|Bre McDermott-King – University of Hertfordshire – Runner-Up
Bre is an International Product Manager at label, AWAL, working with marketing teams around the world to execute campaigns for independent artists. She previously worked in International Marketing at Sony Music UK, where she also headed up their diversity and inclusion committee, HUE UK – a title that won her a no.14 position on the Yahoo! Finance x The EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders 2021 list. Her advocacy and enthusiasm for equality extends beyond her day job though: in 2019, Bre co-founded and runs a collective called Women Connect, which specialises in creating and promoting equal opportunities for women, non-binary and gender-fluid people working in the creative industries.
|Eliana Medalie – Birmingham City University
Whilst at University, Eliana freelanced as an artist manager & social media consultant to UK artists, also directing & editing music videos for them, whilst assisting several artist managers during the summer festival season, handling the social media & content creation for artists such as Jonas Blue, Billy Lockett, DJ Ace & Jamz Supernova.
She went on to receive the Music Industries Achievement Award at University before graduating with a 1st class degree & top of her year.
Eliana started her current job at Absolute Label Services as a Digital Marketing Assistant and quickly rose through the ranks to become the Pitching & Retail Marketing Lead. She works with artists in a variety of genres, pitching their music internationally to all streaming platforms, for playlisting support and editorial marketing opportunities, with an impressive track record. Artists she’s secured support for include Jake Isaac, Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn, Barney Artist, RAT BOY, Feeder, Ay Em, Dyo, Lethal Bizzle, Hybrid Minds, Sub Focus, Culture Shock, McFly, RuthAnne, Chloe Foy, Miller Blue, Zuzu, Tia Kofi, Little Boots & many more.
In the first 6 months of her job, she came up with new ways to revamp the company’s website blog; writing short music industry myth busters for independent artists. She is now a regular contributor, and sits on the social media & newsletter teams too.
She’s also curated three playlists on Spotify – one of which was recognised by the platform, and features on their Tastemaker Homepage.
Last year she officially signed her first label. Operating as the artist’s (J Vessel) label manager, they designed a marketing campaign which saw his album land a no. 2 spot on the iTunes Hip Hop/Rap album chart.
Eliana is in the process of starting her own label/management company and is already securing deals with artists she’s discovered on TikTok and one artist who’s recently featured on a multi-million streamed track with one of the US’ most prolific artists at the moment.
As someone with ADHD, she’s also working on ways to improve accessibility for Neurodivergent people like herself in the music industry!
|Gabriel Robles Saenz – LCCM
Born and raised in Guatemala, Gabriel moved to London in 2016 to study music production. He graduated from LCCM in 2019 with a first-class BA Hons Degree in Music Production and Performance. While in uni Gabriel’s first project called “The Good Manners” which was engineered, produced, mixed, and co-written by him, got 2 placements on Spotify’s editorial playlists and amassed over 250k streams. Since then his debut single as a solo artist ‘Gabriel Dinero’ was released through the Kitsune Musique label, and is now in the process of releasing more music. Gabriel has also worked as a studio assistant for Marco Perry from Immersive Audio, where spatial audio installations have been created for the likes of Yoko Ono and Bjork, among others. He now works full-time at LCCM running the different music studios not only aiding new students but also engineering artists sessions (Kojey Radical, Novelist, Peter Sandberg…) and is the live sound engineer for all in-house performances and events
|Jennifer Morgan – University of Liverpool
Jennifer Morgan graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Popular Music from Liverpool University in July 2021. For her final-year project, she composed and produced a 20-minute EP, within which she worked with and recorded players from the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently working as a freelance composer and session Bass player. Her most recent work includes the Act Now Film, a documentary made by young adults from around the world about climate change that is going to be played at the next climate summit, COP26 in Glasgow. Additionally, she has been performing in bedroom pop artist, Lazygirl’s live band around Liverpool. Jennifer also self-produces and writes music for her electronic indie-pop solo project, Jensyn.
|Jessie Pigott – Leeds Beckett University
Jessie Pigott graduated with a first-class honours in Music Production from Leeds Beckett University in 2019. After graduating she was selected to join the Music:Leeds Launchpad programme. Jessie is a producer and multi-instrumentalist, under the alias Jessie Marcella. Jessie’s unique and captivating sound sets her apart from other producers – her deeply emotive growing instrumental discography, blurs the lines between neo-classical and ambient electronic dance music. Jessie has had support from numerous radio stations and shows including BBC Radio 1 The Chillest show and Radio 1 Dance.
