interviews

The Aftershow: The Muppets' Kermit The Frog

Between Oscar glory, a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star and collaborating with some of the biggest musicians in the world, Kermit The Frog is easily the most successful tailless amphibian ever. Here, ahead of The Muppets’ highly-anticipated O2 takeover on ...

Rising Star: Meet Academy Music Group Tamsyn Wilce

In our latest Rising Star interview, Tamsyn Wilce, digital content assistant at Academy Music Group, talks about her journey through the music business so far... How did you break into the industry? In my final year of university, I decided to pick back up my interest of music writing (I was studying TV at the time) and began writing for a number of websites such as Bring The Noise, Alter The Press and Punktastic, stepping into editorial positions over time. I managed to make some great connections and gained internships. After a stint of freelance work, I landed a position running the social channels for Rock Sound. Now I’m at Academy Music Group heading up online blog content and it’s so much fun! What makes the music business an exciting place for digital? There are always exciting new changes and technologies that can enhance the experience for both fans and artists. Social media makes it easier for music lovers to discover new artists and connect with them. We all know that feeling when your favourite band responds to your tweet, and it’s those little things that make it such a great industry to be involved in.  What needs to be done to preserve the health of UK venues? Support your local venues as much as you can, and head down to those smaller shows as you never know who you might discover. At Academy Music Group, we have a network of small venues that are a great place to catch new and emerging artists. Smaller venues are where every band starts, so it’s important we work together to do what we can to keep the industry alive.  What’s the one thing you’d change about the music biz? There’s still a way to go with the challenges we face around mental health. It’s been great to see changes being made to help both artists and those in the industry – such as the assistance programmes we have at my place of work – but the more we all talk about mental health, the more those who need support will seek it.  What have been the secrets to your success so far? It sounds so simple, but I always make sure to be polite and friendly, no matter who I’m dealing with. I used social media to my advantage, and built connections online that have flourished into amazing friendships. Don’t be afraid to shout about the new band, singer, song or album you love because people will see your passion and positive energy is infectious! What’s your biggest ambition? My dream has always been to own my own venue, that serves as a band B&B, record shop and cafe all in one – but unless I win the lottery that’s probably not going to happen. I want to make a difference, I want to be known as someone people can turn to for advice and continue to create content that will bring a smile to people’s faces.  TAMSYN'S RECOMMENDED TRACK:

'This sector is something you can't ignore': Believe Sync boss Pete Beck on the future of sync

Believe’s sync department is fast becoming one of the most exciting around. Here, boss Pete Beck explains how it’s shaking up the industry...  This sector is something you can’t ignore…” says Pete Beck, global head of sync at Believe Sync. The same is true of his department, which has grown considerably since Beck’s arrival in 2015. Believe Sync is part of Believe, which was founded in 2005 and offers digital distribution, marketing solutions, tech services and more to a range of artists and labels that includes AllPoints, Phases, Tru Thoughts, Brownswood Recordings and Kitsuné. The company acquired TuneCore in 2015. “I’ve tried to change the way we work our music for sync while at the same time growing the department,” says Beck, who talks glowingly of successes for an array of artists including French electronic duo The Blaze and Aberystwyth multi-instrumentalist Novo Amor. “We focus more on the labels we have a more long term relationship with. That’s part of a wider change within Believe as well,” he continues. “Digital distribution is our core business, but the deals we’re offering labels and artists are more varied, and it’s those relationships that Believe Sync are really getting stuck into.” Beck explains that, together with his newly expanded London-based team – plus staff in Paris, Los Angeles and New York – he is seeking to help clients in the long term, rather than any quick fix.  “It’s not just one-off uses, we’re thinking about how we can help those artists and labels grow their sales and brands through sync, as well as picking up interesting uses and hopefully a few pay cheques along the way,” he says. Beck notes an increasing number of contracts and deals at Believe, particularly as in-house imprints AllPoints and Phases continue to sign new talent, and says the company’s approach is “refreshing”. “While we’re here primarily to bring in sync uses and make money for artists and labels, there are also other elements. “We like to take a more holistic view of what the best thing is for a particular artist at a particular time, it’s not always about chasing the pay cheque, it’s also about making sure that we get the right opportunities at the right time,” he reasons. Beck highlights sync hook ups for The Blaze (Bodyform, which featured as a Music Week Sync Story last year, CK One, Yves Saint Laurent) and Novo Amor (Toyota, This Is Us) as particularly important. “These are development artists that are getting priority treatment across the board at Believe,” he says. “We say, ‘OK, the sync is in, how can we leverage the other areas of the company to make sure we get the highest return?’ “Our trade marketing department are on it immediately, using that spot as a way to push the release, the video guys are working it, gathering data, and we as the sync team can plug into that, working closely with all the other departments.” Believe is there to “harness the exposure” for clients, something Beck says, “You wouldn’t necessarily get with a sync rep company where pitching for syncs is all that they do.” While success for ad campaigns such as Bodyform – which was widley praised for its progressive style – and Toyota reflects Believe’s focus on advertising, Beck stresses that “big TV spots can be hugely valuable”. When Novo Amor’s Alps featured in a climactic scene in the most recent series of US TV drama This Is Us, Shazam figures “went through the roof and engagement increased [all-round]”. Beck also notes that blanket licensing in UK and European TV can be “hugely valuable”, helping towards “making sure a record is in the general consciousness” before release. But, while it’s all well and good talking up Believe Sync’s fresh approach to making its mark, Beck is acutely aware of the competition. Indeed, it’s increasing all the time. “Any label services company or record label worth its salt needs to be involved in sync in some way, whether that’s by enlisting somebody like us or having their own in house person,” he says. “You see that in the way the competition has increased over the past five years. The indie market in particular is hugely crowded now, everybody is getting involved in sync and there’s good reason – there’s much more opportunity and the effect it can have on a campaign can be make or break.” And, with that thought at the forefront of his mind, Beck is excited about the future. “The more quality music we’re working with, the more deals we’ll be doing,” he finishes. The aim is to continue to grow.”  

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