In Conversation: Julie Weir, Bettina Richards & Vinita Joshi

Fri 12th February 2021
FREE (donations welcomed)

Supersonic x Swamp present… Spinning Plates

In Conversation: Julie Weir (SONY MUSIC), Bettina Richards (THRILL JOCKEY) & Vinita Joshi (ROCKET GIRL)
Friday 12 February 2021, 19:30 GMT
Live stream via YouTube


FREE (donations welcomed*)

*Whilst these conversations are free to watch, we ask if you’re in a position to, you please contribute what you can afford. Your donations will help to secure the future work of Supersonic, enabling us to support the artists we host and our freelance team. You can donate by buying our merch or making a donation.



Supersonic was founded and is led by womxn, one of our key aims is to be an inspiring space where womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating extraordinary new music are celebrated and recognised.


So we’ve teamed up with Swamp Booking, one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, to launch a series of talks that amplify the voices and experiences of womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music. Together, we’ll be exploring how to create a better working environment and a more cohesive scene, sharing wider perspectives first-hand whilst also focusing on more specific topics such as identity, collaboration, and the use of the body in live performances.


Despite some positive trends, gender disparity is still a major concern across the wider music industry. For example, PRS for Music’s membership remains heavily skewed towards men, with only 18.4% of members identifying as female. In 2019, the top 10 female songwriters/composers in the UK generated 67% less revenue via PRS for Music compared to their top 10 male counterparts. This revealed that women, even at the top of their field, receive less opportunities than men for their music to be heard and performed.


With this in mind, together with Swamp, we’re delighted to share with you the fourth instalment of the series, entitled Spinning Plates, on Friday 12 February 2021. Hosted once again by journalist, Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley, this time we hear from Julie Weir (Head of A&R Music For Nations, Sony Music), Bettina Richards (Thrill Jockey founder) and Vinita Joshi (Rocket Girl Founder), all of who have over two decades of experience in the record industry.

Spinning their many plates, making their own rules and carving their own path in the music industry – we’re all ears for these formidable label heads. This panel will explore how Julie, Bettina & Vinita have navigated their way through the business. They’ll be sharing insights from their early beginnings to their greatest achievements in running successful music labels, not forgetting the challenges that come with it. Above all, these womxn are huge fans of music and have contributed boundlessly to the ecology of music-making on an international scale. From across a range of genres and scenes, these label heads have been rewriting the rules of the industry.

JULIE WEIR (Head of A&R Music For Nations, Sony Music) has been in the industry for over 25 years from humble beginnings in a record store in Leeds, through to running club nights in the city. After moving to London to do an MA, she began to work in the industry as a merchandising manager for independent label Cacophonous, moving up to label manager. She set up Visible Noise (an independent rock label designed to support and nurture young UK guitar bands, as a reaction to the influx from the US) in 1998 and signed acts such as Bullet for my Valentine and Bring Me The Horizon. Alongside Visible Noise, she ran Wiseblood management, worked across music sync, publishing and branding, and set up Subverse (the UK’s first truly all ages rock and metal club with live bands…). In April 2016 she decided to take the leap and move to Sony Music to be the Label Head and resurrect the legendary Music For Nations, where she is currently working with Artists such as Tool, Amon Amarth, Bury Tomorrow, Killswitch Engage amongst others.


BETTINA RICHARDS is the founder of Thrill Jockey, an independent record label established in 1992 from her New York apartment. After having her fill of the major-label A&R game for Atlantic Records, she’s spent 28 years building Thrill Jockey from the ground up – it’s now one of the world’s most respected and successful indie labels. She’s currently based in Chicago, the hometown of early signings like Tortoise and the Sea and Cake and has since gifted some firm favourites to our Supersonic line-ups, for example, Daniel Higgs, Wooden Shjips, The Body and Yunohana Variations. “We release records because we are compelled by them — we just can not help ourselves. I am straight edge (well, I drink coffee ) but I get ridiculous when I am enamoured by some music. Giddy. The most important thing is, that we do all we can to advocate for the musician in a manner that fits their musical message. The politics of a 50% profit share are also very very important — and will never change.”

VINITA JOSHI launched Rocket Girl Records into the atmosphere in 1997. She’s since enjoyed over two decades orbiting the music industry having established one of the premier UK independent labels; the glorious result of a music lover releasing music for music lovers. Nestling under the wing of the influential Cheree Records and then co-founding an offshoot label Che Records in 1990, Vinita finally established her own record label, Rocket Girl in 1997. Within weeks of the label’s inception, Rocket Girl released a 7” split single by Silver Apples / Windy & Carl, to coincide with the Silver Apples’ sold-out European tour booked by Vinita herself. Hot on the heels of the Silver Apples / Windy & Carl 7”, 1998 saw the release of Rocket Girl’s first full-length album – ‘A Tribute to Spacemen 3’ – a celebration of the pioneers of drone, with offerings from (the then largely unknown) Mogwai, Arab Strap, Piano Magic, and Low, among others. In today’s digital world of streaming and disposable MP3s, Rocket Girl can be relied upon to produce records with a quality of artwork and packaging reflecting the precious music within.


Swamp Booking is a booking agency representing bands from across the globe in Europe, UK and Latin America.
Swamp Booking was founded by Riccardo Biondetti in Berlin in 2012. Since its foundation, Swamp has grown to become one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, promoting some of the most cutting edge artists in rock and experimental music and paving the way for new and compelling acts. Nowadays, Swamp Booking is well known in the music community for the consistency and diversity of its roster, and for having a finger on the pulse of the underground.