24th October - Survey images ref
















24th October - Spice Girls branded products





















24th October - Reply from Gemma Calvert - referred to by Maria Coole Look Magazine

Gemma also works for Look magazine as an assistant editor, and maria felt it would be more appropriate if Gemma answered my questions because she had more experience within the music industry, which was lovely of Maria to do.

Hi Charlotte,

Here are the answers to the questions you wanted me to ask. Best of luck with your dissertation.

Best wishes,


In your role as acting assistant editor you are exposed to lots of daily gossip, fashion and artists – some established and some that have come from talent shows e.g XFactor. Do you think that artists that have come from talent contests have had their image decided for them by the show?

The contestants that appear on talent shows like the X Factor are first of all shown in their own clothes, often in their own environment and this is a good indication of the person and image that they are trying to portray for themselves. For the live shows the finalists are given access to a style team who are there to help with hair, make up and clothing. This is obviously because the contestants are going to be on live TV so make up and styled hair is important for the overall impact of the show. In my experience the team works closely with the contestant to enhance their own image and it's often at this time where contestants are given professional advice about new trends and ideas that they hadn't considered before. 

Have you interviewed artists or written about artists from the start of their career and again as they have become more successful? If so did you think their image/attitude had changed since they started out? Had a brand been ‘built’ for them?

In my previous role at another magazine, as entertainment editor and continuing now in my current role I've interviewed many celebrities. I've interviewed new artists who haven't made it past the first year and also those who are starting out and have continued to be more successful. Inevitably as they progress as an artist and with more experience of the industry their image alters, they are open to more ideas and have access to more fashion than they did before they were famous. In terms of attitude, this entirely depends on the individual. Sometimes celebrities are created into a brand, for example Kim Kardashian who has built an empire on her own range of make up, fake tan, perfume etc. 

When you are interviewing people do you find that there is always someone from the management team present? Have you come across situations where you have asked a question and the management team have stepped in to stop them answering it?

It is usual for a member of the celebrity's publicity team to be present at the interview location, although they don't always sit in on the actual interview. In my experience, the publicist more often than not lets the interview take place in a natural environment. I have however been in situations where the celebrity's publicist has intervened, explaining that their client won't be answering the question that I have asked, however it's usually the celebrity who explains this before the publicist if they're unhappy about a line of approach.

Recently XFactor is published in all magazines and papers, what do you think it is about this year? Is it how they look and what they wear? There attitudes, or being controlled and told what to do by there management teams?

Since the start of the X Factor there has been huge publicity in magazines and newspapers. Any programme which pulls in 11million or more viewers on a weekend is clearly loved by the nation so print press cover the contestants and the show to give the readers more information and access than they can get just by watching the programme on the telly. For Look, the style, hair and make up of the X Factor contestants during the live shows are of huge interest because many of our readers want to know how to recreate the looks themselves.

If you had to answer my dissertation question in your unbiased opinion, who do you think creates the brand for an artist – the label or the artist

This is impossible to answer one way or the other and is very much based on each individual case. An artist will have their own ideas about who they are, how they wish to appear to the wider audience, their image, their sound and their message. Stronger, more influential artists – Lady Gaga and Madonna for example – are unlikely to let anyone dominate these areas unless they are totally in agreement. Of course any management company, publicity team and record label worth their salt will use their experience to advise any artist about the direction they should be going in, and some artists inevitably will be influenced more greatly.

Gemma Calvert
Acting Assistant Editor

23rd October - Reply from Rikki Loney

Rikki Loney, kindly replyed to my email. He was in the final 12 and made it to live shows in the X Factor.

Before the Xfactor did you have your own style, and would you have changed your style to get a record deal or become successful? And why? (music, attitudes, looks, hairstyles, clothes etc) 

Before the X factor i was already working in the industry to get noticed ext, so style was important to me and it was very important when i was on the x factor. Standing out was a key factor.

Before Xfactor how long had you been trying to get into the music industry, and at what point did you accept to go on a talent contest? Had you been on any other talent contests before?

