Rising Star: Meet Hold Tight's Hannah Gillicker

Rising Star: Meet Hold Tight's Hannah Gillicker

Hannah Gillicker is head of broadcast at Hold Tight, here she tells the story of her music industry journey so far and discusses heavy music and radio...

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

“Gender Roles’ live gig for Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1’s Future Sounds in November 2019. The whole team was at Maida Vale and it was a really special experience, the band were live on air and they nailed their interview and session. I’ll never forget it! After completing my Hold Tight internship, I was tasked with developing the company’s radio offering, to take us from working predominantly with niche online and regional stations, so having a band perform a live session at Maida Vale was a huge achievement for me.”

Is there a secret to success for rock and metal at radio?

“I think the key is having a strategy in place, building strong foundations and working up the ladder. Success doesn’t happen overnight, it takes persistence and nurturing relationships; but with the right timing, a strong, long-term plan and, of course, picking your most radio-friendly tracks, there can be great success in radio for rock and metal artists. There is also an element of luck and so much is based on what you’re working with and what people are looking for. However, persistence and always thinking about how to make the best pitch help maximise that luck.” 

How do you want to help artists?

“My main motivation for working in the music industry was to have an active role helping acts to grow. As a radio plugger, I want to help bands and artists to broaden their audience, by breaking them into national radio and providing them with opportunities that they have always dreamed of, like live sessions and interviews. Being part of that process is so rewarding and a real privilege.” 

Heavy music is thriving in the UK

Hannah Gillicker

What does the UK’s heavy music scene need to do to keep growing?

“The heavy music scene is thriving in the UK right now – it’s been really heartening to see so many albums from heavier bands in the UK Top 40 this year. That said, there’s still more that can be done. Putting heavier music in front of mainstream audiences and opening up opportunities for music fans to broaden their taste would encourage growth, from cross-genre collaborations to more diverse festival line-ups – Boomtown and ALT+LDN are great examples.” 

If you ran the music industry for a day, what would you change?

“I would banish the term ‘female-fronted’ – it isn’t a genre! There is now pretty good awareness across the UK industry around how outdated terminology needs to evolve with the times, however there’s still more that can be done. When working with international artists, it can also be quite apparent that the term is yet to be similarly banished across the global industry.” 


Browse the very latest music industry jobs on the Music Week jobs page.

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