Each week, Music Week profiles the brightest new talents in the biz. Here, Atlantic Records' junior publicist Ebi Sampson tells her story...
How did you break into the industry?
I started my career working in fashion PR for a company I was with for six years straight from university. There was a lot of crossover between fashion and music, from events, to collaborations and general marketing. We did a lot of work with the Red Bull Music Academy, which saw a lot of the designers we represented collaborate with musicians. For example, we worked on a tracksuit with Nasir Mazhar and Skepta, and a track and video with Astrid Andersen and A$AP Ferg. While I love fashion and I learnt many transferable skills from that industry, I have an innate love for music and it felt like the natural progression. I started managing a really good friend of mine, Youngs Teflon, then I started doing brand consultancy and PR for 67, A$AP Ant and Alkaline, before finding a home at Atlantic.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
It has to be three months into my role at Atlantic, when I did an international press trip with Kelly Clarkson. Working with an artist like Kelly is an honour and a huge responsibility! I took five journalists to New York to see her perform on the rooftop of Radio City Music Hall. To get through that successfully was definitely something I was proud of, it gave me the confidence I needed in a new job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The working environment, it feels like a family. I have such an eclectic roster, from artists like Janelle Monáe who are so culturally relevant, to rappers like Kodak Black and hot acts like Mullally. The list really goes on…
What’s the biggest challenge?
No day is ever the same! You have to be prepared for anything, being a PR is unpredictable; things don’t always go to plan so you have to stay ready. Have a good contingency plan, always!
What advice would you give to those looking to break into the biz?
Be prepared to go above and beyond. There may be opportunities you get that don’t pay well or don’t pay at all - take them! You may have to work through the night, in different time zones and with challenging characters. You always have to have that drive and hunger to achieve your goals, take risks and don’t be scared to fail. Don’t be afraid to create your own opportunities!
What’s your greatest ambition?
I want what I do to mean something and help implement change in the British music industry, if that means by me being a woman, being black or supporting music from black culture. I want to be someone people look to as an example for broadening perceptions.
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