Every year, 12 industry game changers are inducted onto the Roll Of Honour at the Music Week Women In Music Awards, and this year’s list could be the strongest yet. Here, we meet the executives…
Caroline Simionescu-Marin, A&R Manager, XL Recordings; Co-Founder, New Gen
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?
“It is a massive honour to be placed on this list, as the women who have previously been awarded the title are ones I look up to, and will continue to look up to, in music and business.”
How did you get into the music business?
“By accident. I always wanted to work in a creative business and I loved music, but I had no idea that there were people behind the scenes making it happen for my favourite artists.
I started a music blog on WordPress when I was about 16 and then won a competition to do work experience at Choice FM shortly after that.
I caught the radio bug and got great insight into that side of the business immediately. I then networked my ass off and took every internship I could. The rest was history.”
Did you have a mentor and/or role model who helped/inspired you in the early part of your career?
“The first people I really looked up too were Kobe “Posty” Hagan and Pierre Godson-Amamoo (GRM Daily founders) who gave me my first big break as a fill-in editor, aged 18.
The role became permanent and, not only did they teach me a lot about music, but they also taught me a lot of positive morals when it came to the crazy world of the music industry and always supported my decisions.
That freedom was the reason I was able to discover so many artists early. Another major role model to me is Anthony Layiwola.
He is very experienced within the business and is probably the only reason I have managed to keep calm throughout some testing scenarios.
His 100% belief in me has helped me make some good decisions. I call him before making any decision really.”
What do you consider to be the biggest achievement of your career?
“I think maybe making and releasing two albums in my first year as an A&R.”
Do you think there is parity of opportunity and remuneration for women in the UK music industry at the moment?
“Things are changing positively, a lot of the most talented people in the business are women.”
Have things improved during your career? And what more needs to be done?
“It does feel like, as every month passes, I am more aware of other brilliant women in the music industry though. To make more change we need more female executives. It will give more women hope that it is possible.”
The issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industries has dominated the news agenda lately. Does the music business have a problem?
“I haven’t personally experienced it, but of course the music business has its dark side. It seems less prolific now than it once was though, as young women thankfully have more confidence in speaking out and knowing they will be heard.
We must be extremely vigilant and supportive of these women and ensure the perpetrators are harshly disciplined.”
What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in the music business?
“Put your happiness first; try to only work on artists that you truly believe in. This is an intense business and, if you don’t enjoy what you do, it isn’t worth it.
If you don’t enjoy it, you may as well get a nine-to-five, it’ll be less heartache.”
Story By: Music Week Staff