Rising Star is our monthly column in which we meet the industry’s brightest new talents. In the latest edition Holly Jones, B2B & education event manager at Sound City, talks us through her music business journey so far…
What made you choose the music industry as a career path?
“I never set out with the intention to work in music, I originally wanted to pursue a career in psychology. But once I had my first taste of working in music I loved it and knew that I would be putting psychology on hold for a while. Music has always been really special to me, I grew up going to gigs and listening to Bob Dylan religiously, so I feel very lucky to be able to put my passion into practice professionally and hopefully make a positive impact along the way.”
Can you tell us what Sound City means to you personally and what do you think it means to the music industry?
“Sound City has been a huge part of my life since I completed the Launch Training programme here in 2018. Since then, Sound City has supported me in my development and provided me with amazing opportunities. I’ve been introduced to so many inspirational people and I have made some of my closest friends working here. It has definitely ignited my love for music and made me realise that a career in the industry was possible for me. It also helps that I love Liverpool, the festival is really important to people here, especially the music community. The education and training programmes help to support the next generation and provide opportunities for young people across the North West who may not have had them otherwise.”
Your role involves working with people who want to get into the industry. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
“One of the most important things is self-belief. When I first started I wasn’t hugely confident and didn’t completely trust my ability. But as I’ve progressed and produced more and more events, I’ve gained real confidence. Like with most things, you learn by making mistakes and I have definitely had a few of those – who hasn’t! I’d say to any young people wanting a career in music, ‘Work hard, believe in yourself and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.’”
What would you do to make the industry more accessible?
“There needs to be more support and access for individuals with neurodivergence. That might mean putting measures in place that provide a welcoming environment for people, such as organising more acoustic gigs and having no flashing lights. I’d also love to see more affordable gigs and more free courses. There’s a huge number of creative and talented young people in our cities who aren’t getting access to music and music education. More engagement across these communities would be huge.”
Finally, what is your dream job in the industry and why?
“Ideally, I would love to work in a role that combines mental health, wellbeing and music. That’s something I am really passionate about and I think there is still so much work that needs to be done to protect and support people working across the music sector.”