In the new issue of Music Week we gather the thoughts of the industry’s leading executives on last week’s BRIT Awards. Included in that list is BRIT Awards chairman and chairman/CEO of Sony Music UK Jason Iley. In the following Q&A we ask Iley to reflect on his experiences on the night and explain what Sony's record-breaking night meant to him.
How do you feel the BRITs show went and what were the highlights for you?
“I was pleased with the show and the reaction to it. There were many highlights and for me, in particular, the George Michael tribute was especially moving; Katy Perry was just world class and the reaction in the auditorium when Stormzy joined Ed Sheeran on stage was explosive!”
The George Michael tribute was beautifully done – how hard was that to pull together?
“Most importantly, we had to honour George’s life very sensitively. There was a very small team of people involved and the tribute was orchestrated by David Austin [George’s manager and friend since childhood] who felt Chris, an artist George loved, would be perfect. We then worked very closely with Phil Harvey and Chris Martin, to produce what I believe was a very moving emotional tribute.”
Was there anything you weren’t completely happy with?
“No, I don't think there was. It was thoroughly enjoyable working with executive producer Sally Wood, director Phil Heyes, creative director Misty Buckley and – of course – the inimitable Maggie [Crowe]. We were a really close team and we also had amazing support from Peter Davey at ITV. I can honestly say one of the most pleasurable parts of my role in the BRITS this year has been working with this amazingly brilliant creative group of people. That made the experience really special for me.”
Sony had a record number of wins this year – what do you put that down to?
“It’s probably a mixture of us having put out some great records – and the cyclical nature of the music business. Having said that, winning nine awards made it a wonderful night for our artists and the labels involved! (laughs) David Bowie produced an amazing record that has proved a truly fitting epitaph and Beyoncé’s album is unique and brilliant. Then there’s the show-stopping Little Mix, who have to be the biggest pop band on the planet right now and Rag’n’Bone Man who represents the future.”
Where do you want to take the BRITs next year?
“Once I have had some sleep, I’ll give that some thought! (laughs)”
Read Music Week’s recent Big Interview with Jason Iley here.