Meet Syco A&R Marissa Rodney...
How important is an early start for a music career?
“Time is precious – as days go by you’re wasting time that you could be working in music. It takes a while to understand how music works and how it’s set out. Connections are key – you always need to think about expanding your network and allow time for meetings. You never know what one will lead to. No one gets a job instantly in music – you need to work for it and when you finally get that ‘yes’ it’s definitely worth it.”
What’s been the hardest part of your journey so far?
“Most definitely securing an intern role in Sony Music’s A&R team. In addition to this, learning and understanding the process of delivering a record, there are so many different key stages. Your first role or internship in music is always hard too, I actually had my first internship at Music Week while I was at university, it was great experience, but definitely difficult as there’s lots to learn. Music is so tumultuous, and every single day is different – one day you will be feeling like you’re the greatest A&R in the world, and the next something will happen that alters your mindset. Artists nowadays aren’t just about the music, they are a brand. There’s been a huge shift in recent years in ensuring your skills stretch across all departments and that the label works collectively as one.”
Music is so tumultuous, and every single day is different
Which aspect of your job do you love the most?
“I love my job! I absolutely love music and being able to listen to it every single day. I’m so lucky to be paid for something I’ve always aspired to do. I love finding new talent and nurturing it. I’ve recognised this as one of my key skills and have started managing an emerging artist. It’s important to take young talent to the next level. You have to understand their aspirations as an artist and with that knowledge you can ensure they are surrounded by the team that’s going to bring the most out in them.”
How would you change the music industry?
“I’d have more females in A&R and in senior positions. However, I do feel like this is changing slightly and that this is an opportunity for young women to be at the forefront of music. It’s really powerful. Additionally, I believe it’s time for the gender pay gap to be eliminated – no one should be paid more or less because of their gender, it should be determined by the skills of the person in that position.”
What’s your No.1 pet peeve?
“Rude people that have no respect and small-minded people. I always ensure that I have time for every single person I meet, manners and respect cost nothing.”
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