5 Jan 2021
For the first Women of West One Music series in the New Year, we put the spotlight on the Royalties teams' International Royalties Manager, Elizabeth Bird. This is the ninth instalment, follow the rest of the series on social media with #WomenofWOMG and #WomenofWestOneMusic


Tell us about your journey into the music industry?

This is probably how all the typical answers for this start: I was a huge music geek at school, (choir, orchestra, jazz band, the works!). At University I studied classical music but focussed a lot of my degree on music in advertising and film – (I wrote a dissertation on the music of Lord of the Rings!). I had no idea a whole industry existed where people chose the music for adverts or TV shows – I thought someone at the car/chocolate company picked it!

My first ‘job’ that was even close to music was handing out flyers for Cheltenham Jazz festival before I got a temporary role with a classical publisher sending out the scores for new pieces to conductors and soloists. That was where I learned about music supervision, and Production music specifically designed to work with audiovisuals. As well as working at West One, I’ve also bounced around broadcasting and production companies, but I found I really enjoyed making sure composers get paid for their work!

What is your role at West One Music Group and how has it developed?

I rejoined West One in 2018 (I was originally an assistant here years ago) in a role focussing on understanding our European Royalties, and am now managing the Royalties Team globally. My two main responsibilities are making sure we pay our composers what they’re due, and tracking down where usages haven’t been paid for, getting that revenue unlocked and paid through. It’s amazing how technology has developed to help us with these tasks, and understanding data analytics is key! I never thought I’d be involved in the data wizardry that we do here!

What advice do you have for anyone starting out in the industry?

My advice to anyone wanting to get into the music industry is to keep an open mind about which part of the industry might end up appealing to you. There’s a really diverse range of roles that make the industry work that you just don’t hear about. I applied for so many different music jobs when I was first looking before I found what I liked best.

What is your favourite album on the West One Music catalogue?

My favourite album on WOM is ‘Electro Swing’. I love Electro Swing music – so much fun to dance to! – and when I was here as an assistant in 2010/11 I badgered our production team incessantly about making the album of it, and sent them Spotify playlists for inspiration (which I still have!). Eventually, I pestered them enough to make it, and Paul Borg and Sandor Josza did some great sessions creating their own ‘vintage’ samples to remix. I have a copy of the album somewhere at home!

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