Shannon CottonComment

Shannon Cotton | Editor-in-Chief, Gigwise

Shannon CottonComment
Shannon Cotton | Editor-in-Chief, Gigwise
 
 

ON GETTING HER NEW POSITION…

I started working at Gigwise a few months after I graduated in June 2017, after studying Music Journalism at University for the Creative Arts. Initially I was Assistant to the company’s Director before changing to Deputy Editor after a few months when I started working on a lot more editorial content by default. When the magazine underwent a restructuring at the end of last year I was asked to become Editor-in-Chief.

ON A TYPICAL DAY OF WORK…

I usually wake up around 9am and send all of the emails I have drafted the night before and then head to our office. We focus a lot on live reviews on the site, so there’s usually new reviews to put up each day, as well as incoming news stories. I spend a lot of time organising passes for our contributors to gigs and festivals as well as getting advance copies of albums sent out so they can review them for the website. When I’m not woking on content-related stuff, I like to squeeze in a couple of meetings a week with publicists and sometimes brands to see how we can work together. My day in the office usually ends around 6pm, however I will 90% of the time head straight to a gig or an event in the evening. I find that it’s the best way to discover emerging bands and artists before most, and it’s key in creating exciting and fresh editorial for the site. 

THE RESOURCES SHE RECOMMENDS FOR ASPIRING CREATIVES…

LinkedIn is a great way of sourcing contacts when applying for creative jobs. You can also see people’s career paths on there, so if you’re unsure about how to get into the industry it can sometimes be inspiring to see how other people have done it. Instagram has also been pretty instrumental for me in making friends in the industry, it’s also become a great portfolio platform for our visual contributors to send me.

ON HER IDOLS AND INSPIRATION…

It may sound cliche, but my biggest idols are my friends. I’m so lucky to have met so many inspiring people through university and work. There can be so many struggles as a young creative, especially trying to survive in London, but we all have each other’s back and try to support each other in all of our endeavours. Seeing them do well not only makes me feel immensely proud, but also spurs me on to do the best I can.

ON HER FAVORITE PROJECT SHE'S WORKED ON...

One of my favourite projects was actually something I worked on when I was at university. For my final major project we were all tasked with creating a publication, I was still freelancing here and there for other magazines but I decided to put all of my time and energy into this and treat it like a full-time job. I managed to get one of my favourite bands, Sundara Karma, on the cover, shot exclusively at SXSW Festival in Austin Texas and conducted a bunch of exclusive interviews with people in music I really admired. Eventually after I handed the project in, I put some copies online and people from as far as China and Thailand bought it, which is crazy when you think it all started out as an idea in my bedroom in Epsom. It made me realise that nothing is completely out of the realms of possibility. 

ON HER FAVORITE ARTISTS AT THE MOMENT...

At the moment I’m really loving Sophie and the Giants. They’re a four-piece band based in Sheffield who specialise in eclectic and anthemic pop songs, with a more rock bite. I also really like Ugly, originally from Cambridge, they weave spaghetti western tinged tracks with more jangly indie tones. Sad Boys Club from London have got a indie inflected gloom-pop sound nailed, and I saw Irish punk purveyors The Murder Capital a couple of weeks ago and was completely blown away by their menacing stage presence. 

ON WHAT WAKES HER UP IN THE MORNING AND KEEPS HER UP AT NIGHT...

My alarm tends to be the first thing that wakes me up in the morning, but in all seriousness, the passion to find the next best band and tell absolutely everyone you know about them does a pretty good job of waking me up, and then going to see all these new bands play definitely keeps me up at night, way past my bedtime.  

SOME CAREER ADVICE... 

My advice would be to never be too ambitious. If there’s something you want to achieve then go for it, otherwise you’ll always be wondering what if. And if people tell you you’re dreaming too big, use that to motivate yourself to prove them wrong. 

ON THE MOST UNEXPECTED ASPECTS OF HER CAREER JOURNEY...

I’ve had some interesting interviews over the years. I once spent an afternoon with The Vamps and it was really interesting to see how the dynamics of being in a boyband played out, especially since I’m used to interviewing rock bands. Also getting to go to award shows like The Mercury Prize, that I grew up watching on TV, is pretty cool. It can get pretty surreal at times, but I try not to take any of it for granted. 

WORDS TO LIVE BY...

Nothing is impossible.

ON HER BIGGEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT...

Being made Editor-in-Chief at 23, is pretty mad. It’s everything I have been working towards for so long and I didn’t expect it would every happen, let alone this early on. 

ON BEING AN ENTREFEMMEUR...

To me, being an entrefemmeur means working as hard as you can while still being nice to people, supporting each other’s success but pushing yourself too. 

To learn more about Shannon, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

You can find more about Gigwise here.