As 2021 draws to a close, Music Week is delighted to unveil the all-conquering Olivia Rodrigo as both our brand new cover star and our Artist Of The Year.
In our huge 8-page cover story, we speak to Rodrigo all about her phenomenal breakthrough – from releasing Drivers License on an unsuspecting public, through to her debut album, Sour, sparking an avalanche of sales, streams and broken records. And, of course, there's the big question of what happens next.
Plus! There's insight from legendary Interscope CEO John Janick, Polydor co-presidents Tom March and Ben Mortimer, producer Dan Nigro, Sony Music Publishing’s Thomas Krottinger, and Polydor’s Hannah Flaherty, who all reflect on how Rodrigo's campaign took the world by storm and the lessons the whole music industry can take from it.
And this very special cover story is just the start of a whole issue looking back on the defining moments of 2021.
In our latest Music Week interview, we catch up with Mike McCormack, MD of Universal Music Publishing Group UK. With acts including Adele, Harry Styles, Glass Animals and more flying high, the company won Publisher Of The Year at this year's Music Week Awards. Here, the executive celebrates that success and delivers a very strong message for the new kids on the publishing block. It's an interview you won't want to miss...
On top of that, we take an in-depth look at two other huge breakthroughs this year.
When Joy Crookes’ debut album Skin debuted in the Top 5, it capped the first chapter of the story of an outstanding rising UK artist. In a very special feature, Crookes tells her story alongside Sony Music UK’s Jason Iley, team Insanity and manager Charlie Owen.
It would, of course, be impossible to look back at 2021 without speaking to Tion Wayne, whose platinum-selling Body became the first-ever drill track to reach No.1. Inside, we chat to the MC alongside his managers, Warner Music UK CEO Tony Harlow, and Atlantic’s Austin Daboh and Rich Castillo to find out how they engineered one of the most exciting campaigns of 2021.
To reflect on the year, Music Week also spoke to leading executives from across every sector of the industry – including Alex Boateng, Lucy Dickins, Michael Adex, Cassandra Gracey, Kanya King, Rebecca Allen, Ed Howard, Merck Mercuriadis, Shani Gonzales, Paul Hourican, David Ventura & Tim Major, Emma Banks, Louis Bloom, Colin Batsa, David Dollimore, Alison Wenham, Dan Chalmers, Kim Frankiewicz and many, many more – to gather their thoughts on the year just gone. From diversity and the gender pay gap to climate change, DCMS, NFTs and everything in-between, it's all covered here. Plus! We round up the best quotes of the year in our pages.
In Hitmakers, Stephen Kirk gives us the behind the scenes story of how an old demo of his turned into BTS' record-breaking song of the summer Butter, while Arz’s reflects on how his big-hearted UK rap music has made a big impression throughout 2021 in On The Radar. Plus, Aftershow sees Michael Ball look back on his career so far, from making the leap into recording albums to working with the late Captain Tom Moore.
Elsewhere in this issue, we analyse Universal's financial outlook following its public listing in Amsterdam, and we speak to executives from Parlophone, Spotify and Up Close Management to discuss PinkPantheresses' breakthrough on TikTok, debut mixtape To Hell With It and ambitions for 2022.
In our Spotlight Q&A, we meet US-based Andreea Gleeson, chief executive of TuneCore, who shares her vision for how DIY artists can reach fans on TikTok, Peloton and Twitch, and opens up about the efforts to help women music creators.
Our latest Frontline section features Lounges.tv, a start-up which aims to monetise livestreaming content, while Greg Cochrane unveils his climate change podcast for the new installment of In Pod We Trust.
Our latest Mentor Me page in collaboration with Girls I Rate sees Jodeci Chin, who presents the Saturday breakfast show weekly on Reprezent Radio, and currently works as junior manager of music and talent at Vevo UK, give her top five career tips. Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd’s regular live column focuses on how we can nurture the next generation by investing in grassroots venues, while Sammy Andrews weighs in on the changes in the digital landscape this year.
And as ever, the expanded Archive section sees us flick through the pages of the Music Week of yesteryear.
There’s all of this and our expanded monthly charts section in which we present the Top 75 Singles and Albums of the previous month, accompanied by revamped analysis pages, plus a host of new listings. These include specialist genre Top 20s for Americana, Classical, Hip-Hop & R&B, Jazz, Country, Dance, Folk and Rock & Metal. The issue is also home to streaming, compilations and vinyl charts.
The new issue of Music Week is available on the news-stand from December 15.
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