The biz's brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it's the turn of Matt Benton, senior account manager, print/online at Hold Tight! PR.
Where did your career begin?
“At Basick Records. Straight out of university, I was offered an internship there managing their day-to-day social media and helping develop their online brand. From there, I was offered an internship at Hold Tight! PR and haven’t looked back.”
Is working in music how you expected it to be?
“Mostly. I got into PR because I wanted to share music I love with people who I hoped would love it – at its core that principle remains, and all the better for it. That said – and it’s a cliché for a reason – every day is different and presents unique challenges, with unique responses. Even after a few years, it’s still a joy to be surrounded by passionate people who are all ultimately diehard music fans.”
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
“It’s very hard to nail down a single achievement, but one of the cooler points was securing Conjurer’s Audiotree session on their first US tour earlier this year, and watching their fanbase grow with that. Live video sessions are one of the more engaging and tangible ways to reach new fans and I’ve been a personal fan of Audiotree for some time, so to marry the two was a special moment. Conjurer have since returned to the US for the second time and it’s been a pleasure to watch and help them grow both there and here in the UK.”
What does the future look like for heavy music?
“I think we’ll see more artists continue to try and blur genre lines to an even greater extent; hopefully with that we’ll see more mixed bills of artists across genres and fanbases. More importantly, in live music I would hope we’d see greater representation of diversity, something still sorely lacking in heavy music. Beyond this we’ll also see a future of increased speciality – niche deluxe magazines and fanzines, small successful independent festivals dominating their fanbase, and heavy artists managing to do more alone. We’re lucky in that there’s a glut of choice in getting music to market and small artists can do more without necessarily relying on a label, management, booking agent, or even a PR!”
What’s your biggest pet peeve in the music biz?
“The lack of communication, or specifically too much communicative noise. Too many irrelevant emails sent to slightly the wrong people. Contacts change so quickly in our field and with generic inboxes it’s less than clear who is being emailed, or who is doing the emailing. This is a problem I’m trying to jointly fix, starting with a newsletter tracking news and moves in heavy music called Insite. If only we could know a bit more directly who is being emailed and exactly what everyone’s tastes are, it would go a long way to de-cluttering inboxes.”
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