In the latest edition of Music Week we proudly present this year’s expanded Music Week Women In Music Awards Roll Of Honour. Here, we speak to Proper Music Group head of inventory & logistics Erica Day...
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll Of Honour?
“I am truly honoured to have my name listed alongside so many talented and inspiring women. My role is not the most glamorous side of the music industry, it’s very much about rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty which all tends to happen in the background, so it feels very rewarding that it hasn’t gone unnoticed. I’m not a ‘fight to the top’ type of person, but I believe I have a natural curiosity for wanting to understand how everything works, and it is this that has helped me advance. Above all else, I am very grateful for the ongoing support from the people I have worked with over the years, and without them I would not be in this position, so thank you!”
How do you look back on your early years getting into the industry?
“When I first joined Proper I started in what, at the time, I considered to be a temporary job as a picker in the warehouse. Back then it was a very male-dominated environment and having confidence in my own abilities and knowledge was quite a challenge early on. Luckily, I found the community to be very welcoming, and knowing that support was available to me when needed was extremely important in helping me overcome my fears. Looking back, I’m constantly reminded of how vital it is to be accessible, open to listen and supportive to everyone I work with.”
Did you have a mentor or role model who helped you at that stage?
“I have been very fortunate to have been supported by many people through my various roles at Proper, all of whom I consider to have been influential in my career. In particular, both Gary Harries [Proper label manager] and Fran Courtney [ex-senior buyer] were incredibly encouraging in my early years and I have gained a real understanding of how important it is to support people in the right way so they can succeed. I have a strong appreciation for the value a caring and nurturing work environment can bring to a business.”
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?
“My biggest achievement at Proper would have to be my role in taking in PIAS after the Sony DADC fire back in 2011. Many artists and labels scraped together what stock they could from around the world in order to supply the UK, and we managed to set up their entire catalogue in a matter of weeks. From coordinating stock coming in, working with IT and improving our systems to be able to deal with such rapid growth, this was a hugely important period for Proper, and I’m proud to have played a hand in what really started the ball rolling for the company’s growth.”
What advice would you offer young female executives?
“When starting off in the industry, I think it is really vital to keep believing in yourself. It’s important to avoid comparing yourself to other people, and always be willing to work hard, be kind, and support those around you. Much of my knowledge comes from experience, and accepting that it is OK to make mistakes as long as we learn and grow from them is at the heart of success. I also think it is important to not ever think you are being overlooked, even if what you do is in the background.”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“It is so important to take ownership of everything you do. Accepting responsibilities for failures and viewing them as a learning experience is just as important as celebrating success. We’re on a perpetual learning curve and no one is going to know everything from the start. We are always growing in our knowledge and experiences, so by taking ownership of our work and recognising where we need to improve we will continue to do better and achieve more.”
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ll take away from 2020?
“Community spirit has never been more important, and across the industry we need to make sure we are always looking out for each other and offering support. We don’t know how much longer the pandemic will be affecting artists, tour crew, venues, but we need to stand together as a community – and we will hopefully be able to celebrate all our successes at a show sometime soon!”