Women in MI: Emilie Birks, Marketing Channel Strategy at Yamaha Music Europe GmbH


Emilie has over 14 years of marketing experience, with UK, international and global companies. In her current role, Emilie is responsible for specifying, agreeing and executing the European digital marketing strategy within the Yamaha Music European business.

She is also internationally recognised as an expert within her field. In 2020, Emilie was a finalist in the Media category for a Women of the Future Award (WoF), and was highly commended in the Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Marketing (Brand) category from Global Women in Marketing (WiM).

Here, we find out about Emilie’s journey in the MI industry, her long-term goals, her inspirations and more…

What was the last gig that you attended before lockdown, and who has been your new favourite artist discovered through lockdown?

Sadly it was so long ago! The last live gig I attended was back in January 2020 at a Warehouse show near downtown Vancouver in Canada seeing some local artists. I started my career in live music, and it’s absolutely devastating to see how Covid-19 has impacted this sector. However, thanks to the Internet, I’ve been able to discover a tonne of new artists during the last year– I have 2 new favourites.

Charlotte Lawrence is an LA based artist and in 2020 she released her latest EP ‘Charlotte’ which I’ve had on repeat for the last couple of months. A very talented young musician, songwriter and singer. I’m looking forward to more from her in the future.

And secondly, Tom Grennan, a UK based artist who just catapulted to the top of everyone’s playlists with his latest duet with Ella Henderson ‘Let’s Go Home Together’. It’s been my most played track the last few days and I can’t wait for his new album that drops March 12th!

Both artists are my ‘ones to watch’ in 2021.

Tell us a bit about your journey so far in the MI industry?

I started out in the live music scene in London, working and putting on shows at venues such as Fabric, SeOne & Matter with artists like Calvin Harris, Chase & Status, Magnetic Man & Tinie Tempah to name a few. I quickly realised that music was my calling, diverted my focus to working with artists more closely and pivoted my career to artist management where I was on the teams of some of the biggest names in dance music at the time; The Bloody Beetroots, Benny Benassi, Crookers & Delta Heavy.

About 6 years ago, I wanted to grow the scope of my influence, from a small number of artists and their crafts, to being able to change and shift mindsets about music across the world.

I joined Yamaha Music and quickly progressed to now being part of both of the brand teams in Europe and Global. I am so proud to be working with such visionary teams, especially today, as we launch our own campaign on International Women’s Day, #WomenWhoMakeWaves which can be found here:

What are your long-term goals?

I have two key principles on which I centre my efforts around; the empowerment of women and releasing the true benefit of individuals. To bring the most I can to these subjects, I am committing myself to being the best in my career so that I can provide a senior and inspiring voice to others.

My next few steps on this journey will be: aiming to be the best marketer I can be through training and certifications, mastering the art of storytelling and narrating, and eventually graduating to a more senior position so that I can become more influential, ultimately to inspire others.

Wherever I am in my life, I hope to always be able to contribute to these areas.

Who inspires you?

My late mother, Sheridan, is my biggest inspiration, my role model and the reason that I am who I am today.

What is your ‘why’?

I am driven to do what I can, with and through the world of music, to leave the world a better place than I found it and inspire the next generation of women in music and business… And if I feel lost or not sure of my path, I take guidance from my favourite poem: ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling, which inspires me and reminds me to be kind, be encouraging and keep my positive attitude, no matter what life throws at me.