Please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?

I started with a dream of being in a rock band over 20 years ago, which I was really terrible at, but I was great at organising gigs and doing the business side of things. That naturally led to me becoming a promoter, and then a booking agent. I loved the live music industry. By applying myself to get the best out of digital marketing, and brand partnerships for live events – I found that my true passion was artist marketing. I never took no for an answer and I found ways to book bands into venues, and to grow them from playing shitty pubs through to playing the biggest festivals in Europe, all while using the latest platforms to grow a global following. When I returned to Australia after 10 years in London, I moved into the indie label world, then into the major label world where my focus was audience, content and platforms. It seemed a natural progression to then move into music-tech and now I find myself right at home with a team of really smart people who build platforms to enhance the careers of artists, providing fans with value, and connect the industry. If someone told me 20 years ago that at 44 I’d be the only Chief Marketing Officer of a publicly listed music company in Australia, I’d probably have given them the finger because I was a bit of a punk rebel back then! I am learning to believe that it’s a superpower now, and that any successful team in a creative industry needs a bit of a rogue with empathy for artists and unrelenting perseverance to make change. 


What does your day-to-day entail?

Overseeing all marketing operations across the Vinyl Group brands; Vampr, and Jaxsta. Vinyl Group recently acquired The Brag Media so I am also working with their team to find synergies and integrations across their network which is hugely exciting.
I like to check in on my team, make sure they are set up for success. Ensuring that they have everything they need to execute on campaigns, remove any roadblocks, and ensure that we are in a position to move fast and add momentum to existing strategies. Every day presents an opportunity to be creative, collaborative; to think about how our ecosystem reaches and benefits music creators, fans and the wider industry. I’m always checking analytics and reports to ensure our marketing decisions are data-driven. Also keeping on top of trends and pop culture so our marketing is relevant. 


“It’s far more productive to lift those people’s voices, than to fight with idiots.”

Do you feel that higher education is a necessary step to enter the music industry?

No, not as much as real-world experience. However, it is absolutely essential to always be learning and upskilling, particularly in digital marketing best practice, staying on top of tech, platforms and innovation, and learning to harness the power of it. The worlds of music, tech and marketing evolve at the speed of light, so you can’t stay stagnant in your methods or you’ll be left behind. It is critical to stay educated, proactive and to experiment. 


Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so, how did you approach them?

I’ve probably faced adversity being a female, but I’ve never let it stop me or acknowledged it enough to let it bother me. Sure, I’ve been in a few instances where men have been dismissive towards me, but that’s a reflection of their ignorance, not my capabilities. There are times I have been angered by certain behaviours, but I choose to focus on surrounding myself with the right kind of attitudes. It’s far more productive to lift those people’s voices, than to fight with idiots.


Who are your role models in the industry be they international or locally-based?

From an industry perspective, I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for Scott Cohen. Every time I’ve seen him present on a panel, or had a call with him, I leave feeling like I’ve just learned something from one of the most curious and innovative minds in the industry. From an artist perspective, I have to say Cyndi Lauper. I grew up on her, she was my first concert at age 5 and it inspired a career of can-do-anything attitude and crazy hair! I love what she stands for, and has never been afraid to mix genres, to be uniquely and completely herself, to stand up for the underdog and fight for equality. To me, she is an absolute hero to humanity. I met her once and it wasn’t a great experience, she was jetlagged and tired and absolutely did not want to hear me telling her that she was my hero. I laugh about it now, but it was soul-crushing at the time. I think that’s why they say never meet your heroes. 


Who are your top 3 artists or producers to watch?

I am currently obsessed with these new-ish artists;

RAYE, because her voice and style is that of a future icon. She was just *nominated for the most Brit Awards ever, and there’s something about her that reminds me of Amy Winehouse.

*Update: RAYE makes history winning 6 awards at The Brit Awards

Teddy Swims, because his voice sounds like butter melting on hot toast. Dreamy, soulful, powerful and just a cool artist whose debut album ‘I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy’ is a masterpiece. 


Emmanual Kelly who is an Australian artist absolutely challenging the status quo. Emmanuel is differently abled and one of the most inspiring and uplifting artists I have ever worked with, he refuses to let his challenges define him and his new single “My Sky” is all about that.


The only thing I would like to change about the industry is already happening. Fans are coming back to placing value on music by buying vinyl, and have a genuine care towards supporting the artists they love. Likewise, artists are learning that big vanity numbers in streaming mean nothing, and are switching focus back to giving value to a smaller number of super-fans instead of trying to appeal to the whole world.”

What are your top 3 gigs you’ve ever seen?

Wow, this is hard, I’ve seen so many of my heroes, it doesn’t feel fair to just mention 3!

Rage Against The Machine in Finsbury Park, London, 2010 – this was the free concert they put on when a fan-lead Facebook campaign sent ‘Killing In The Name’ to #1 for Christmas in the UK to take down the usual X Factor song. The show was a manifestation of people power, explosive energy and one of the greatest live bands ever.

U2 at Slane Castle, Ireland, 2001 – I’m not even a huge U2 fan, but this show was something on another level. It was the same day Ireland qualified for the World Cup and they played the game on big screens before U2. It was also just days after Bono’s father had passed away. When he came on stage with the Irish flag wrapped around him, there was not a dry eye in the field, it was breathtakingly emotional. A full moon behind the stage, Slane Castle in the distance – it was just pure magic. 


