Each week, Music Week profiles the brightest new talents in the business. This week, Joss Meek, head of digital press at Wired PR, tells her story...
How did you break into the music business?
I’ve always wanted to work in music. I used to tell everyone that If I didn’t succeed by the time I was 24, I would train to be a midwife. I was very focused on my goal, and constantly put myself forward for anything even remotely related, agreeing to work for free. I actually started out working three jobs; I worked five days a week as a babysitter, was a social media manager for a boutique fashion brand, and a waitress. I also built experience as a music journalist for Hypetrak, Who’s Jack Magazine, and a blog called We Are SME. I used this experience to secure an internship at a PR company for six months before meeting and joining Rachel Campbell at Wired PR, which she had founded earlier that spring, back in 2013. We’ve been working together ever since.
What's your proudest achievement so far?
Watching the company grow has been an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience. We love our roster and are proud of every single one of our artists for their growth and achievements. When an artist charts in the Top 10 it’s always a great feeling - knowing that the world around you love the music as much as you do.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I don’t feel like I’m ever truly at work. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to work in an industry that I dreamed of working in from a very young age. I’m still grateful to this day. I think one of the biggest thrills is watching an artist you love, performing live, to a crowd who are also loving every moment. There’s something about the energy of a singing, dancing, crowd that really makes me happy.
What's the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has to be asking the press if they see what you see. If you’re lucky enough to work with artist that you truly love and believe in, you spend all your time pitching those acts to the most influential publications and tastemakers. You have an element of someone’s career in your hands, and that’s a huge challenge. A challenge of the good kind though!
What advice would you give to anyone looking to break into the biz?
You need to love music. It almost becomes a lifestyle rather than a job. Hours vary, and you never know what’s up next. Prepare yourself to gain experience, and find ways to make money outside of that experience at first. There’s a degree of earning your stripes, and learning to understand the industry when you first start. This industry doesn’t have to be exclusive to those who can live at home or have help with their day-to-day living. I wasn’t living at home, so I was working three jobs. I really, really wanted to succeed, and I like to think that determination had a lot to do with me being lucky enough to work in a position that I now adore. I also think it’s very important to be honest with those who give you experience. If you need a day a week to work in a pub, ask for it - there’s no harm in being upfront - believe in your worth and abilities.
What’s your greatest ambition in music?
I have too many to write down. I think ambition has to be endless in the world of music, as it’s one that constantly changes. I would really love one of my clients to win the Mercury Music Prize.
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