/ / Music Consultant

MUSIC CONSULTANT - Tris Penna

Tris is a record producer and broadcaster whose career in music stretches over three decades.

Born in Redruth, Cornwall, the son of one of the very last Cornish tin miners, Tris survived the local comprehensive school, escaping to the North East London Polytechnic in Dagenham, where he didn't get a degree in Cultural Studies (too busy imbibing London to be force fed Marx/Engels/Gramsci by bearded types) meaning his first real job was part-time in the Bond Street HMV Shop. Having auditioned and failed to be a singer in one of Malcolm McLaren’s bands – there was only one thing for it, the post-room at Chappell Music Publishers (vacancy found in the Wardour Street Job Centre). These were the heady days before nepotism and internships took hold, when free school meal kids could carve out a legitimate career for themselves based on ambition, grit and a dollop of talent. All three of which, along with his insane passion for music, led Tris to a decade with EMI Records, where ultimately, following his working closely with such British artists as Paul McCartney, Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Morrissey, Marc Almond, David Bowie and Dusty Springfield, he became Head of A+R. A further ten years was spent as Andrew Lloyd Webber's group creative director as well as running The Really Useful Group music companies, where he was responsible for 'No Matter What' the biggest hit single of Lloyd Webber's career, before he joined Sony Music as a senior A+R Director. Tris has most recently produced Sheridan Smith's debut album and was Creative Director for her recent acclaimed solo UK tour. He has also been involved for many soundtrack and cast albums, including Trainspotting, Romeo and Juliet, Dreamgirls and Sunny Afternoon and has originated and is co-producing a brand new musical based on the life of his friend Dusty Springfield.

With his encyclopaedic musical knowledge and an interest in commenting on all things cultural, Tris has enjoyed broadcasting, latterly producing and co-presenting his own documentary series for BBC Radio 4 and 2. His programme Exploring Life on Mars? won Best Music Production at the 2018 BBC Music and Radio Awards.