P!nk, every time I’ve seen her (9 times!) because she is the true meaning of a One of One: no one else does what she does. The vocal capability, the aerial acrobatics, and the sheer joy she fills every stadium with is unmatched. An icon, an incredible role model and another of my heroes.


Special contenders over the years: Lady Gaga, Adele, AC/DC, No Doubt, The Fugees, Cyndi Lauper, The Prodigy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse… all three Glastonbury’s I was at. 


Let’s talk about the highs vs the lows of your career, what is your greatest achievement? Are there any moments you’d like to share that you learnt greatly from?

When I was a promoter in London, I was also doing a few nights DJ’ing in different clubs, and I was asked to be the opening act for Joan Jett – which to any rock chick is a seriously big deal. It’s not so much a career highlight but a cool thing that happened! I am super proud that when I got back to Australia I worked on the She Who Rocks tour, and the Rock The House campaign with Baby Animals and Habitat for Humanity – we took 150 Baby Animals fans (with Suze DeMarchi) to an impoverished village in the Indonesian jungle, to build 25 homes to celebrate 25 years of the band. It was hard graft, I’m talking mixing cement by hand, laying bricks, digging trenches, and rebarring steel posts in 40-degree heat and 98% humidity. Suze and I were on the same team with some other remarkable women and we built a house in a week for an elderly lady who previously lived without shelter or sanitation. It was a deeply moving bonding experience that I’ll never forget, and am grateful that my music career afforded me that opportunity. What you learn from that is to be grateful to have clean running water in your home, and if you have that, you are winning in life. 


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What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve received?

At a particular time of stress and extreme workload, the legend Beth Appleton reminded me; “We do PR, not ER” and that’s a phrase I often repeat to myself when I need a perspective shift. Of course, we give 100% to work, but it should still be enjoyable – it’s artists and creativity and music, it’s supposed to be enjoyable. We don’t make decisions that literally mean life or death, which means it’s OK to get things wrong and start again. I say it to my team now too, to ease any overwhelm. 


Who has been your biggest champion in your career, who has helped you along the way?

I am lucky enough to have several long-term champions that I can absolutely credit for my career advancement. Funnily enough, they are all men – good men that the industry needs if we are going to continue to elevate women. They are Jake Challenor, Lars Brandle and Simon Cahill – all who have either employed me, promoted me or put me forward for great opportunities because they believed in me, and at times have had to remind me that I am capable when I felt like an imposter! More recently I feel very supported by our current CEO Josh Simons who treats me and my ideas with a huge amount of respect – which goes both ways. I also need to mention my wife, we’ve been together 18yrs and she has supported, wholeheartedly, every career choice I’ve made, even to move to the other side of the world. 


What do you think is the biggest threat to artists or the industry and what would you do to change it/What would you like to change about the current industry?

Like everything, the greatest threat is also the greatest opportunity, and that is technology. There will be people throughout history who have seen innovative expansion in music tech as a negative thing, think back to the early days of “computer music”. We’ve come so far that now anyone creative can make and release a song using a phone or AI. It’s all par for the course of both threat and opportunity depending on how you look at it. Are all the old rockdogs who whinged about electronic music being made with synths also upset that their fave 40-year-old albums are now being remixed in Dolby Atmos? No, of course not. Being dismissive of new ways of making music, and appreciating what technology affords us, don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Likewise, there are ways to appreciate both. I personally support any creative mind, regardless of how they generate the art.

The only thing I would like to change about the industry is already happening. Fans are coming back to placing value on music by buying vinyl, and have a genuine care towards supporting the artists they love. Likewise, artists are learning that big vanity numbers in streaming mean nothing, and are switching focus back to giving value to a smaller number of superfans instead of trying to appeal to the whole world. I truly believe the industry lost its way when it tried to convince artists that millions of streams, views or followers would actually mean something real. 


What would you tell your younger self if you could tell her anything?

Don’t quit piano lessons! Imagine turning up to a house party or studio hang and being able to bust out some feel-good honky tonk piano unexpectedly. 


Do you have any activities that you do for self-care that are non-negotiable?

On weekends I sit and listen to a whole album on vinyl, with a coffee, and no phone. Truly listen to it deeply, no interruptions. It reminds me why I love music, and that music has value.


“The worlds of music, tech and marketing evolve at the speed of light, so you can’t stay stagnant in your methods or you’ll be left behind. It is critical to stay educated, proactive and to experiment.” 

How firm are you with boundaries between work/life balance and how do you try to enforce them?

I know I get the best out of myself and my team when we trust each other, and when we support flexibility. I am extremely passionate about what I do, and therefore the lines often blur between work/life but for me, that’s not an issue, I truly enjoy being part of the music industry and am grateful I get to do a job that makes me happy. The only pressure I feel is usually internal, and every boss I have ever had knows I give my all, so have also shown a lot of respect when I say I need to switch off – and I have the same respect for my team. Digital exhaustion is real, health and family always come first. 


Any tips for a quick ‘pick me up’ if you’re having a bad day?

Shoes off, walk in nature. Whether it’s the beach, or a garden park. Just stop, switch off, feel the ground and look around at all the natural beauty. I love gardening, and I find it extremely therapeutic to just be in my garden with my plants.


What is your go-to Karaoke song?

I avoid Karaoke like the plague – I cannot sing to save my life, however if I am forced into it I will go for something like “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa because I can rap every lyric and it usually makes people laugh, which is kinda the point of Karaoke, right?