As well as creating her own original works, Jessie’s experience and passion for sound has led her to industry opportunities ranging from recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to conducting studio sessions alongside Ken Scott.
Currently, Jessie is working on her second EP which will be accompanied by an original animated short film. This audio-visual experience will explore beauty through decay, as well as delving deeper into the environmental crisis and how this universally saddening topic can translate through art.
Jessie is also running her co-founded ‘Synergy Mindful Movement’ workshops, with music and dance therapy techniques at the core of the sessions. Different themes are explored – guided by the changing seasons, allowing people to utilise mindfulness techniques via shared movement and listening experiences.
|Joe Elsom – Leeds Beckett University – Special Mention
Joe began his career at 15, working as an Assistant Mix Engineer under Mixing Engineer Cenzo Townsend, working with artists such as Jake Bugg, The Maccabees, George Ezra and The Kaiser Chiefs. His time in the studio developed a deep fascination for the physical processes governing loudspeaker design and acoustics. He joined Leeds Beckett University’s Audio Engineering course and after two years embarked on a sandwich year internship with Celestion as a Student Engineer. Over the course of the internship he worked as part of the research team to deliver Celestion Digital’s first guitar speaker Impulse Responses and perused team based and self-driven research and development projects into novel transducer technologies. He continued to work closely with Celestion during his final year to produce novel research (note, not published due to non-disclosure) at Leeds Beckett University and graduate with a 1st Class Honours and as recipient of the Calrec Audio Prize in 2019. After graduation he immediately returned to work with Celestion as a junior development engineer to conceive, manage and deliver Celestion’s next-generation guitar response plugin SpeakerMix Pro, boasting class leading non-linear guitar speaker response technology “Dynamic Speaker Responses”. Subsequently working as a Research Engineer, his primary focus is novel research for Celestion’s next-generation transducer design and digital applications as well as the pursuit of a part-time PhD.
|Julia Church – Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) – Special Mention
“Writing is the ultimate form of catharsis for me.”
Based in London by way of Durban, South Africa, Church grew up enamoured by the sounds of trailblazers Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Nora Jones.
Thanks to several features on dance tracks amassing over 50 million streams; most notably features with Sun El Musician which went Gold in South Africa and Lane 8’s ‘Oh Miles’, Church began to garner recognition early on. At eighteen Julia decided to further herself artistically, moving to the UK to study music production at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) learning the creative skills that have led to her unmistakable sound, one that draws ties to her childhood idols.
With over 700,000 monthly listeners, Julia is ready to take 2022 by storm with new music for her artist project to be released alongside further features and co-writes.
|Kane Peters – University of Gloucestershire – Runner-Up
Kane graduated from the University of Gloucestershire’s Music Business Degree in 2021. Whilst still studying at UOG Kane created an innovative method to measure and promote the carbon footprint of individual menu items for food vendors at music festivals to allow customers to make informed decisions on what they eat, to help vendors make more sustainable choices and to allow Festival Republic to gather more data to inform their own decisions. He pitched the project to Live Nation UK’s Head of Sustainability which led to working directly with Festival Republic over the 2021 festival season to trial the methodology at both Latitude Festival and Reading and Leeds to great success.
This project led to Kane working closer with Festival Republic on the Green Team for the Download Pilot and Wilderness Festival where he worked in both the arena and the campsites to engage audience members in the topic of sustainability. He went on to become Sustainability Assistant for the Isle of White Festival where he assisted the Sustainability Coordinator in managing the engagement teams around the festival site as well as coordinating the many sustainability initiatives at the festival.
|Melody Perry – Solent University
Melody finished her degree in Music Management at Solent University in May 2021 with first class honours but is yet to officially graduate due to the pandemic. In the summer between her second and third year of university she took an internship with publishing and management company San Remo Music which led to her working part time while completing her final year then securing a full time position as soon as the course ended. Alongside her role at San Remo she has recently started independently managing producer/songwriter Cameron Nesbitt and is excited to help develop his career.
