How did you get into the industry?
I’ve wanted to be in the industry since I was 14. During breaks at school, I’d spend my time reading Donald Passman’s guide to the music industry. I’d highlight the shit out of ...
The streaming battleground has already taken over the office and the living room, now not even your car is safe.
Not for nothing did Spotify – who tend to know a thing or two about this stuff – flag in-car streaming as one area of potential growth ahead of their IPO. Major label execs also noted it as a sector to watch at their IFPI press briefing this week. After all, drivers are the one type of audience everybody involved in music loves: a captive one.
Even better, a captive one that can only consume entertainment with its ears, not its eyes.
Until relatively recently, in-car listening meant CDs or the radio and, as anyone who’s ever driven anywhere on a Bank Holiday Monday will know, those options can seem pretty limited when you’re sat on a stationary M25 for hours.
Streaming offers a potentially limitless, ever-changing soundtrack that could take you from road rage to bliss between a single junction. Add in voice control and it seems like a perfect solution, albeit one prone to backseat driver intervention.
Except that the bewildering array of in-car listening options, with huge variations between different makes and models, never mind the various DSPs, means that the full on the road streaming experience can still seem more complicated than negotiating the Hanger Lane Gyratory System during rush hour. And that’s before any issues with connectivity.
Deals such as Spotify's recent tie-up with Cadillac will help with that, and the music biz and the motor industry clearly see each other’s value, as that Paloma Faith Skoda ad shows. And the biz never let obstacles prevent it from offering a range of ruthlessly targeted options for listening at home, work or on public transport.
So streaming needs to put its foot down when it comes to finding a unified approach to in-car entertainment. But those in the CD compilations business and running drivetime radio shows also need to buckle up, because their once serene ride is about to get very bumpy…
Being a radio DJ is so rewarding because...“In a strange way it’s a contrast: you have the music side of it, which is really exciting and wonderful, then you have this incredibly personal and intimate connection with people. I can’t think of another job that puts those two things together in such a special way.
It is my dream job, and both sides of it are equally important to me. It’s so exciting to meet your heroes, to be able to interview people like Smokey Robinson, or Bobby Womack coming in and playing a session on my show… and Tony Allen! That’s proper death bed montage stuff that I will remember when I’m a really old lady. I’ve played piano with Macca, mate. I’m done, put a fork in me.
There’s only Little Richard left. All of that is a dream, but the bits I love most about it – the most deeply rewarding stuff – is the fact it’s a part of people’s real everyday lives.” The change I want to see in the music industry’s attitude towards gender equality is…“More diversity in all sorts of different ways. There’s some really interesting work going on to make things fairer, but I think if you look at the music industry there’s a huge job of work to be done. Speaking as someone who co-founded The Pool website and built that up, it’s good for your business if you have a diverse mix of people bringing different skills and experiences to your team.
That’s what you want. Part of co-founding The Pool was I wanted to give some young women their first jobs, I wanted to try and create opportunities. That was my answer to it. If you’re lucky enough to be in a postion to give someone an opportunity, do it.”
The advice I would give to a new band is...
“Play what you love. You’ve got to have a vision of what you want to sound like, and what is good. Don’t lose your ear, don’t let that be changed by people around you trying to get you on a particular radio station’s playlist or telling you their version of what they think is a single. Nobody ever made a good record or did anything interesting that way.”
The most nervous I’ve ever been in an interview is...
“I was very, very nervous about Lou Reed, but it was actually lovely in the end. The day before, I was at a birthday picnic and there were loads of music journalists there. I was like, ‘I have Lou Reed tomorrow – has anyone interviewed him?’
Obviously, everyone had so many stories. I did loads of research and he had talked about how he always called James Brown ‘Mr Brown’ because he admired him so much he wanted to be respectful. When I met him I called him Mr Reed, and he just took a bit of a shine to me and we got on really well.
It was great and I got three kisses at the end. He was brilliant. I’ve been lucky enough to interview Laurie Anderson several times, and she is an absolute hero of mine.
The first time I interviewed Paul McCartney I was very nervous, partly just because of the idea of doing it – it seemed so fantastical. Like you’re going to meet a dragon, or going to Hogwarts – ‘You’re a wizard!’ It’s that kind of feeling.”