'22 steps forward: Industry leaders reveal their hopes for 2022 - Pt 4

'22 steps forward: Industry leaders reveal their hopes for 2022 - Pt 4

After his big move from records into live last year, Pollen's head of hip-hop partnerships Zeon Richards leads the final part of our series of music industry hopes for 2022.

BBC Radio 1's Clara Amfo headed up part one, Komali Scott-Jones led part two and Jackie Davidson starred in part three, with all three joined by a host of leading executives from across the industry.

Here, Richards is alongside Spotify's Leroy Harris, RCA's David Dollimore, Metallic Inc's Radha Medar, Island president Louis Bloom and more. Read on to find out what they're wishing for this year...

Zeon Richards, director, hip-hop partnerships, Pollen: “I hope more females are able to be successful in the charts and touring. Little Simz becoming the first domestic female to sell out three Brixton Academys can hopefully create a domino effect.”

Leroy Harris, artist marketing lead, Spotify UK and Ireland: "I'd like to see further strides towards diversity and equity in the industry becoming normalised. There's a long way to go, but we've seen a lot of collective will and positive action headed in the right direction: it's essential we don't lose focus."

Tasha Demi, co-founder Twenty Two Agency: “I feel as though lockdown and all of the restrictions that came with it made us have to think a little more about our releases strategies, and forced us all to get more creative with our campaigns which actually has been a really great thing. But one thing I have really missed, is being able to see it all come together on stage! Whether it’s putting on intimate showcases & activations for developing artists, or seeing your artists headline a festival, it’s so exciting to see your campaign culminate in front of a live audience. That’s my wish for 2022 – to be able to see it all come to life in person & to really feel the music again.”

DJ Ace, BBC Radio 1Xtra: "I’d like to see more majors take a bigger chance on R&B from the UK. Although the industry’s “R&B is DEAD” narrative has definitely gone, its faith and support in the genre has been half hearted and inconsistent over the last few years. I strongly believe that with a significant push and a bit of patience we could undoubtedly give the world its next global R&B superstar coming from these shores." 

Brooke Salisbury, GM, ADA UK: “A frictionless return for live music globally.”


I’d love to see more people who look like me in positions of power

Radha Medar, Metallic Inc


Paul Pacifico, CEO, AIM: “That we start to align around positive and mutually reinforcing solutions that lead to a better ecosystem, and that we can get back to working together for a better future rather than fighting with each other, which distracts from the potential to maximise the opportunities ahead for us all.”

Adele White, senior A&R manager, Island Records UK: “That we can continue to break new female talent… you never know who will be the next Adele or Beyoncé. Live music being back in full swing and the return of all the festivals and the connection between fans and their favourite music and artists. Also, it’s so great for the musicians and tour managers to be working full time again. There’s nothing like live music and the experience as a whole. Brent Faiyaz becoming a new R&B superstar and Rihanna finally releasing her highly-anticipated album. My personal hope for the industry is that we all appreciate each other and what we all contribute to the entertainment industry.”

David Dollimore, president, RCA: “That ‘we’ the UK music industry put the importance of our exceptional artist talent on the global map.”

Radha Medar, manager, Metallic Inc: “I’d love to see more people who look like me in positions of power!”

Louis Bloom, president, Island: “Delivering artists who will shape culture at home and across the globe.”

Hannah Overton, managing director, Europe, Secretly Group: “I hope that by the end of 2022 the majority of record labels, publishers and festivals will have committed to reducing their carbon footprint by zeroing out GHG emissions and have signed the Race To Zero and Music Climate pledge.”


More female A&Rs, producers, engineers and most importantly women running companies

Nick Burgess, Parlophone


Whitney Boateng, booking agent, WME: “That live music shows can continue to happen and build consistently as the last 2 years were extremely rough on this part of the industry.”

Nick Burgess, Co-President, Parlophone: “More female A&Rs, producers, engineers and most importantly women running companies. It’s beyond vital to the future of our industry.”

Theresa Adebiyi, head of marketing (UK), Venice/Q&A: “My great hope is that we continue to prioritise both the economy of the music industry across all sectors and the mental health of those working within it via continued systemic change internally and via wider government initiatives which enable the people working within to thrive rather than just survive. I’m also excited to see how NFT’s and DAO’s continue to shape the idea of and ‘ownership' for creators and owners in the music space.”

Peter Leathem – CEO, PPL: “The UK music industry is making good progress towards a more equitable, diverse and inclusive future, thanks to initiatives such as UK Music’s Ten-Point Plan and the Black Music Coalition’s five calls to action. The accountable objectives laid out by these plans, and others, give me hope that in 2022 and beyond we will continue to create a better industry for all. Industry collaboration is also improving the underlying technology and data that is the backbone of the digital music ecosystem, work which will continue in 2022 via projects such as IFPI and WIN’s RDx data exchange, run by PPL. The various industry collaborations that deliver more accurate and comprehensive data and an improved infrastructure to distribute this data around the world will enable performers, songwriters and composers to be paid for their work more accurately and efficiently, which is great to see and particularly beneficial to the highly successful UK music industry.”

Dellessa James, senior artist relations manager, Amazon Music: “I hope that Black music and Black culture continue to grow internationally, creating more global stars and artists. I also hope there’s a big push towards empowering UK R&B, there’s a huge pool of talented artists in the UK who need support and investment. Currently, I think that there’s a disconnect in supporting R&B artists, especially Black females, and I hope this gets looked at and becomes a priority across the industry. I hope Covid doesn’t interrupt our lives anymore and we can adapt to the new normal with bigger campaigns and artist activations. Finally, I hope that labels, managers and other music organisations continue to support Black music and the initiatives that were set post George Floyd’s murder, and they don’t shoehorn everything in to Black history month when we’ve got a full year.”

John Giddings, MD, Solo Agency: “That all of the countries in the world open up to full capacity shows.”

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