'22 steps forward: Industry leaders reveal their hopes for 2022 - Pt 1

'22 steps forward: Industry leaders reveal their hopes for 2022 - Pt 1

As 2022 gets underway, a selection of the biggest names in the music business are sharing their hopes for the year ahead with Music Week.

The full feature appears in the brand new issue of Music Week, out now. In the first part of our new online series, BBC Radio 1's Clara Amfo, Warner Music UK CEO Tony Harlow, EMI president Rebecca Allen & more reveal what they're wishing for this year...

Clara Amfo, DJ, BBC Radio 1: “More inclusivity across race, class and gender from top to bottom. More vetting and training around all levels of sexual violence and inappropriate behaviour, and more support for victims of sexual assault, particularly new young creatives. ”

Tony Harlow, CEO, Warner Music UK: “Lots of exciting new music to break streaming thresholds and charts. We have been in roughly the same (slow) rotation for too long and the creators must be ready to shock us all.”

Alice Beal, managing director, Insanity Records: “That we can continue to develop our artists in a Covid-safe way and enjoy a return to festival season!”

Rob Uche, Senior A&R, Island Records UK: “I hope artistic bravery is rewarded in 2022. I believe out of difficult times a new expression can be birthed. I hope new artists dare to be different. Exciting new art should challenge the status quo and that challenge should hopefully be embraced by all music executives across all areas of the business. Hopefully we can keep pushing those boundaries both domestically and globally despite the difficulties we all face.”

Lucy Dickins, worldwide head of music, WME: “Continued progress in diversity, especially within leadership positions.”


I would love to see more focus on the art rather than numbers

Michael Adex, NQ


Michael Adex, CEO, NQ: “To continue to innovate and put out great music, I would love to see more focus on the art rather than numbers there are a lot of talented artists out there who need the right platform.”

Rebecca Allen, President, EMI: “That we continue to learn from the mistakes of our past. That we use what we learnt during the pandemic to allow ourselves to slow down, find space to breathe and allow creativity to win out.”

Shabs Jobanputra, president, Relentless Records: “I hope 2022 brings the growth of British music abroad again. We need to really need to get more traction internationally and that is one thing we will be really trying to focus on at Relentless. More great live music, keeping venues alive and making sure we have fun and look after our artists and all our people.”

Alexandra Ampofo, booker, Live Nation: “My biggest hope for the music industry in 2022 is that we continue to move the diversity dial behind the scenes. A lot of work has been done this year and it would be incredible to see that continue to be reflected.”

Tom Connaughton, Spotify UK and Ireland, MD: “As the UK’s (and the world’s) most popular audio streaming provider, we know we have a crucial role to play in pushing for diversity and equity - both internally when it comes to our teams, our training and our policies, and externally via the artists, creators and those behind the scenes who we support, and the fans we connect with. We’re keen to ensure that we keep pushing ourselves and the industry in that regard. From our EQUAL initiative fostering equity for women in music globally, to our work championing Black voices and communities on our platform, to supporting emerging talent through our RADAR programme and helping them take their careers to the next stage, that’s one of the key driving forces behind all the work that we do.”

Michelle Escoffery, songwriter, president of the PRS Members Council: “Equity. For more companies, platforms and organisations to actively be making meaningful, measurable changes towards fairness and inclusion right across the industry. To create more opportunities for progress and collaboration, that music creators get paid their fair dues and that we normalise and positively acknowledge and respect difference on all fronts, neurodivergent , ethnic, socio-economic, regional, disability, gender, and sexual orientation. We need to keep the foot on the gas. We’re no where close to where we need to be as an industry.” 

Toby L , co-founder, Transgressive: “I want to see a continued growth of kindness, compassion and empathy. In an often unforgiving world, and undoubtedly an extremely challenging era, I would love the music community to be a place of salvation and light for artists, fans and all of those that work within it. Our politicians are failing us, so our corner of the universe should provide some semblance of hope, support and salvation, let alone direction. Whether it’s through conscious activism, charitable acts, education or consciously providing more opportunities to those that truly deserve or cannot typically access them, or ideally a merging of all of these things, I want to see the industry lead the way in terms of moral and ethical aspiration. We can be the hope and beacon that we seek elsewhere.”


Let’s close the gender pay gap and start to level the playing field for women

Nadia Khan, AIM


Vanessa Bosåen, MD, Virgin Music UK: “That all the musicians and professionals who have been hit hardest by the lack of live since 2020 have the greatest year, because they deserve it!”

Ben Wynter, Power Up, Unstoppable Music: “Hopefully the majors will stand by their commitment to create a more equal and equitable industry for all by coming to the table to discuss POWER UP in 2022.” 

Annabella Coldrick – CEO, MMF: “That the industry can agree to treat artists fairly and ensure they receive a fair share of the massively increasing streaming income without having to resort to legislation.”

Tim Major, co-MD, Sony Music Publishing: “That we can be even more intentional about diversity and inclusion in our industry, that we urgently find a way to address our impact on climate change and that we have a fully informed and accurately targeted effort to ensure that songwriters are correctly rewarded for their work.”

Nadia Khan, chair, AIM: “We’ve got the data it’s time for action in 2022! Let’s close the gender pay gap and start to level the playing field for women in the industry. Collectively we can make the industry a better and safer place. 

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