Raising Voices – Career Spotlight Laura May, Founder, May Music


Career Spotlight

Laura May, Founder, May Music Ltd
Discover more about May Music Ltd here.
We were delighted to welcome publisher Laura May to the MPA Board in 2020. Laura founded May Music in 2017 and still consults for various independent labels, publishers and producers. She created May Music to offer a writer-friendly publishing service with a varied roster spanning genres.

1. How did you first get into music publishing?
In 2003, I put my name on the MPA jobseekers list. About six months later I got a call from a company called Eaton Music asking if I wanted to go for an interview. Terry Oates [publisher] used to insist on someone in the office having a music degree and that’s why they picked me off the list.

2. What do you love most about your job?
Meeting people. A benefit of being a micro business is that you get to do everything, including all the nice things. The events are fun but I love meeting new writers and talking with them about their music and their hopes and dreams for the future.

3. Is there someone or one company experience that has particularly inspired you? A career champion or inspiring team?
There are so many things! I do try to take something positive from everywhere I’ve been. I think the writer friendly, personal approach is something that I learned at my time at Eaton which laid the foundations for everything that came later.

 4. What (if any) particular challenges have you faced so far in your career? How did you get past these?
In 2011 I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I took about 18 months off to have treatment and recover from that. I left my job at the time, so the hardest thing was starting again from the beginning. Since then, fatigue has been a real issue, so I have to be very mindful of not taking on too much or listening to my body when it needs a rest. Because of this I’ve really worked hard to have a true work/life balance, so the fatigue doesn’t take over. Which in turn I think (I hope!) makes me more productive.

 5. What do you hope to achieve during your time on the MPA board?
I hope to bring a voice to all the tiny independents out there and also bring them together as a community. It’s tough on your own and It’s good to be able to have people to bounce ideas off of or to share networks. I think I can bring a different perspective to the board in a lot of ways.

6. What top 3 tips would you give to someone just starting out in music publishing or taking their career to the next level?
I think if you are just starting out it’s a good idea to start at a smaller independent where you can gain insight into all aspects of publishing and find out which area is best for you. Get to know as many people as you can in all areas of the industry, your network can be so important. I have met some really good people along the way who are always happy to help or give advice if I need it. Finally, just in general in terms of your career I think it is key for people to understand what they are worth and what their value is. Be clear about what you bring to the table in any situation and don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.


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