You manage our India-based clients and releases. What the #&@$ does that entail, exactly?
I do! And I work with labels in the subcontinent as well — countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and a few clients in the Middle East. I’m responsible for both the Label and Retail side of things. We’ve got close to 100 labels that I work with in the regions mentioned above, with new ones being added regularly. Dealing with them all is crazy hectic but amazing at the same time, as they come from different cultures, speak various languages and in general have very different styles of working!
Like what kind of styles? Can you give us an idea of how working with a label in South Asia is different to working with one in the UK or US?
Well for instance, a lot my communication with some of the smaller regional labels happens telephonically rather than regular mails. I often find this to be more effective with them when trying to get things done. The one thing that most of our labels in these regions do need to improve on is the way they schedule/plan their releases. Lead time is a rare thing here! Something that we’ve been trying hard to achieve.
From an industry point of view, our labels’ digital revenues still come in predominantly from mobile VAS services like ringback tones. YouTube revenues are also a sizeable piece of the pie. However, the focus on the digital business other than mobile VAS is definitely increasing. Our labels are getting more and more active with us and at a healthy pace I might add, which is great! With new services launching in India shortly, we’ll have a much greater role to play in the region from a retail perspective. We are also close to finalising our contract with Gaana, India’s leading online streaming service.
We hear you’re a big deal in Bollywood and that your wife won one of the first Indian Female Band competitions over there. That must make for some interesting stories. Dish, please!
Ha ha — big deal in Bollywood, no way! I’m more of a behind the scenes guy…. I sing background vocals, arrange vocal harmonies, stuff like that for Bollywood Soundtracks among other genres — been at it since my college days. I love being part of the creative side of the music business as well, keeps me connected with the music, artists, producers… stuff like that. And yeah, my wife was part of the 1st BIG Indian all girl group called Viva that was formed by winners of a TV show on the lines of Popstars way back in 2002. During those years I was working as an A&R rep for the record label that produced their second album and that’s how we met! …the endless studio sessions definitely helped :)
You’re just a family of all-stars. Can’t wait to see how your kids turn out. Thanks for shedding light on what the #&@$ you do, Clint!
must-see Bollywood movie: I must admit… I’m not a big Bollywood fan, but we have been seeing some great alternative stuff of late with the new breed of Film directors. I’d recommend Rock On!, Luck By Chance, Delhi Belly, Rang De Basanti & Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara — all excellent films with great soundtracks!
favorite city to travel to: Tokyo, love the city for its ‘extreme’ modern way of living and yet you can still find a whole lot of great Japanese tradition as well. Two of my favourite things that I have from there are my tabi’s & a katana (the samurai sword)
music service or app you can’t live without: Jango app on my phone…. long time user.
random fact: I used to play state level football (soccer) before I started working in the music business…. good times :)