How I Got Here: Priscilla Kotey, senior vice president at Warner Music Ireland
19th Jan 2023
Priscilla Kotey is senior vice president at Warner Music Ireland and has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world, including Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Michael Bublé and Fleetwood Mac.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
I started off waitressing and bartending, a profession that supported me right up until my early twenties – so I know I can always fall back on it!
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
I wake up and get my kids up and ready for the day. One is in school and one is in crèche. Mornings are usually a bit hectic in our house, trying to get everyone out on time. After the kids are gone, I’ll scan through the emails that came in overnight, check my calendar to see what calls are in for the day, and make a loose to-do list (that’s always nearly impossible to finish).
AT HOME, OFFICE OR HYBRID?
Currently, we are hybrid, working both in the Dublin office and at home. I’m really lucky that I work for a company that offers flexibility, especially with having young kids.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO AFTER WORK?
Well, I would love to head off to Grogan’s for a pint and a toastie – but my mama hat comes on as soon as work is done, and I’m usually rushing to pick the kids up. Once home, we get the dinner on, do homework, walk the dog… It’s usually 9.30pm before I am sitting down by myself.
WHERE DID YOU BEGIN YOUR CAREER?
At Carmody Smith PR. Here, I learned everything about PR from a brilliant mentor, Aine Carmody, and I also got an insight into the music industry via Aiken Promotions, as they were a client. It’s where I decided I wanted to work in the music industry.
WHAT PARTS OF YOUR ROLE DO YOU FIND MOST FULFILLING?
Watching an artist grow and develop. Seeing someone go from playing Whelan’s to playing Croke Park and knowing that you had a part to play in that person’s career is hugely gratifying. There are so many elements involved in breaking an artist. When they all click and it works, it’s the best feeling in the world.
WHAT PARTS OF THE ROLE ARE THE MOST CHALLENGING?
Breaking an artist! It takes a village and can sometimes take a lot of time. It’s always worth it in the end, though.
WHAT IS A MEMORABLE CAREER HIGHLIGHT?
The Ed Sheeran “2step” remix featuring Denise Chaila. Being able to bring one of the biggest stars in the world together with such an amazing Irish artist was a highlight for me. Hopefully, it’s only the beginning of more collaborations between international artists and Irish ones. Another favourite memory is bringing Michael Bublé in to switch on the Christmas lights on Grafton Street. I thought my ear drums were going to burst because of the screams!
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR JOB?
That I hang out with famous people all the time. I don’t!
WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO SEE LIVE MUSIC?
The 3Olympia Theatre or Vicar Street. Watching artists perform in smaller venues is always special, especially when you know they may never play that size venue again.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
I have the Beyoncé album, Renaissance, on repeat. I’m a lifelong fan, and I’ve seen her every time she has set foot in Ireland (and once in Paris).
WHAT ARTIST ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT RIGHT NOW?
Selló, an Irish drill rap artist who has the most incredible mixtape coming out that fuses Irish traditional music with modern drill. I’ve been blown away by the surge of talented Irish artists that have come through in the last five years. It’s a very exciting time for the Irish music industry, and I feel privileged to be in it.
PRISCILLA KOTEY RECOMMENDS
ONES TO WATCH
FROM LEFT • LEA HEART She has a new single coming this year that is an absolute banger. • Denise Chaila, God Knows and MuRli from NAROLANE RECORDS. I’m a huge fan of their work. • SHIV An incredible artist of Irish/Zimbabwean descent that we will be releasing music from this year. Her voice is spine-tingling and her music is phenomenal.
This article originally appeared in the Autumn issue of IMAGE Magazine.