I write this the morning after the night before, in a deserted Music Week office, watching the final triumphant tweets come in from those award winners still out on the town from the record-breaking Music Week Awards 2018.
As the hangovers and memories fade, the evening may yet blur into all the other great nights out we get to enjoy in this industry. But one of the things our Strat Award winner Max Lousada said in his barnstorming acceptance speech should remain crystal clear.
The music industry “is no place for passengers” the Warner boss said. “You have to love it, the artists, the songs. To have faith.”
Lousada made the point that executives who grew up during the long, dark days of the music industry slump had to be in the biz for the love of it. Now that the good times are returning, corporate sharks and chancers are again circling the industry, looking for “opportunities”.
During the boomtime of the ‘90s, there were unlimited good times on offer, but the biz could also be prone to casting aside both artistic and executive careers seemingly on a whim.
Since then, everyone’s learned the importance of playing the long game. In this week’s cover story, Max Lousada talks about the times even his career went “cold”, while Dua Lipa, the superstar who presented him with the Strat, was by no means an overnight sensation.
They show the value in sticking with talent. The big-on-cash, short-on-patience brigade now sniffing around the industry may not take the same view, which is why Lousada’s plea for unity should ring as true in a year or five years’ time as it does this morning.
“This business isn’t about me, or you,” he said. “We’re just taking care of it for the next generation.”
Now, if someone could just do the same for the hangovers, we’d really be in business...