My path into the music industry was not a standard route! When I was a teenager, in the early days of the Internet and 56k dial-up modems, I decided I would set up a website to blag my way into shows and get a few free CDs. When reviewing shows for the website I would take my camera along and take pictures of the artists (to scan and upload to the website). As I began to get better at using the camera, one of my images got found and used by Marshall Amps and I later became one of their more regular London-based live photographers.
Close to that time I would also go to shows to take pictures of a friend’s band called Reuben. One of the pictures I took got used on the band’s first single to be released through London-based independent label Xtra Mile Recordings. I sent a CV into their sister company, Press Counsel PR, and was brought in to look after online press at the company. During my time there, I handled the online press for Latitude Festival (Festival Republic), New Order, Capdown, Reuben and many more!
After a few years, my role grew and I was brought over to work on developing Xtra Mile Recordings with the Managing Director. My role was very diverse but largely focused on overseeing all digital aspects of running a record label, be that digital marketing, social media, online press, copy for our distributors, D2C, etc. When I started at the label we only had two artists and our focus was purely U.K. based but fast-forward to today and it now has a large roster of artists from all over the world and distribution in all of the major territories you would expect an international label to have! In my time there, I worked with Frank Turner (who we also managed), Against Me! and was influential in helping sign many of the labels roster including The Swellers, My Vitriol, Sonic Boom Six, Future of the Left, Straight Lines, HalfNoise (ex-Paramore), Far and The Xcerts to name only a few.
I have always had a keen interest in all aspects of digital media and music, so when I started speaking to Mark Denby [The Orchard's Director, Video Network and Marketing] about The Orchard towards the end of last year, it was the perfect fit!