I had trained in london from the age of 15, so attempting in the industry was always in my path. after having many knock backs and failed proposals, i decided that reality tv was a way to break into it and develop more knowledge as well the vital prize....A REDORD CONTRACT! I had appeared on the Micheal Barrymore show when i was younger and stars in their eyes Kids when i was younger again .

How far did you get in Xfactor?

Final 12

When you appeared on Xfactor how controlling were the management team?

The Managment team do not full become involved until you have left the competition, e.g., eliminated. 

Did you feel they created a brand for you, and did they determine what clothes you wore and what makeup to have

I created my own brand and they were happy for me to evolve that throughout the competition,

Did you have any say in what you could wear for your performances? E.g were they your own clothes or high street/ designer labels that have branded links to the show

The styling was done by the amazing stylist Faye Saywer , who really let me be who i wanted to be, some weeks id wear my own shoes, but most designers and brands want marketing through the show, so they will send lots of clothes, aswell as the stylist going to stores etc.

Were you allowed to make certain choices for yourself? If so please give an example

Yes, for example, i wanted to wear my own vintage shoes. Each week you have two or three options. Cheryl would tell us just to choose. 

Since the Xfactor, how had your life changed, what has happened?

Since the X factor, i have worked very hard behind the scenes writing all over the world. I toured most of uk doing pa's and shows ext. I voiced a voiceover in the usa where i had been living since recently.

Have you carried on your music career now and do you have management? 


If so how much control do you have now, in what you do, and where you go?


Branding is key in the music industry, but who determines the brand the artist or the management/label: 
Who do you think determines the brand? 

I think branding is developed by all involved. Obviously the label in some cases brands the artist fully, but these days, i think its the artist who operates the branding 




17th October - Reply from Laura Whitmore (MTV)

I done work experience beginning of this summer for MTV, and Laura Whitmore was a contact there because she is a presenter for MTV, so i had her email. I also met her backstage at V festival back in the summer.

In your role as a presenter you are exposed to lots of different artists – some established and some that have come from talent shows. Do you think that artists that have come from talent contests have had their image decided for them by the show?

It’s hard to assume anything as I didn’t know them beforehand. I do always feel sorry for the artists who have suddenly been thrown into the spotlight without any preparation. I interviewed Rebecca Fergusson yesterday and she said during her stint on the show she was adamant to keep her own personal style but that a lot of other contestants just with what they are told to wear

Have you interviewed artists from the start of their career and again as they have become more successful? If so did you think their image/attitude had changed since they started out? Had a brand been ‘built’ for them?

I interviewed Katy Perry before ‘I kissed a girl’ and she definitely has become more polished and a bigger star since then and she has a bigger entourage when I see her now…but she was always very pretty and confident from the beginning.

When you are interviewing people do you find that there is always someone from the management team present? Have you come across situations where you have asked a question and the management team have stepped in to stop them answering it?

ALL the time. The management can be very protective. Luckily I know a lot of the management so they know I’m never going to put an artist in a compromising position

When you applied for the role as an MTV news presenter, did you feel that you would have to change any aspect of yourself (look, accent, clothes, attitude) in order to successfully win the contract over the other people that applied for the role?

No as I already was very sure of who I was as a person. I was 22 and knew what my style was. They either were going to like it or not. You can’t change who you are completely as that’s not staying true to yourself. It’s like wearing a mask.

If you had to answer my dissertation question in your unbiased opinion, who do you think creates the brand for an artist – the label or the artist?

In a lot of cases the label has an image in their head and they have a lot of control. A lot of artists have some say and it can be a collaborative thing but overall the label has a lot of power.

13th October - Quotes from books

11th October - Reply from Maria Coole and Aubin Reid

I will now email her some questions to answer!


1. Do you have management? If yes, how controlling are they? do you feel pushed into 
doing things your not comfortable in doing?

yes I have a manager. He is controlling when it comes to me being places at the right time i.e studio, gigs and auditions but when it comes to the actual music I have the control as he very much believes in my music anyway, obviously he has an opinion which I trust and take into account. If i'm not comfortable with something he would'nt force me to do it.

