Raising Voices – Career Spotlight Kimberly Anne, Creative Director/Head of A&R, Palm Bay Music


Career Spotlight

Kimberly Anne, Creative Director/Head of A&R, Palm Bay Music
Read more about Palm Bay Music here

Palm Bay Music is an innovative Publishing company run by creatives for creatives. As a majority female-led company with LGBTQIA+ and diverse ethnic heritage founding Managing Directors, Palm Bay understands the difficulties of navigating the music industry if you belong to a minority group. They have been instrumental in helping songwriters who are LGBTQIA+, non-binary, women, non-graduates, from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds and of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

In addition to her work at Palm Bay, Kimberly has also achieved substantial success as a gold-selling writer and platinum-selling artist. She has penned singles for Virgin/EMI, Polydor and Warner Music Group. 

1. How did you first get into music publishing?
I was originally signed to Universal Music Publishing as an artist & songwriter, at this time I would arrange writing camps at my studio inviting my mates to come and generate new ideas to pitch out to other artists. A few of these writing camps resulted in me sending ideas to a few managers and labels and managing to secure some exciting cuts. The biggest one being ‘Cheap Wine’ by The Vamps which ended up featuring on their UK no 2 album ‘Night & Day’. I started to get a knack for knowing which writers would gel together well in a room and how to shape songs to suit peoples briefs. Some of the writers I had helped secure cut placements for expressed that they weren’t happy with the publishing deals they had been offered because the terms weren’t writer-friendly enough. Myself and my now business partner Rhiannon Mair then set ourselves a challenge to become a fairer, creative lead music publisher and Palm Bay Music was born!

2. What do you love most about your job?
I never imagined I would be the Creative Director of a music publishing company and I don’t think the reality of it will ever sink in. I don’t see this as a job, I see it as a continuation of my natural instinct to connect talented people to create something amazing. I love being sent new music by our writers and seeing them experiment and grow as visionaries. Their passion and drive inspires me everyday.

 3. What does a working day look like for you? Is there a typical day?
I usually dedicate the mornings to catching up on emails that I need to respond to and listen to new music we have been sent recently. Followed by wrapping up any admin regarding sending out contract offers and ensuring song registration info is getting to our Head of Copyright efficiently. My afternoons could either be spent in a writing session myself or working on music production for my own music project. Palm Bay Music is run by writers for writers, we feel it’s important that we remain active in our own creative ventures because that’s what our writers say they love best about working with us. That we understand and value the creative process.

4. Is there someone or one company experience that has particularly inspired you? A career champion or inspiring team?
I would say my A&R team Universal Music Publishing Caroline Elleray and Pete Simmons were great at supporting me as a songwriter, both creatively and emotionally. It’s hard putting so much of yourself into your music and being personally vulnerable within the ‘business’ that is music but Universal had a way of making a huge corporation feel like a family. I always found that really reassuring and admired it.

5. What (if any) particular challenges have you faced so far in your career? How did you get past these?
Being taken seriously as a creative who is now the owner of a publishing company was a struggle at first. I don’t think there was initial faith from others that we knew what we were doing or that it would work out. But now we are starting to build some amazing relationships and partnerships and have managed to demonstrate our eagerness to learn, grow and succeed. The publishing industry feels very supportive and less competitive than other areas of the music industry in my experience, we have received advice and mentoring from people we look up to who have gone out of their way to help us along.

6. What top 3 tips would you give to someone just starting out in music publishing or taking their career to the next level?
No one is an expert in music publishing because things are constantly evolving globally. So don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Join the MPA of course!
Remember that everything is music first, if the music is done right everything else will follow.

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