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SONY U.K.: NAZ IDELJI
11/20/18

Director of Compilations, Sony Music U.K.

When Sony Music acquired Ministry of Sound in 2016, Naz Idelji was a key member of the team that was brought over as part of the buy. At the dance-led label, known for its compilation curation, she played a role in shifting 10 million albums while leading the comps team, and launched a string of successful new brands. She previously worked in product and marketing at Universal Music, and has over 14 years’ experience in the industry. When announcing her promotion to Director of Compilations at Sony Music U.K. last year, Nicola Tuer hailed Idelji as “smart, insightful and, undoubtedly, the premier executive in this area of the music industry.”

The most exciting project she’s worked on this year has been the exclusive playlist deal between Ministry of Sound and Apple Music. The agreement has seen the label’s popular branded playlists, which counted hundreds of thousands of followers across multiple streaming sites, shift over to Apple only. Idelji, who led the curation and creative for the campaign, calls it “the next chapter for our business.”

“Myself and the team have worked so hard to get the brand to a place that’s trusted by the consumer,” she explains. “To be the first consumer-facing music brand and curator to be recognised to have value in a playlist and streaming world is incredibly exciting and a testament to the hard work everyone has put into the brand throughout the years. Our whole business model is changing to where our audience is going, and our strategy is constantly evolving to make sure we are with them the whole way. This is an ongoing project, and there is a lot more still to come.”

While Idelji notes the challenge of maintaining engagement in today’s attention economy, “an always-on strategic approach without feeling forced or unnatural” is the secret to success, alongside “amazing talent.” She adds, “That’s what makes people want to listen to our playlists and stream the music in them. The U.K. has incredibly talented artists and executives.”

And what’s the most exciting thing about British music right now? “I think it’s the amazing melting pot of talent and the new opportunities which have come from the streaming world,” Idelji offers. “We have incredible artists, managers and executives who are driving forward new sounds and strategies on a global scale. Music has become global but also local at the same time, and the U.K. is doing an amazing job at executing this.”