It’s great to finally be on board and I’m immensely proud to be joining the team at this dynamic company. The first thing to get straight is that my name is pronounced the Japanese way, “Now-Me”, since I’m Tokyo-born with a Japanese mother. (But if you forget, don’t worry, I’ll answer to pretty much any variation). My father was Scottish, so after moving around a lot as a child, Glasgow became home for a good rainy chunk of my teenage years. The vibrant music scene there was where I developed my love of gig-going and I even had my own extremely embarrassing band for a hot minute.
Music went on the backburner somewhat while I slaved away for a History degree at Oxford University, but I did find time to start DJing, at parties and more often on student radio. After graduating I moved back to Glasgow for a year and worked as an assistant to a local character with fingers in many, many pies, including the successful techno label Soma Records, a music production company called Digital Music Design, and a music/urban culture show on BBC Radio Scotland. It was fun and exciting, but, keen to enter the music industry in London, I jumped at the chance of joining the MCPS Licensing department. There I negotiated all kinds of synch licences on behalf of our publisher members. MCPS and PRS were at the time thrashing out pioneering on-line licences for the emerging digital music market and I remember attending staff tutorials on the distinction between streaming and downloading!
My next gig was as Licensing Manager at Rykomusic Ltd, an independent publishing company. I got my head around the publishing business and started licensing for the Rykodisc label too, where I had the pleasure of working with some brilliant colleagues. Some of them you will definitely have heard of: Colleen Theis, Tricia Arnold, Nic Rizzi anyone?! One of the catalogues we sub-published at Ryko was that of World Circuit, and when Ryko was bought I moved on to work for World Circuit across their label, publishing and film divisions. Starting the Buena Vista Social Club trademark licence business, building World Circuit’s digital reach, negotiating artists and writer deals, and licensing in catalogue are some of the areas I focused on. Eventually I became General Manager and it was whilst in that role that I heard about this opportunity at The Orchard — which brings me right up to date!