Inside Out Agency‘s Head of Communications Lucy Baker was acknowledged for her hard work and dedication to building a thriving music industry career in The Music Network’s recent 30 Under 30 Awards. She’s also a graduate of our Bachelor of Entertainment Management program.
We caught up with Lucy to discuss her perspectives on the industry she’s embedded in, the high-profile campaigns with artists including Delta Goodrem, Doja Cat and Peking Duk that she was an integral part of and the critical nature of an artist’s narrative. “Aside from the music that the artist themselves create, it is their story – formed by their own experiences, perspectives, cultural origins and traditions – that sits at the core of every artist campaign,” Lucy says.
Lucy is also passionate about musicians fostering good mental health and building the support systems needed to facilitate this. “Outside of my role, I’m incredibly interested in learning more about wellbeing/mental health practices to guide those in our industry when they need it most,” she continues.
As Head of Communications at Inside Out, what does your typical day look like? What has been your least typical, but most memorable, day of the last few years?
Lucy: Each day can look quite different from the other as a music publicist in 2022. However most days I will be strategising communication plans for the artists on our roster, writing press releases, delivering communication reports, curating pitches into media across radio, television, print and online, coordinating artist interviews either on-ground or virtually, meeting with artists and management to discuss narratives, creatives and goals, and exploring new business opportunities for the agency.
My least typical day – but most memorable so far – would probably be when I was working with Dominic Fike (pre Euphoria days). He was touring Australia for the first time and completing promo, so we (the label) took Dom and his crew out on a yacht in Sydney Harbour. It was incredibly special. The weather was beautiful and it was really nice to share a slice of Australia with him. It’s definitely not something we do every day, so I will never take that moment for granted.
What do you love the most about your new role? Where is your focus right now?
Lucy: Fostering the artist career through meaningful publicity campaigns has always been the anchor and focus of my work in communications. Having the opportunity to amplify their stories, art and culture is a true privilege.
In 2021, I joined Inside Out Agency who had recently expanded their business from the UK into Australia. As a new PR agency in the Australian market – with an extensive history and roster in the UK – we have the exciting opportunity to curate the Australian roster of artists. It’s really fun to be a part of that process.
What have been the most incredible, “pinch yourself” moments of your music industry career so far?
Lucy: The most surreal moment for me, was back in 2017 at my first ARIA Awards. I met Harry Styles! Need I say more? What an absolute gentleman. His career as a solo artist has been phenomenal to watch. Another “pinch myself” moment was securing the GQ Australia cover for Mark Ronson in 2019. This was my first cover for an artist, so it will always be really special to me.
What are the changes you’re most excited about that you’ve seen happening around you over your career, since you started?
Lucy: I’ve really welcomed the acknowledgement from the leaders of our industry to transform and improve the industry culture; one that reflects equal opportunity and representation for women and those of minority groups, and one that celebrates cultural diversity through honouring inclusivity and empathy. Accountability is key in driving positive and sincere change – and we all have the opportunity now – to take meaningful action. It’s exciting to be a part of this new generation in music history.
You spent 4 years at Sony Music rising up through the ranks and working on incredible projects. Can you please tell us what was special about the projects you worked on, starring:
Lucy: Delta Goodrem’s music was on repeat for me growing up. It still is! So having the opportunity to work with Delta (my idol) was truly quite surreal. That in itself made it extremely special. However what topped it all, was securing and coordinating Delta’s first-ever Marie Claire Australia cover. With a career spanning over 20 years, it was really special to deliver a new opportunity for such a pioneer in Australian music.
Lucy: Working with Adam and Reuben was really special because I’ve been a fan of theirs for a really long time. They bring so much joy and laughter to everyone they meet and accompanying them on promo was always so much fun (no matter how late they were). They are hands down two of the most generous souls in our industry and always go out of their way to uplift others. It was a real pleasure to be a part of their team. They’re the best!
Lucy: In 2019 – and then an artist on the rise – I secured Ruel an 8-page Louis Vuitton fashion shoot and music interview in GQ Australia. This one was really special because it marked Ruel’s debut in GQ, which catapulted his presence into the fashion space for future shoot opportunities and brand relationships.
Lucy: This one was so special to be a part of and it’s been really humbling to see the reception unfold for Doja Cat as an artist. I was fortunate to lead Doja’s publicity campaign for her album PLANET HER which has since spent 11 months in the ARIA Top 10 Albums Chart peaking at #2, with focus single ‘Kiss Me More’ topping #1 on the Australian Airplay Chart. Key activity as part of the campaign included securing the triple j feature album, commercial radio adds ATB for ‘Kiss Me More’, bespoke video pieces amplified with Acclaim Magazine, the creation of AI and IG filters, and PLANET HER gift boxes to media and key influencers.
What would be your advice to an ambitious AIM student wanting to follow in your footsteps and advance their career?
Lucy: First and foremost be kind to yourself and others. Don’t compare yourself to another, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be. Secondly, find as many opportunities to intern or volunteer within the industry. Here you will find inspiring connections and the opportunity to advance your skill sets. And lastly, seek out a motivating mentor. Connect with them often, ask questions and advice. Having someone who can guide you is really grounding.
What are the 1-3 things you believe only a life lived in the music industry can provide?
- Countless live music experiences.
- Lifelong friendships. (I feel really grateful to have met my best friends in the industry).
- The opportunity to meet and work with some of the greatest artists of all time. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to lead communications for Barbra Streisand, but I did!
As a passionate music fan working directly with artists, how do you see your role in relation to the artists you work with? What do you believe your purpose is in what you do?
Lucy: Aside from the music that the artist themselves create, it is their story – formed by their own experiences, perspectives, cultural origins and traditions – that sits at the core of every artist campaign. The artist story undoubtedly drives the direction, connection and conversations across the business and has proven integral over time through its ability to resonate and open compatible audiences and opportunities.
In today’s highly competitive and saturated music market, a compelling artist story, angle or hook has never been more important. As a Communications lead for a diverse roster of artists, I view and value my role as helping an artist uncover, understand and refine their story, equally instilling them with the confidence and skills to articulate their experiences in day to day dialogue with fans, media and partners.
What do you think people would be surprised about when it comes to what you do?
Lucy: It’s not as glamorous as it appears. I’m on my emails A LOT! The fun events and concerts I attend are only a small window into my day-to-day life in the industry.
What is next for you?
Lucy: Outside of my role, I’m incredibly interested in learning more about wellbeing/mental health practices to guide those in our industry when they need it most. Over the past two years throughout the pandemic, I’ve held grave concerns for the wellbeing of our artists and those directly affected in the touring sector of the industry. I often wondered whether they had access to the right resources and practitioners to protect and nurture their own mental health during such a turbulent time. Their routines were essentially rattled very quickly, causing direct financial instability, uncertainty and loneliness.
I would really love to see the industry at large come together and drive a wellness hub – a digital platform or wellness centre – that artists and people within our industry can reach out to in confidence, should they seek support or direction. It’s a conversation and practice I’d really like to be a part of.