Lucy Dickins, YolanDa Brown, Tom Connaughton & more reveal their hopes for 2023

Lucy Dickins, YolanDa Brown, Tom Connaughton & more reveal their hopes for 2023

In the first issue of Music Week of 2023, we gathered more than 100 leading names from across the business to reveal their biggest hopes for 2023.

Here, we bring you a selection of their answers, featuring WME's Lucy Dickins, BPI chair YolanDa Brown, Spotify's Tom Connaughton and many more. Dig in to find out how the biggest in the game want the year to pan out.

Lucy Dickins, global head of contemporary music and touring, WME“Being the first woman to lead an agency’s music department has provided me the opportunity to advocate for more female voices to be at the top of the industry, and I’m proud to continue empowering women in more executive roles. We need more racial and gender diversity among our execs to better reflect our client roster and audiences. That will involve more mentoring and recruiting from underrepresented communities.” 

We need more racial and gender diversity among our execs

Lucy Dickins, WME

Selina Webb, EVP, Universal Music UK: “It’s got to be seeing new British artists shining on the world stage.” 

Dipesh Parmar, president, Columbia: “I hope that touring becomes easier for new artists. That we, as an industry, save more smaller venues and see more open to fuel the dance music economy. And that the UK industry can work together to help break more homegrown talent worldwide.” 

Alistair Norbury, president, repertoire & marketing UK, BMG: “I’m hoping to see an increased awareness of the need to support the mental health of everyone connected to our industry. And a new studio album from The Rolling Stones!” 

Silvia Montello, CEO, AIM: “Our hope for 2023 is that our dynamic and world-leading music industry, its creators and performers can get the financial and structural support they need. That the government and all our key stakeholders can help us weather the economic storm and ensure the survival of those small businesses, entrepreneurs and grassroots venues which are all a vital part of the ecosystem, especially for emerging, independent and diverse talent.” 

Jamie Oborne, founder & CEO, Dirty Hit: “I’m hoping for continued investment in developing new artists, who are the oxygen of the industry we love.”

Tony Harlow, CEO, Warner Music UK: “That somewhere, that breakthrough global act is lurking and brings with it a new wave of Great Britishness.” 

Jillian Gerngross, director, Europe, Amazon Music: “I hope that the industry continues to make positive momentum in championing diversity in 2023. Not only with the artists we see and the sounds we hear, but also in roles across the broader music industry.” 

George Ergatoudis, head of music UK & Ireland, Apple: “I would love to see more UK or Irish artists breaking globally next year and I think we have the talent to do it. Fred Again.. and Saint Harison are two artists to keep a close eye on in my view.” 

Andreea Gleeson, CEO, TuneCore: “I hope that the industry continues to recognise the incredible talent pool in the independent sector, and especially among self-releasing artists. The music industry has been ‘gatekept’ for too long. Indie artists are making music in their living rooms, their garages, even their closets – and it’s just as good as what major artists are churning out. Self-releasing artists grew from 1.7% in 2015 to 5.3% in 2021 according to MIDiA, and that number will continue to increase. I’m lucky enough to have a front row seat to great music on a global level – there’s so much talent out there.” 


Kanya King, founder & CEO, MOBO: “The hope is that MOBO can continue working with the industry to create change and increase representation across the industry. We won’t take our foot off the gas until we get change. Black culture has helped build the music industry, but the representation hasn’t been there on stage and behind the scenes. It’s time for Black women to rise, as they take their seats at the table on the boards of the big music companies.” 

Nick Burgess, co-president, Parlophone: “I’d love an industry where truly unique, sophisticated music can really thrive. We live in an attention economy where patience is in short supply. The phrase ‘skip rate’ is something that shouldn’t influence our decision making, but the audience wants that dopamine hit and who are we to deny them that? I’m hoping that, little by little, people will see the beauty in the details and be willing to spend more time with challenging music which will allow us to push the envelope a bit further in 2023.”

Martin Talbot, CEO, Official Charts Company: “That we find a new infrastructure to help music lovers discover more of the vast numbers of new artists out there. Now that channels are so open, it’s hard to find an audience.”

YolanDa Brown, chair, BPI“My big hope is that a more unified music industry and music education community come more closely together to create a groundbreaking initiative that will change the lives of children and their access to play and feel music. In this way, many more can experience the joy that music brings and have the opportunity to discover the varied careers within the music industry.” 

I'm hoping to see a new initiative that will change the lives of children and their access to play music

YolanDa Brown, BPI

Christian D’Acuña, senior programming director (UK), The O2: “As 2023 begins, my thoughts go out to our Ukrainian colleagues – from the artists and promoters, to tour production teams and riggers. I hope the situation there improves quickly.” 

