After many years in senior executive positions at major labels, Isabel Garvey came on as managing director of Abbey Road Studios, the oldest recording studio in the world, in 2014. In that time she has expanded the mission of a recording studio and focused on attracting "artists earlier in their careers—those who might assume we're not that accessible," says Garvey. That has entailed opening two smaller pop studios that can be rented at drastically lower price points and, in October 2017, launching the first free songwriting app, called Topline (which attracted 9,000 downloads in the first six months).
Under Garvey's leadership, Abbey Road is also breaking into the tech world; in 2015 she and her team launched the music business incubator Abbey Road Red; so far, 14 of the emerging companies have raised more than $20 million. "We've added four AI businesses to our incubator," says Garvey, with two of them being used by artists at Abbey Road. Next up: Tackling gender inequality at the sound board. The people running the creative sessions remain 98% male, and Garvey—who has populated the business side of Abbey Road with an even split of men and women—is intent on giving "the incredibly talented female engineers and producers more visibility."