Utalks at Goldsmiths

Utalks at Goldsmiths


Ross Anderson - Creative Director, Polydor

On sitting down in front of 100 students at Goldsmiths College this Monday, my first thought was that they could ask anything, and that frankly made me a bit nervous. Not because we have an skeletons in our cupboard, or have anything to be ashamed of, but just because we haven’t done this before. It’s easy to hide behind what we do ‘because we know best’ – BUT, in this scenario, was it time for us to explain ourselves!?

In my role as Creative Director at Polydor Records, it feels really important (now more than ever in this changing landscape) for us to be open and to implement people’s views on what we do, in regards to every aspect of our industry. My day to day role mainly involves making videos for our artists – and we need to ask if people like the direction we take, and if not, what is it they would rather see from us and what we do? br />
For example, which aspects of an artist’s persona do they want to see more of, and as came up in the talks, what would they like to see much less of!

The more we can create a dialogue between the people who are making the music, and the people who are enjoying it – the more we will deliver to them what it is that they want... and that can only be a good thing.

"Great meeting with the faces behind the music industry that are more often than not perceived as profit driven (thanks to court cases brought against individuals for sharing music illegally online) and devoid of creativity. Thankfully the panel proved us completely wrong. Every one of the panellists had their own passionate story about how they ended up at Universal. It’s refreshing to see that the industry is actively trying to change their public image in a moral fight over downloading music by presenting their creatives and management that approached the meeting as honestly as they could. I would think that both the student body here at Goldsmiths as well as staff from Universal can undeniably benefit from continuous dialogue between the industry and academia. Thanks for a great afternoon that made me think of the music industry completely differently from what I had perceived them as previously. Thanks also for being so genuinely open about the challenges and goals that the industry has to face and reach.”
Sebastian Richter

“Yesterday's event gave the ever important opportunity to network within the music industry; a chance to do so is growing more important as the competition for careers in this field is increasingly fierce. The meeting reinforced my reasons for taking my MA programme in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship, as presenters explained that you have to be involved, you have to create, you have to put yourself out there in order to be successful in music. The event also allowed me to hear credible feedback on my drive to enter the industry and changed my rather pessimistic outlook on gaining entry to it, by supporting my diversified background in various sectors, which I had previously thought to be seen as detrimental to my ambitions.”
Jaclyn Albert

“The Utalks event held at my university yesterday was one of the most informative and engaging discussions I was happy to be a part of. We had the chance to meet a panel of industry experts and hear what they had to say. Each panelist spoke about their role in the company and how they started their career. We also had a chance to ask a number of questions and issues relating to censorship, PR, the digitalisation of music, ethical campaigning and creative solutions were raised. By the end, I felt informed as some misconceptions were challenged and thus improved my understanding.”
Cynthia C. Ambo

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