What Do You Do? James Cattermole, Senior Label Manager

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What Do You Do? James Cattermole, Senior Label Manager

We’re launching a series of interviews with different music industry professionals – to give you a better insight into how your music is released, and the people behind the campaign.

We’ll bring you interviews from every corner of the industry, and we’re starting with the role that brings all the others together, Absolute’s Senior Label Manager, James Cattermole!

What does your role contribute to a release campaign/artist career?

A lot of my role is helping plug gaps for my clients and maximising their existing areas of strength. Some of my roster are label brands with their own roster, teams in place and an in-house label offering; the focus for me with those could be delivering a successful streaming campaign and helping really define their artist proposition – be it through content ideas, linking them with great creatives, or developing interesting press angles.

On the flip side, some projects are direct deals with artists that literally have no team around them – perhaps they haven’t even put out their first single. Their needs are greater and need a fully hands-on, almost quasi-management approach: planning a release strategy for the year, building a bespoke marketing plan, squeezing every last bit of creativity and value that we can on the resources they have at their disposal.

So really, it depends on the project. But, if you’re looking for broad brush-strokes, I’m their point of contact at the company, I co-ordinate our in-house teams, and I help my clients release music in the most creative, effective and bespoke way possible.

What does a typical day look like in your job?

Coffee, loud music and a lot of Zoom calls!

Whilst that is true, a typical day would consist of liaising with clients, planning releases, building timelines and proposals, pitching records for editorial support, constantly looking at stats and scouting for new signings!

What’s the biggest misconception about what you do?

Now, this isn’t me moaning because I have no qualms when people do this, but there is sometimes a feeling that, when an artist eventually gets a deal, it’s almost “job done!”, over to the new partner to do all the work.

Whilst that is half-true (we do have a job to do, after all), it is very much a two-way street when it comes to a working relationship. The best campaigns and projects I work on are ones where the artist has an abundance of energy, has a clear vision and has the drive to truly deliver on it. I think artists have to realise that they are the business now, they are the new wave of execs, especially in this new industry where the power has shifted to the artist. It is really important they realise this and fully maximise the potential and value in their art.

If I’m an artist or manager, what can I do to get the most out of your area of work?

If you’re a manager? How long have you got?! Be proactive, organised, efficient, creative and honest.

If you’re an artist? Have a clear artist proposition and make. incredible. music.

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