David Ventura, UK president, co-MD UK & SVP, international, Sony Music Publishing: “I hope all of us will be more united than ever against antisemitism, racism and hate. We all have a responsibility to be vocal.”

Chloë Roberts, COO, YoungI would like to see artist discovery turning into artist development in 2023.” 

Sybil Bell, founder, Independent Venue Week“My hope is a return in confidence and increase in commitment to grassroots live music. Our community really needs to see support across the board with shows, tours and audiences filling our venues and nurturing the next generation of artists, crew and fans. This year’s IVW will be the biggest to date and with the industry getting behind our 10th anniversary, we can fill hundreds of venues across the country. The impact this will have on culture in local communities on a national scale will be the very best way to kick the year off and set the scene for a more buoyant 2023.” 

Pete Black, director of music, Bauer Media Audio UK: “My hope is that 2023 is going to be a really strong year for domestic artists. Already, there is some great music coming through from BRITs Rising Star winners FLO, Irish singer-songwriter Cian Ducrot and Scotland’s Katie Gregson-MacLeod, among others. Myself and everyone at Bauer Media Audio are excited to work with labels and artists to realise the incredible potential of these acts, and provide a platform to our audiences.” 

Nadia Jae, DJ, BBC Radio 1Xtra: “My big hope for music in 2023 is more No.1 albums for UK artists. I love celebrating bodies of work that belong to homegrown talent. I would also love to see more artists making timeless music, songs that I will be singing for years to come with my kids in 2033!” 

Rebecca Prochnik, director of creative strategy, UK music, UTA: “Sonic diversity on bills. There is a notable explosion of music without boundaries in the post-pandemic slipstream. Essential artists such as Fat Dog, Wu-Lu, Arca, Frost Children, George Clanton, Lancey Foux, Grove, Shygirl, Lynks, Burna Boy, Jean Dawson, Wizkid, Grove, Skepta, Jessica Winter, Major Leagues, Yves Tumor, Dorian Electra and Lil Nas X are today’s players, established and new. All of them break genre boundaries and geographical barriers, while playing with identities, audiences and reflecting a collective escape from a global experience of being locked away. This communality and freedom gives me great hope.” 

Sheryl Nwosu, chair, Black Music Coalition“The industry would not be the powerhouse that it is without the brilliant ability and diversity of creatives and execs who make it all work. Diversity and equity must be central in all its actions, not just in its aims. Oh, and of course I hope that the great music keeps on coming!” 

Casey Wasserman, chairman & CEO, Wasserman Music“I hope that live touring continues to create experiences for fans that are beyond compare.” 

Amber Davis, head Of A&R, Warner Chappell Music UK“I hope that we get more brand new acts breaking through and there’s a greater emphasis on building sustainable careers, rather than just chasing TikTok trends.” 

Lyor Cohen, global head of music, YouTube: “My deep hope is that the industry remains focused on the fans. I also hope that we can work towards alleviating the pressure on artists to be social media stars that are constantly on, as opposed to occasionally brilliant.” 

I hope music can soundtrack our good times and help through the bad

Tom Connaughton, Spotify

Tom Connaughton, MD, UK, Spotify: “With so much going on in the world, I’m looking forward to music providing a well needed distraction, once again soundtracking our good times and helping through the bad. That and for Heartless Crew to give us Crisp Biscuit Volume 2.” 

Helen Thomas, head of BBC Radio 2: “Radio continued to play a huge part in millions of people’s lives as life returned to normal following lockdown, so I’d like to see live radio, with its unique ability to provide real companionship and connection, thrive even more in 2023.” 

Joe Kentish, president, Warner Records UK“That we are able to break new UK acts worldwide. There are a handful on the cusp and it’s so important for all of us that they really make their mark.” 

Sumit Bothra, managing director, ATC Management Europe: “I’m hoping for more art of exceptional quality and less digital burnout. Also, I’d like to see access to a wider array of government and corporate funding and support for new artists, managers and touring specialists, a better deal for songwriters and accurate royalty statements!”

Amy Wheatley, MD, Columbia: "I’d like to see continued artist development and diversity in 2023.” 

Simon Williams, founder, Fierce Panda: “That Fierce Panda quadruples its sales.” 

Laura Lukanz, head of music industry, UK, AUS/NZ, Amazon Music: “To see greater improvement in diversity and inclusion across the industry in every single aspect. The broader the representation in the industry, the richer the business will be.” 

Leroy Harris, artist marketing lead, Spotify: “I’m hoping for a huge year for UK R&B in 2023, there’s so much exciting talent. Also, for Beyoncé to release the Renaissance visuals.” 

Zena White, COO, Partisan: “I’m hopng for more commercial success for genre-defying artists!” 

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