Mike McCormack interviewed for Music Week

Mike McCormack interviewed for Music Week

Following the Publisher of the Year win at the Music Week Awards, UMPG MD Mike McCormack sat down with Music Week to talk A&R, what it takes to be Publisher of the Year, and the importance of young, emerging talent. Read an extract below, or click through to read the article on the Music Week website. 

Read the full article on Music Week

Music Week: UMPG has always been a very A&R-driven company…
Mike McCormack: “And that won’t change. And that’s a global message as well as a local one here. With Jody [Gerson, UMPG chairman/CEO] running the company, she is A&R first and foremost. And the thing that excited me when we first sat down and chatted was she said, ‘I want us to be the best company creatively in the world’. That was music to my ears because that’s what I always thought we did here, so all we really needed to do was tweak it, broaden out the signings we were making and still keep on doing as well as we had done with those slightly left-of-centre artists who come into the mainstream eventually.”

MW: Your recent signings cover a lot of bases…
MM: “And I could add Alexis Ffrench a classical artist, Dan Sells who’s doing musical theatre, Fredo and Headie One in the urban area… We’re signing acts across the board. We’re diversifying a lot more musically but absolutely our prime focus is on signing new, young emerging talent, whether it be songwriters, artists or JVs with people we feel have got something special going on and have privileged access to an area which maybe we haven’t. We’re prepared to take a long-term view, invest in them and back them and hopefully have success with them in the future.”

MW: What do you look for in a writer?
MM: “The same three things as it’s been for 30 years. You look at their talent, obviously. Then you’d look for their desire and motivation. You can be the most talented person in the world but, if you’re lazy, you’re not going to succeed. And three, look at the management and the team they had around them. It’s so important to have good people around you; through success or failure you need that strong team that can ride out the lows and keep a lid on it when you hit the highs. The managers we work with have all played a massive role in their artists’ success.”