The biz’s brightest new talents tell their stories. This week we meet Brace Yourself PR publicist Eki Igbinoba, whose story began with her dad's record collection...
Why did you want to work in music?
I’ve loved music from a young age, I was just really fascinated by it, hip-hop specifically. My dad is an avid collector and I inherited that from him. The first record I bought was Like Water For Chocolate by Common and I’ve been collecting ever since. I struggled in school a lot and always gravitated towards more creative subjects. I interned at NME for a few summers in my teens and initially wanted to be a journalist, but I’m dyslexic and quickly realised that I should do something else. My first paid creative job was an apprenticeship at PR agency Full Fat. They worked on a mixture of festivals and brands. I then realised that I wanted a career specifically in music.
What’s been the biggest shock?
The lack of diversity. When you look at the current UK landscape and how broad the talent is, you have to ask yourself why it isn’t reflected behind the scenes. Why is it acceptable that women, specifically of colour, make up less than 11% of the industry? Why are women of colour being paid less than their counterparts for the same work? Most companies are based in London, which is the most multicultural city in the UK, yet their teams don’t reflect this. It’s inexcusable. We’re making progress, but it’s not nearly as quick and as thorough as it needs to be.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes
What’s your best tip?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, young people need to know that. It’s not the end of the world, as long as you learn from it. We’ve all made mistakes. Prioritising your mental health is key. I have a radio show on Foundation FM that discusses navigating this industry while looking after our mental health. Having an illness like bipolar can sometimes feel like a hindrance, but it’s massively helped me find who I am, which helps me do my job. Also, don’t be afraid of rejection. You’re not always going to get the responses you want, if at all – a thick skin is important because you can’t take it personally. Journalists get thousands of emails, so it’s important to remember to stand out but also respect their inbox.
What’s your best moment so far?
Skinny Pelembe’s current campaign. Working with him and Brownswood has been a dream. They’re a great group of truly passionate people and the campaign has gone from strength to strength. There are some people that will try to undermine their PRs and dictate the campaign, but they’ve trusted me to select the right places to tell his story.
What makes a good PR campaign?
Having a good record isn’t enough, no matter how much you like it. It’s my job to tell artists’ stories properly. This means getting them to the right people at the right time, being creative with ideas, taking notes on what journalists like and dislike and not leaving everything to email.
EKI’S RECOMMENDED TRACK: