“We have to shift perceptions”: Milly Olykan on the Country Music Association’s Global Masterplan

"We have to shift perceptions": Milly Olykan on the Country Music Association's Global Masterplan

For a number of years now, Music Week has been reporting extensively about the rise and rise (and rise) of country music in the UK – including the leaps and bounds made by artists such as Kacey MusgravesKelsea Ballerini and Carrie Underwood – and Milly Olykan has also played a huge role in that.

Formerly working as AEG’s VP of live music and major arena events, Olykan developed in-house commercial content programmes for The O2 in London and, crucially, was the founding festival director and co-promoter of Country To Country Festival, as well as contributing to the launch of Country Music Week.

Last year, she left AEG to embark upon a new role: VP of international relations and development at the CMA – a recently-introduced role in the storied history of the organisation introduced to help country music develop around the world.

Eight months into her role, Olykan spoke exclusively to Music Week about the global picture of country music in 2019 and her goals.