Bonjour! I hear we have you to thank for the amazing French translations on our website and Workstation… Aside from that, what the #&@$ do you do?
It’s one of the advantages of being a French native; I can speak and write quite good French, but on the other side I think I will keep all my life an incredible French accent in English…
Apart from translating a lot of things from English to French (blurbs, contracts, Facebook ads…) and also translating on the other side from French to Frenglish, I work on a daily basis with around 30 French-speaking labels from France, Switzerland and Belgium, helping them with the Workstation, metadata, digital strategy, release date, pricing, Spotify playlists, presenting their releases to our retail team, helping them to get an EIN from the IRS, …
On the other side I also try to help our bands and artists from all over the world to get a better set up in France by talking with their labels, French agents, French indie PR, journalists… I write the French monthly newsletter (en français!!), which is sent to 400 people in the French business, as part of this process. The other goal is to accelerate The Orchard’s notoriety here in France and it’s already progressing as people start now to pronounce our name correctly instead of Ze Orkard!!
I dunno… Ze Orkard has its appeal… never underestimate the power of the French accent on the rest of the world!
What kind of labels do you work with?
I have so far a quite large range of labels and music, from Classical music (Alia Vox, Claves, Saphir, VDE-Gallo) to French catalog (Isis, RDV Digital — one of our biggest catalog labels) but also international catalogs (Plaza Mayor), Relaxation music (Fonda-Mental), Brazilian music (Urban Jungle — big up to Olivier de Simone!) and we just signed recently with some labels representing exciting new French Acts (DBTH, Deaf Rock Records). I try to do my best to help sign more great French music, talking regularly to many producers, managers, agents and promoters I met when I was previously working at French indie label naïve for 10 years.
In a few words I’m the French guy in the French office trying to help The Orchard’s Frenchyfication.
Hear, hear! Speaking of which… I hear you’ve already worked with Colleen Theis, Tricia Arnold and Nic Rizzi… Come on, dish the dirt. We know you have some.
Indeed I had the chance to work with these amazing people during almost 8 years, from Ryko to ADA Global, when I was at naïve, first in charge of the promo for their labels, then as a Label Manager. It was hard work but good fun, so I’m happy we all followed Colleen to The Orchard. I also had the chance to meet Michael Black during these years, which reminds me of some interesting meetings with my Vice President at naïve and his famous Frenglish words “In the wall we go, in the wall!!” I still don’t know how Colleen achieved not to burst into laughter. On Nic’s side I remember going to a very small venue in the suburb of Paris to see one of his punk rock bands — 20 people in the venue… I must admit I felt a little bit all alone when it was time to come and say hello to the band… (I was almost ready to do like the PR in Spinal Tap). And I think Tricia should be happy I now work on the digital side after thousands of emails always asking “Do you have stock? When will you have stock? When it will be shipped…”
Not to go all secret service on you, but we’ve received some intel that you’ve been going out for a smoke more and more these days… Are you just being French or is there some suspicious Mad Men debauchery going on there?
Well.. It has become quite a joke between Ben [Oldfield, VP France & Benelux] and I. When I joined The Orchard I told him, “Ok, I will stop smoking in January;” then in January, “Ok, I will stop smoking in March…” and finally I think that for the moment I’ve just stopped trying to stop…
Another funny detail for those who know the Paris office is that of course, we can’t smoke in the office (even if in my previous job after 8PM, everyone was smoking in the office… French conception of proscription…). So we can’t smoke in the office, so I have to go outside on the Boulevard, and on the other side of the street, I can see high heeled women in their sixties waiting for…. clients… Not a cliché ;-)
Speaking of clichés, French people are not that depraved ;-) And we take a shower every day ;-)
Glad to hear our French Orchardites are of the clean and moral kind… and as skilled at multi-tasking as you are. Thanks Philippe! Now we know what the #&@$ you do!
favorite part of Europe: Come on! France of course ;-) and not only Paris or the French Riviera but also Ireland, Spain, Belgium, East Europe…
favorite food: Normally I should answer French but I’m also a sucker for a nice burger…
first concert: Wow! I was 16 and it was a French punk band called Burning Heads in a really small venue in the country, surrounded by Mohican haircuts drinking 10° beer!! Such an experience.
random: I’m probably the only guy in the EU team not interested in soccer.