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 Sara Lord, SVP, international sync & project development, Concord Music Publishing...
How do you feel about joining the Music Week Women In Music Roll
“It’s about bloody time... Kidding! No, I’m really chuffed. Having been in the business for over 25 years, I’m honoured to be included this year, at a time when it feels like the scales are properly tipping to loads more women playing major roles in the business and getting recognised for their achievements.”
How do you look back on your early years getting into the industry? What challenges did you have to overcome?
“My main challenge was that I was a crap typist and the wonderful Helen Ward didn’t know where to put me, as it seemed all the entry level positions for a young woman required serious secretarial skills. Luckily I got through the door at Sony Music for a week’s worth of temping, answering the phone in the video department, and managed to stay there for over a year, listening and learning a lot. Once I’d decided management was for me, I honestly can say that I just worked bloody hard and got on with it and didn’t reflect too much on normally being the only woman in the room. Sometimes that can work to your advantage.”
Did you have a mentor or role model who helped you at that stage?
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, role model No.1: Lady Emma Banks. The rest of us will always be miles behind her. Killing time together in various shitty backstage areas on a Jimmy Nail tour of the north east in 1994 or 1995 was not only incredibly glamorous, but also the start of a brilliant friendship. Soppy, but she just inspires me!”
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?
“Specificity is tricky. Toploader sold well over two million records. I’ve been on tour all over the world, I’ve met some incredible people and had a lot of laughs, but most recently I would say helping to set up [music and creative industries network] The Cat’s Mother with [fellow 2020 Women In Music Role Of Honour inductee] Natalie Wade from Small Green Shoots last year has been a true highlight. Seeing the impact that something so simple is having on young women who need and deserve a helping hand to get into the music industry is really satisfying.”
What advice would you offer young female executives about enjoying a successful career in music?
“The clue is in the question: properly enjoy it. It is a wonderful world full of some bonkers people and if you are passionate and want to work hard then, regardless of your gender, go for it!”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“‘Nothing good ever happens after 2am’. My Dad used to tell me that.
He definitely tried to disprove it and I have had a bit of a go at disproving it too but, ultimately, it is probably right.”
On so many levels, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented change in the music business and, indeed, the world itself – what’s been the biggest lesson/revelation you’ll take away from it?
“That without being able to connect with lots of other people while watching live music, the world is a much shittier place.”
PHOTO: Louise Haywood-Schiefer