Paul Pacifico

CEO, Saudi Music Commission

Paul Pacifico

Paul Pacifico is CEO of The Saudi Music Commission.

He is the former CEO of the London, England-headquartered Association of Independent Music (AIM), where he worked from 2016 to 2022.

He plays the harmonica professionally and has worked with artists including Quincy Jones and Nile Rodgers.

Paul Pacifico: Career history

Paul Pacifico commenced his professional career in the banking industry, holding positions at Investec and Penumbra Partners from 1998-2005.

While working at Penumbra in 2003, Pacifico founded a music consultancy firm called Specific Music. He left Penumbra in 2005 to focus on this music venture.

Pacifico founded Specific Music to create and deliver custom-written music for artists, labels, charities, venues, and other clients.

The company’s clients include Aston Martin, Yamaha, Sanofi, and EMI Records, among others. Specific Music has also worked with artists including Stevie Wonder, James Morrison, Jocelyn Brown, and Philip Bailey. Despite Pacifico’s ongoing roles at other companies, he remains a General Manager with Specific Music. 

In 2013, Pacifico was appointed as a Director and later CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC). FAC is a non-profit British trade body that defends the rights and interests of music artists. In coordination with FAC and other related music bodies, the International Artist Organization (IAO) was founded and Pacifico became its founding President. 

In essence, IAO is a collective body that acts similarly to FAC, but for other countries beyond the UK. They notably work on policy decisions that might impact the music industry and lobby on behalf of European music artists. IAO also serves to educate artists on their rights and how the music industry might try to take advantage of them. Pacifico remained with the FAC and IAO in an active role until 2016.

Towards the end of 2016, Pacifico was appointed as CEO of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), a non-profit trade body that focuses on the UK’s independent music sector.

AIM supports and promotes artists and labels both politically and personally, offering research about topics including alternative music consumption means, label services, and commercial opportunities. AIM also provides education and training to artists and labels, infrastructure to connect members looking for advice, networking opportunities, and an exclusive commercial opportunity pool. AIM represents over 800 music companies and Pacifico remains in the CEO role.  

While at AIM, Pacifico has served as a Director and offered strategic advice for several other companies. He was a Director of the Creative Industries Federation from 2018 through 2019 and presently operates as a Strategic Advisor and Board Member. Creative Industries Federation (now Creative UK) is an advocacy body for the UK’s arts sector, including but not limited to firms specializing in cultural education and fine arts.

Other endeavors that Pacifico has involved himself with include WIN for Music, UK Music Ltd., and the English National Ballet.

“It is truly remarkable to see the level of support and the pace of change within Saudi Arabia as it builds a strong music sector for all to participate in. The opportunity to help in that journey is a huge privilege.”

Paul Pacifico, speaking in November 2022

In November 2022, Pacifico confirmed he was becoming CEO of The Saudi Music Commission.

Speaking at the time, Pacifico said: “Time and time again, music has been shown to be a  powerful and sustainable enabler across both cultural and commercial development.

“It is truly remarkable to see the level of support and the pace of change within Saudi Arabia as it builds a strong music sector for all to participate in. The opportunity to help in that journey is a huge privilege.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Music Commission to build a vibrant, inclusive and effective  music sector as a key part of the ongoing cultural transformation in the Kingdom, led by the Ministry of  Culture.”Music Business Worldwide

Paul Pacifico In The News

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