She has also been active in her work with music trade bodies having worked with the Music Manager Forum whilst at university to create the MMF Southampton Tribe and organised/s networking and educational events aimed at managers of all levels along the south coast. Since finding a job in publishing she has also been passionate about educating other young members of the music industry on publishing and has returned to Solent to do guest lectures as well as securing a place on the MPA Futures board which works under the Music Publishers Association to support new members of the publishing sector.
Following her final year project on licencing content creators she has been working to expand interest in this new area of income generation for artists while encouraging the traditional music industry to expand its horizons and see the future potential in this area of the publishing sector.
|Molly Johnson – Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)
Molly Johnson is in her second year as the Creative Assistant at award-winning independent music publisher, Sentric Music Group.
Building on a foundation of knowledge gained from her studies at LIPA, Molly established her credentials as an emerging talent in Liverpool’s creative industries. First, working as the Social Media Manager for renowned promotion company, EVOL and later, as an artist and tour manager all while regularly completing university deadlines from a green room. When on the road with Pete Wylie (The Mighty WAH!), the pandemic encouraged a re-think in career path. Entering her final year of study, the opportunity of a placement at Sentric arose and a new adventure in publishing began.
The Creative division’s formation coincided with Molly’s recruitment, quickly propelling her as an integral part in the building of a new department which specialises in facilitating collaborations between Sentrics’ electronic producers and multi-genre songwriters as well as incorporating wider industry partners like Tileyard, Toolroom and Beatport.
Molly has since facilitated 450+ introductions between producers and writers, organised and run multiple writing camps and is independently handling 200 active collaborations. She’s project managed songs which have been signed to the likes of Defected, Hot Creations, UKF and Ultra, with releases reaching New Music Friday and Apple Music playlisting as well as BBC Radio 1 plays.
Molly is now assisting with the planning of national and international writing camps, as well as leading the launch of a bespoke platform that will offer a unique experience to create and collaborate.
|Rebecca Rees – University of Gloucestershire – WINNER
Originally hailing from the rich-musical city of Brighton, Rebecca graduated with a first-class honours degree from the University of Gloucestershire in 2021. Since spending her sandwich year contributing and managing digital campaigns at the independent label Cooking Vinyl (Nina Nesbitt, Passenger, The Psychedelic Furs), she has been a strong advocate for positive change in the creative industries. From driving the success of the labels publicised #StopHateForProfit campaign against advertising in 2020, Rebecca has also hosted panel discussions with industry champions such as the BPI, Vick Bain and Generator. She has drawn together international creative communities through the production of her lockdown zine ‘Creative Ritual’ and managed start-up charity gigs in the South West to benefit less-fortunate local communities, that has included a partnership with Rough Trade.
During a catastrophic period for the music industry, Rebecca contributed to a critical report into the management of the South West music industry during the past year; that was presented as crucial evidence to the DCMS inquiry into the future of UK music Festivals. Before devising and implementing a brand new methodology and audience awareness campaign around environmental sustainability adopted by Live Nation at the first UK pilot festivals this summer.
Tying up her university experience by freelance consulting with several independent PR companies and publications across the country, Rebecca dove deeper into her curiosity into the economics and politics of the contemporary music industry through several research projects including the brand new podcast ‘Digital Dissect’ that shed light on recent trends, data and technology in the digital space. This curiosity continued in her role as a key member of the streaming team at Atlantic Records (Warner Music Group), where she worked closely with the central commercial sales teams to investigate data and support leading global artist campaigns. She oversaw Ed Sheeran’s ‘=‘ album release that amassed two billion streams in week 1 of release. Rebecca now works within the digital team at recent Music Week’s ‘Label Of The Year Award’ Winners – Polydor (Universal Music Group) – where she continues to broaden her innovative mind and skillset across a new roster of artists.
|Rosie Reeves – LCCM
After graduating in 2018 with a First Class BA Hons in Music Industry Management from LCCM, Rosie joined independent publisher Domino working in their Copyright and Royalties department, investigating counterclaims and disputes and releasing income for high profile catalogue.
She joined the major publishing company Warner/Chappell in 2019 as a Royalty Income Analyst, managing the end-to-end process of royalties for a number of global territories and ensuring songwriters receive their fair and rightful share from a range of income streams.
Rosie recently went on to secure a new role working in their Global Analytics team, where she now looks after reporting, servicing the business and ensuring data integrity. Rosie will be working on projects such as data validation, forecasting and assisting management with smart, data-based business decisions.