An interview with Megan Riley – founder of the M Word Music Blog

Hi Megan, what is your profession?

I am currently a student and I run a music blog called The M Word.

How did the blog come about?

I had moved in with my boyfriend temporarily for Lockdown (I’m still here a year later!) and I was finding I wanted more to do with my time. I study English Language and Creative writing at UCLAN and I had done some freelance work for Musik Magazine. I started to get a lot of requests through from people wanting to work with just me. So I thought maybe I could do this myself and that’s when the blog was born! I struggled with the name for a while because I wanted to have my name somewhere in it. The M Word Music Blog came to mind and the rest is history!

The M Word champions new musicians, why do you feel this important?

I think it is so important because everyone has to start somewhere and by creating all of these platforms where musicians can have their music reviewed or featured, we are in turn helping them to become who they want to be. They have the opportunity to grow their fan base and be discovered by new people who may not have come across their music before.

How can musicians be featured on the blog?

There isn’t really any criteria for my blog but we prefer for musicians to send their music via email because we are inundated with message requests on Instagram. It’s really helpful when artists sent an electronic press kit or press release. If not, a short bio alongside pictures and links are great. It saves a lot of time on my end!

When did your interest in music begin?

I’d truly have to say that lockdown takes all the credit! I have always loved music but having extra time on my hands has allowed me to start things I wouldn’t have normally been able to do. The M Word Music Blog was the start of all this, and then I was offered a radio show slot on Indie Rocks which I have had to halt temporarily. I also organized my own music festival but due to coronavirus guidelines, this has been postponed too! I do some part time work for a record label and I have set-up my own management and PR company for artists which has been so much fun! My boyfriend plays in a band and initially, I wanted to help expand their fan base. I was further inspired by all the artist managers I know doing such a great job. Shout out to Connor who manages Bandit, Jay from Pillar Artists and John from Vanquish music. I’m hoping that this will enhance my CV and give me more experience to land a full-time job in music once I graduate.

Wow! You have been busy. What does artist management entail?

I’m no expert but most days I am sending emails to radio stations, labels, blogs and trying to get my artists on show line-ups. Essentially, I am always seeking opportunities which will help the artists I manage grow.

What sort of music do you listen to?

I have to say my music taste is constantly changing and evolving. I love indie/dance/rock but lately I have been getting into punk music too. I’d love to shout out the incredible Greysha who I came across a while ago when reviewing her single on my blog because I now have the pleasure of managing her! It’s so difficult to pick a few artists which I love as there are so many but I’m loving Greysha, YONAKA, Pseudo Cool, Lime Garden, Taxi with Strangers, Bandit, San Francisco, Courting, Hotel Lux, Foals, The Snuts, Baby Queen and Goat Girl. I’ll have to stop myself there or I could go on all day!

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected you personally?

I know I’m not the only one but COVID has completely affected my life. I’d go as far to say that it has even been life changing! I moved in with my boyfriend and his family back in March and I thought I’d only be here for a short while but I’m still here! They have been very kind and supportive but university work has been so difficult during the pandemic. It is hard to concentrate when you are not in the university environment and there has been a lack of communication with the university. Of course, I miss my family and friends so much but it’s been lovely to spend valuable time with my partner and I wouldn’t change that for anything. In relation to my work, I’ve noticed that artists are keen to sign with management because there is a great opportunity for artists to be heard during lockdown as listeners are all at home seeking new music to discover.

Finally, what are your hopes for the future?

I hope to carry on with what I’m currently doing in the music industry. I’d love to work for Warner or Spotify – dreaming big! Or maybe even Scruff of the Neck. In terms of personal goals, I really want to travel the world, hopefully with my boyfriend or some good friends, have a nice flat with a golden puppy and be very content with the life I lead. That’s the goal, as soppy as it sounds.