CEO Michael Dugher reviews 2017 and previews 2018 for Record of the Day and Music Week

28/12/17: UK Music Chief Michael Dugher and other music industry executives shared their reviews of 2017 and gave their predictions for 2018 this week, as Record of the Day and Music Week published interviews with some of the biggest profiles in the business.

Although Michael could share many highlights from 2017, Manchester’s One Love concert stood out as a big moment this year for the CEO, which he describes as the best thing to come out of the worst possible circumstance. He said:

“If ever there was a time to show the power of music as a healing, unifying and defiant force, it was there.

“I was privileged to be there as thousands of people – many of them who were actually caught up in the horror of the suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena only 13 days earlier.

“One Love represented Britain at its very best and showed us how music is always there for us – in moments of great joy and in our darkest hours.

“The whole industry pulled together so quickly to put the gig on. It was the ultimate act of defiance in the face of terror. And the message was all about love conquering hate.”

Amongst other questions, Music Week asked the industry movers and shakers to cherry pick their favourite tracks of the year. Tracks from artists such as Lorde, DJ Khaled, Billy Bragg and Mercury Prize winner Sampha amongst the choices, but it was Chuck Berry’s 'Big Boys', from his posthumous album, 'Chuck' which the UK Music CEO picked. He said:

“Chuck Berry was, rightly called the ‘prime minister of rock and roll’. The song gives you what Paul McCartney once called the ‘electric tingle’ - a thing that only rock and roll can do. It sounds like a Rolling Stones record, but then you remember that it was Chuck Berry who taught the Stones how to do it in the first place. It’s a great way for the legend to sign off.”

When asked for his favourite album by Music Week, he told us:

“It’s a joint three (a politician’s answer, I know!): Shed Seven’s 'Instant Pleasures' just blew me away – I’ve not heard an album for years that I so instantly loved; Maximo Park’s 'Risk to Exist' is an outstanding piece of work and feels like an album for our times; Jake Bugg’s 'Hearts That Strain' is a thing of beauty and it immediately transports you to Southern California in about 1970”.

But an avid Beatles fan, Michael told Record of the Day he is greatly anticipating the new Paul McCartney album, saying:

“Paul McCartney has been working on a new album this year with producer Greg Kurstin, so I’m hoping there will be a release in 2018. Macca is still the greatest for me.”

Amongst highly anticipated new releases from Arctic Monkeys, Craig David and Major Lazer, 2018 is the year UK Music celebrates its 10th Anniversary. One of the big moments of the New Year will be John Spellar MP’s ‘Agent of Change’ Bill in the House of Commons to protect grassroots venue. You can show your support for the campaign here.

2018 will also see the launch of UK Music’s ‘MAP roadshow’ showcasing our exciting education and training agenda.

Michael said that another important element of 2018 will in making progress in promoting diversity across the industry. He said:

“Hopefully, we will see progress towards a more inclusive and fair music industry, with developments such as compulsory reporting on gender pay gap by April 2018 for large companies.

“Also, next year London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan will be launching a number of initiatives to mark the centenary of (some) women getting the vote. UK Music is involved in creating a programme of events to raise awareness of the campaign and we hope these activations and others will take us a step closer to improving diversity throughout the music industry in 2018.”

Read the full interviews, for Music Week part one and part two and Record of the Day.

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