed to do better. 

"The task force did great work, and they also thought we needed to do more around diversity," he said. "One of the first things I did when I came in, I think it was the second hire that I made, was a chief diversity equity and inclusion officer."

According to Mason Jr., the academy is looking into multiple things, including representation across different genres of music. 

"This year we have a great slate of nominees. I think this is the most diverse nominees slate we've ever had in the history of the organization—both racially and gender equity-wise.”

You can watch more of our interview with Harvey Mason Jr., as well as interviews with Grammy-nominated artists JP Saxe and D Smoke, on Countdown to the Grammy®s: A Spectrum News 1 Special, which airs multiple times on Spectrum News 1 and the Spectrum News app, leading up to the Grammy Awards on March 14. Check your listings for times.