Throughout 2023, Music Week has featured the biggest stories told by the industry in its pages every month, but as we look back on an incredible, action-packed year, we are calling on more than 100 names in the business to reflect on the last 12 months. Welcome to the 2023 year in review special!
Leading our coverage in this month’s Music Week Interview, we meet up with EMI co-presidents Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington as they come together for the first time ever in an exclusive joint interview.
Last year, Allen and Charrington joined forces to lead the new EMI that integrated Capitol Records which, in May, won the Record Company category at the Music Week Awards. In the wake of this victory, Allen and Charrington give us the inside scoop on the story behind their blockbuster success, on working together with stars like Taylor Swift and Elton John, as well as creating a legacy that will empower artists and executives alike. This is a must-read insight into two of the industry’s leading figures blazing a trail through the business.
Our 2023 In Review features reflections on the year from a range of executives and leading industry figures, from Warner Music UK’s Tony Harlow, Universal Music Publishing’s Jody Gerson and Sony Music’s Taponeswa Mavunga, to Google and YouTube’s Lyor Cohen and BBC’s Lorna Clarke. MOBO founder Kanya King, CAA’s Emma Banks, Spotify’s Safiya Lambie-Knight, Louis Bloom, Silvia Montello, Afryea Henry-Fontaine, Mike McCormack and many many more are also among the top names from across the industry to offer up their top moments, memories and opinions on the stories that shaped 2023, as well as the songs and records that defined the year for them.
Next up is a special feature on Taylor Swift’s record-breaking year, which included multiple No.1s, massive sales and a top-selling tour – which is also set to earn more than $1 billion in ticket sales when it hits Europe next year. We take a deep look at the global superstar’s numbers over the last 12 months, including her most recent re-recorded album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version). Is it over now? Not even close!
In a feature tracing the industry’s ongoing obsession with discovering new talent, we take a deep dive into the careers of four artists who had some of the biggest successes of 2023, and the mechanics behind their breakthroughs.
We hear about the incredible rise of Raye and how she achieved a million-selling hit, told by The Orchard MD Ian Dutt, Polydor marketing director Jade Bradshaw reveals how the label approached their new rap strategy with UK MC star Clavish, Kenya Grace talks about life since her viral No.1 Strangers, and breakout rapper Strandz reflects on his Top 10 hit Us Against The World.
Our traditional Quotes Of The Year feature traces the stories that graced Music Week’s pages in 2023, as told by industry-leading artists and executives.
Further in our Features section, we look back on the soundtrack of the year, Barbie: The Album, through the eyes of Mark Ronson, Gayle, Atlantic, Warner Records and the Official Charts Company. Ronson takes us behind the scenes on how the album came to life, whilst top executives reveal all about the UK campaign behind the smash hit record, as well as its last cultural impact.
One of the key subjects that has permeated the pages of Music Week throughout the last year is the rise of AI. In this feature, leading names across the business share their thoughts on the rapid development of the technology and its potential implications for the future.
Following the continuation of the Misogyny In Music inquiry this year, sexism in the business has also remained a subject under the telescope. In our issue this month, manager, campaigner and Women In Ctrl founder Nadia Khan discusses her experience giving evidence at Westminster and outlines what the industry must be doing in the ongoing fight for equality.
Finally in the features section, our digital guru Sammy Andrews offers up her conclusion on the tech trends that defined 2023, while Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd reflects on the positives and negatives for the grassroots scene. We also bring together the standout images of this year in a special extended edition of Hotshots.
Meanwhile, in this month’s Hitmakers feature, Kid Harpoon takes us behind the scenes on the making of Miley Cyrus’ smash hit Flowers, the first solo song by a female act to spend its first 10 weeks at No.1. We hear about how a piano ballad turned into the top-selling single of 2023, and how Cyrus “ripped the mic apart” while making it.
In The Aftershow, Paloma Faith looks back on her incredible career so far, from an explosive first major label audition with Epic to having Amy Winehouse as a fan.
In our Big Story, BPI CEO Dr Jo Twist offers up her thoughts on AI, unearthing new talent and the critical need for diversity in the business, while our Spotlight Q&A features Independent Venue Week’s founder and CEO Sybil Bell, who calls for more support from the industry and holds court on the lasting power of live gigs.
Meanwhile, this month’s Mentor Me page – a collaboration between Music Week and Girls I Rate – stars WME booking agent Whitney Boateng, who shares her top tips on how to build a successful career in the creative industries.
Elsewhere, we meet with UK R&B breakout group No Guidnce to talk going viral and their experience of the industry so far, whilst our Rising Star is TikTok’s music partnerships manager, Lisa Skeppner.
In Incoming, L Devine tells us all about the inspirations behind her upcoming debut album, going independent and how the industry can improve its support for the LGBTQ+ community.
We also celebrate all the winners and Roll Of Honours from this year’s Women In Music Awards with an extended gallery feature.
And, as usual, the Archive section sees us flick through the pages of Music Week of yesteryear.
There’s all of this and our expanded monthly charts section, in which we present the Top 75 Singles and Albums of the previous month, accompanied by revamped analysis pages, plus a host of new listings. These include specialist genre Top 20s for Americana, Classical, Hip-Hop & R&B, Jazz, Country, Dance, Folk and Rock & Metal. The issue is also home to streaming, compilations and vinyl charts.
The new issue of Music Week is available from December 12.
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