WISDOM: A PORTRAIT SERIES

 

J A S O N   I L E Y

 

CEO

SONY MUSIC UK + IRELAND

LONDON

 

  Photography by Alex Franco

Photography by Alex Franco

I. When I think about the issues we are facing as an industry, I think about communication, recruitment, and having the ability to adapt to change. There have been many technological changes in the music industry over the years and we have always adapted. We need to continue to think differently, think smart and innovate. The delivery method might be changing but our vision remains the same: Sign the best talent and make the best records.

II. We face rapidly changing times, so finding, nurturing and developing artists is even more important to us whilst we are going through such a massive technological revolution. This affects our own industry as well as related sectors like retail and media. In recent years, we have been very focused on employing future industry leaders and creative minds. The industry needs to do even more to attract exceptional talent. The absolute priority of the labels is to sign and develop domestic acts who can be successful globally. A&R is at the core of our future. Over the past year, we have further developed our A&R base with bright new A&R executives and additional A&R resources. This investment will continue.

III. When it comes to developing domestic acts who have been successful globally, Simon Cowell has enjoyed unparalleled success. One Direction, who Simon put together on the UK X Factor in 2010, has been the biggest UK act in the world for three consecutive years – and has sales of more than 65 million. He and his Syco label have hit after hit, year after year. In his career to date, Simon has worked with artists who have sold more than 380 million records. Also Simon Moran who runs SJM, is one of the most intelligent, unique, forward thinking and all encompassing executives. Simon is, undoubtedly, one of the cleverest and most powerful people in British music. He is encyclopedic in his knowledge and a conduit for the industry. He has successfully evolved with the changing dynamics of the industry throughout his career.

IV. When reflecting on how to improve the public perception of the music business, I believe that we need to be better and smarter at PR-ing ourselves. Unfortunately, the music business has never been good at that which is crazy. The UK business is incredibly successful - having launched some of the biggest artists in the world in recent years - including One Direction, Adele and Ed Sheeran. We should celebrate our break-out stories. We also need more co-operation and support from the UK government.

V. It is important to be giving of your time to communicate with the future talents of our industry. We have a number of executives at Sony Music UK who take time out of their work to run seminars for young, creative people. They discuss and share new, innovative ideas – and think outside the box. I would encourage more people to find time to do this as it is positive on so many levels.

VI. I am for artists and record companies working together as true partnerships.

 

TM