2. What have your management company done for you, that has been successful? 

Vasically he built me a website and arranged filming for videos which I get feedback on and other knock on effects like gigs and collaborations with other artists. He also pays for my studio time to put projects together.

3. Have you created a brand for yourself, how do people know you?

My real name is Damien Murdoch so Aubin Reid is the brand. I think of it all as a product or a package so to speak. I play piano and guitar so am very all rounded as an artist. People know me from networking at gigs and from youtube videos and I've been singing in my city for a long time so am quite well known here in Southampton. I've also recently just got back from Los Angeles so word just gets around the more places you go.

4. Would You Change Your Style To Get A Record Deal Or Become Successful? 

No I don't think I'd change my style as you are who you are and you need to stick with that and believe in that if I got myself into a position of a record deal then it's me that got me there so why would I need to change anything?

5. How long have you been trying to get into the music industry, and would you accept talent contests such as Xfactor for exposure?

I've been trying since january to get into the music industry. I've always sang but I learnt guitar and started writing my own stuff. Basically my manager showed belief in me at the start of this year and started piecing a project together. I've been invited to all three talent shows i.e x factor, Britain's got talent and The Voice. The only audition I went to was The Voice as a close friend is working there as a scout and said it would be a good thing for me to do and I trust her.

11th October - Reply from Benedict Cork, tutorial time

Let me know if you need any more information.
Hope these answers are helpful, good luck!

Would You Change Your Style To Get A Record Deal Or Become Successful? (attitudes, looks, hairstyles, clothes etc) 

I personally wouldn't because I wouldn't feel comfortable changing myself to please other people. However, I am aware how hard it can be when you don't fit the 'mould' or people continually tell you to change yourself for success.

How long have you been trying to get into the music industry, and would you accept talent contests such as Xfactor for exposure?

I left school around a year and a half ago and have loved taking the long journey and doing it the hard way. Talent contests like the X Factor are great entertainment but unfortunately they don't guarantee longevity or credibility in what is a very judgemental industry. I'd much rather try and fail the hard way!

What have your management company done for you? 

Twenty First Artists have been great at being so supportive and helpful in introducing me into the industry however they have also given me the freedom to still live and be a teenager! I think it's so crucial to find the right balance between work life and social life, I'm still learning that for sure!

What have you already appeared on for exposure? And was this through you or the management? 

Performing for the Queen as a backing vocalist for Joss Stone was pretty crazy! That was actually through my vocal coach Mark De-lisser, who conducted the ACM Gospel Choir for the gig. I've also been lucky enough to work with SBTV through an online conversation with the owner, Jamal Edwards. He's great at supporting new emerging artists!

Do you think your management take control over you? Or is it a 50/50 say? 

I'd say it's definitely a 50/50 say if not more they allow me to make my own mistakes so that I can learn from them and become a better artist. They are very good at guiding me without being suffocating!
Branding is key in the music industry, but who determines the brand the artist or the management/label? 

Who do you think determines the brand?
I definitely feel the artist should determine the brand with guidance and careful observation from experienced industry representatives like management/labels. However the origins of a brand could also derive from collaborations with other artists musicaly and visually aswell as investment
from business or entrepreneurs who may have experience in other areas.

Mob: +447980096218 
Tweet: @BenedictMusic 
Web: www.BenedictMusicOfficial.com




  • Leave the lead question for now
  • Look at what an industry is/how and what it functions
  • Whats particular about it? (particular setup)

Look at "The culture industry" (Theodor Adorno)
  • Think about it as the industry - its a system thats set up
  • How does the artist fit into this - looking to produce mass culture
  • How someone is packaged and branded
  • He anyalses to the contemporary time
  • Theorie

  • Why are people so obsessed with the artist?
  • The theme as a popstar as an image/in our faces

Important i read other people studies - literature 
  • I took 4 books out of the libary today i will begin to pick the most imporant parts needed

Today I also through Facebook again, have Rikki Loney as my friend who took part in the Xfactor a couple years ago. He has agreed to anwser some questions for me.