Dr Jo Twist OBE, Chief Executive of UK record labels association, the BPI, has called on government and the music industry to come together to promote British music and human artistry at a time of increasing global competition and fast-rising challenges, particularly those posed by generative AI. 

Speaking at the BPI’s future-facing In Tune with Tomorrow conference yesterday (22nd April) in her first major address in front of an industry-wide audience, Jo highlighted the pressing need to support talent discovery and industry growth by expanding music education and enabling UK record labels to keep doing what they are world-leaders at: investing in diverse new music and artists and harnessing innovation and the power of music to build far-reaching fan engagement. And for this to be done by an collaborative industry that is truly equitable – and on a day when the BPI in partnership with AIM  announced a strengthening of the Music Climate Pact – where every decision made takes account of the impact on sustainability and decarbonisation targets.

The day’s accent on talent was underscored with opening performances by BRIT School and ELAM students Berry Carrier and Melani Maria-Serban, and there was a special moment when BRIT School Principal, Stuart Worden, was presented with a BRIT Award by BPI Chair YolanDa Brown OBE DL to mark his 30 years with the School and the outstanding contribution that he and the school have made to British music in this time.

In her speech, Dr. Jo Twist listed the 5 key priorities as:

  1. Human creativity & the creative industries should be among any Government’s policy priorities
  2. Enable a healthy climate for investment in human creativity
  3. Support creative education & better fund specialist creative education
  4. Keep British music globally competitive
  5. Industry-wide action on climate change

Dr. Jo Twist, BPI Chief Executive OBE, said:

“It’s vital our industry is in sync with the exciting possibilities that the future brings, but also the challenges which could pose a threat to our shared prospects. Taking a collective approach in supporting human artistry and diverse talent, wherever they are across the UK, enabled by an environment where record labels can continue to invest in new music and innovate with confidence, is key to our future growth and success as a sector. 

“What comes through in everything that we do is the essential need to put humans – and human creativity – front and centre, and that creativity should be rewarded and valued. If we are to be sustainable we need diverse people, supported throughout their careers, to be driving our future - not innovation in technology alone.

“We are grateful to all our expert contributors and performers for their valuable time and expert insights, to the BPI’s organising team, and to the hundreds of attendees, who we hope found the event as illuminating and energising as we did.”

The event, held at Leake Street in London’s Waterloo, featured keynote moments and panels across three Talent, Fan Engagement, and Sustainability sessions, and heard from a range of experts drawn from education, record labels, media platforms, tech start-ups, and sustainability advocates. These included Stuart Worden (BRIT School) and Matt Sheldon (ELAM), Ed Newton Rex (Fairly Trained), Fay Milton (Music Declares Emergency), and sustainability champion, Louis VI.  There were contributions from Alison Tickell (Julie’s Bicycle), April Sotomayor (BAFTA Albert), Rebecca Allen (EMI Records co-President), Christine Osazuwa (Shoobs), Dave Pichilingi (Modern Sky UK and US), Elton Jackson (Sony Music UK), Hanna Kahlert (MIDiA), John Service (Key Production), Jess Iszatt (BBC Introducing), Jennifer Estaris (Ustwo), Róisín Warner (Blackstar), Stuart Dredge (Music Ally) and Vabyanti Endrojono-Ellis (Warner Music International).

Keynote speaker, Ed Newton-Rex said: "Generative AI competes with the work it's trained on, so it should license that data. The exploitation of people's work to train generative AI models without permission will do untold damage to the creative industries and to human artistry."

The day concluded with a closing address by Thangam Debbonaire MP, Shadow Secretary of State for DCMS, who pledged that any incoming Labour administration would work closely with the music and creative industries.

Innovation companies Hawkr, Into-It, and Reactional Music were present with demo stands.