With offices and employees spread across the globe, sometimes it takes time to get to know everyone. In our series ‘What The #&@$ Do You Do?!’ (WTFDYD), The Orchard highlights Orchardites from all over the world to learn more about their role at The Orchard and experience working in the music industry.
How does your role / department fit into The Orchard?
My role in the Label Management department is key to the business. I see the department as a crucial hub to all departments. Myself, and all my colleagues that sit in this space, are the portal to the other side. You want your content to reach the DSPs? Well, that’s us! We are responsible for so much; before, during, and after a campaign/release. I also liaise with everyone from sales, digital marketing, advertising and finance, globally.
Tell us about what the *&^# you do, Cookie!
So, you wanna know what the *&^# I do?!
Well, my day starts with emails (doesn’t everybody?) and then a huge part of my day is delivering label and artist releases, juggling meetings, coordinating calls, Google Hangouts and Zooms, and basically fire-fighting all day. By the way, this can all be done in complete silence. Occasionally, I’ll come up for air and shout at my computer screen at the top of my voice,“what do you want?!” That usually means more emails have landed in my inbox.
So, you’ve guessed it, my day most definitely closes with emails! Surely that’s normal, right? iLabelManage iWorkHard
What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is working with fabulous human beings. The Orchard has an amazing talent pool. Witnessing the company’s growth from a small team in the UK of barely 30 people to what it looks like now is phenomenal. What’s even more incredible is how we’ve grown throughout the pandemic. The past year and a half have been Google Hangouts and Zoom, so returning to the office is somewhat refreshing. Just being able to see my colleagues and people face to face is a treat! It’s the dress rehearsal for the new normal.
What’s a campaign/project you are proud to have worked on?
Isn’t that like picking your favourite child?! I take pride in all campaigns I work on. Some are less challenging than others, but they are such a mixed bag, so the art of ‘managing expectations’ is a skill I’d advise everyone to master.
How did you first get started in the music industry?
I was raised on music. I got a taste for music from a very early age. I am a child of immigrants from the Caribbean, so everything about me revolves around music of my heritage. My earliest memories are parties where the house was full of family and friends and the pleasant sounds of Reggae. The elders recreated their home from home. I will always be a ‘real’ music fan first! It’s what keeps me sane.
What advice do you have for independent artists / those who want to break into the industry?
Whoa! Know your business, be realistic, bring your creative juices to the table, and don’t expect everyone else to all the work for you. Build your brand and embrace technology. Most importantly ‘act like you want it’ then work towards it!
What artist have you been listening to on repeat lately?
I listen to all types of music. Unapologetically, I mostly listen to music that I grew up on. It’s my personal choice, my faith, and my religion. It’s the feel-good music that triggers endorphins that reminds me of why I do what I do.
If it’s one artist that I’m in tune with, with utmost appreciation, that would be Little Simz. I appreciate what she offers as a female rapper that I am happy to have on repeat.
What’s your favorite thing about working at The Orchard?
The growth. When I joined it was a relatively small office tucked away in the abyss of South East London. There was no view of the forbidden city from the big smoke. But then the empire struck back. The face of the business has evolved and it has focussed on becoming a better and fairer place to work in. I guess it’s like watching anything grow… I reflect and then I’m like, ‘how did this happen?’.
Favorite tradition at The Orchard?
When that ‘free food’ memo lands in my inbox. It’s all about the lighthouse 4th floor. I head straight to that roadblock, horns blowing, mufflers smoking. If it’s one thing that cheers me up and brings us together in pure harmony, it’s food and beverages! Culturally and morally what we all have in common is the coming together at feeding time.
How do you discover new music?
I like to think that music discovers me. I love that I can stumble across music or an artist that I wasn’t previously aware of and who isn’t about how many followers or streams they have. I like when good music takes its time and finds its own place and its core authentic fanbase. It makes me appreciate music more when skip rates do not dictate or determine the fate of an artist’s body of work.
What’s something you’ve learned outside of work that helps you to be your best self at work?
Surrounding myself with people and family that have nothing to do with the industry I work in. It’s so liberating. When you only have two days (aka the weekend) to realign your psyche, it’s the perfect time to purge. From the outside looking in, our industry is the land of make-believe. But ultimately, it is our duty to take care of our headspace. I like to step outside the work zone, and just be!