4 ways to become a record label manager

Ever dreamt of quitting your job and starting up your own indie record label, but you can’t afford to risk the possibility of failure? 

Well 37-year-old Tom Davies, European marketing director and project manager for Secretly Group record labels, wants you to know it’s not just a pipe dream, and he’s living proof of that!

In an interview with Time Out London  Davies has spilled the beans on all you need to know to force your way into an exciting job in the music industry.

We’ve written up the four essential things you’ll need to know if you want to become a record label manager. So read up, and then off you go.

1. It starts from the bottom

Davies first got a job “working for Digital Hardcore Recordings, Atari Teenage Riot‘s label – this was the late ’90s – doing their mail order,” so it pays to be willing to do anything for a foot in the door.

You’re not going to be picking out the next Arctic Monkeys straight off the bat, so expect to be given nothing but menial jobs for your first job in the industry. You never know, you might get lucky and make inroads very early on. You never know!

2. Get out there

One of the main things Davies stresses is the importance of being a people person in the music business.

You should be going to gigs very regularly, and introducing yourself to everyone and anyone. The more you get cosy with the people that matter, the more jobs you’ll be offered in as many places.

3. Be pushy

In continuation from point number two, it’s necessary to be “a pushy little bastard” if you want to get anywhere in this particular business.

Davies was and he says “eventually I started doing management stuff for independent labels,” so if you put the effort in you’ll start seeing results. We promise!

4. Market-time

Record label management isn’t just shmoozing artists you know.

“The other side is marketing: getting people excited about records by artists like Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ryley Walker, Viet Cong
5. Love what you do

“I wouldn’t change my job for the world,” says Davies.

“Not many people are getting rich in music these days, so you need to be there because you love it. It’s a personal thing.”

It’s simple really, make sure you love all parts of the industry before you commit a whole load of time and effort to it! If you’re as enthusiastic as the fans are about music you love you’ll go far, very quickly.

Now what?