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Mike McCormack sits down with Music Business Worldwide Mike McCormack sits down with Music Business Worldwide

Posted by Universal Music Publishing on 13 September 2017

UMPG MD Mike McCormack recently sat down with Music Business Worldwide to talk about his ambitions with UMPG, his view on recent major industry issues and what A&R means to him in 2017. Read a short extract from the article below, or click through to read the full article.

Read the full article on MBW

If you’ve spent decades in the belly of the music business – immersed daily in its triumphs, its tribalism, its power battles and its politics – does it eventually blunt your perspective on whether an artist is actually any good? On the one hand, all of that experience is bound to have refined your antennae for a hit, not to mention your mastery of the factions you need to conquer for your best chance of climbing the charts.But on the other, perhaps with every platinum record you nail up on the wall, you inevitably shuffle one step further away from the purest perspective in existence – that of the punter. This quandary was on Mike McCormack’s mind when he decided to leave behind the music biz after 35 years in 2014.

McCormack’s decision, catalyzed by personal tragedy, left the UK industry without one of its most talented A&R minds, and one of its most well-liked characters. Over the following two years, McCormack became a successful sports agent for cricket stars, before returning to Universal Music Publishing UK as its MD last summer. This hiatus enabled the exec to see things from the unblemished viewpoint of a music enthusiast – a stance he hadn’t witnessed since entering the entertainment biz by pulling pints at Dingwall’s nightclub in Camden in 1980.

“Working in a different industry for a while gave me a lot more clarity on what it was I needed to achieve,” he tells MBW. “By the time I left music, I was running out of steam; I’d almost forgotten what it was that made me a good executive in the first place. Now, I know exactly what I’m here to do.”

It’s been just over a year since McCormack took over as MD of UMP UK, succeeding his friend and long-term boss, Paul Connolly. MBW catches up with McCormack in his penthouse Fulham Broadway office during something of a golden run for the company – recently capped off by it bringing home a record eight Ivor Novellos.