The biz’s brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it's the turn of Ellie Rumbold, international product manager at Partisan Records...
How did you break into the industry?
I was offered a place as an apprentice at Mute Records straight after school when I was 18. It was an amazing scheme that I cannot recommend enough. I worked four days a week at Mute and then one day a week at college studying a music business degree. After my apprenticeship, I stayed on at Mute for a further two years in a marketing, production and A&R assistant role, which gave me a great deal of exposure across all aspects of the label. I was fortunate enough to work on some incredible campaigns, from New Order, Goldfrapp and Erasure, to Yann Tiersen, Liars and Can, and the experience I gained from such an iconic label has been completely invaluable.
What does the indie biz mean to you?
I see it as a community, and one that I am very grateful to be a part of. The UK indie sector has a very special and incredible thing going on. Often as the underdogs (and the minority at 25% of the music market), we are able to come together. Be it labels, agents, promoters, managers, pluggers or publicists, we strive as one to create cutting edge, innovative art. There are so many invaluable initiatives, such as AIM, that dedicate so much energy into giving this side of the industry strength. I love this sense of collaboration, it helps great music to flourish, and I firmly believe that independent labels are stronger together.
What’s your tip for breaking an indie act?
The goal is longevity. Breaking any indie act takes time, investment, and hard work. It’s incredibly important to remember that these things do not happen overnight, and it requires belief, dedication and foresight. My advice would be to seek out your champions (whether it be at radio, DSPs or press), work closely with them and, slowly but surely, you will grow a small but dedicated following.
What’s been your best moment so far?
Achieving a Top 5 record with Idles’ Joy As An Act Of Resistance was certainly a highlight. Both the band and the team launched into that campaign with high aspirations and determination to work extremely hard, with the goal of ensuring that the incredible message the album carried (one of unity and love) was heard by as much of the world as possible. Everybody worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality, and it was an unforgettable week watching the numbers climb. I can’t wait to see what Idles do next, they are a truly special band cut from magic cloth, and I feel so privileged to be working so closely with them at this exciting time.
What’s your dream for the industry?
My dream is to see an industry of equality and diversity, for both its workforce and the artists it upholds. I hope to be working in an industry now and in the years to come that represents equality and diversity across gender, race, disability, ethnicity, opportunity, sexual orientation and age, one where collaboration and inclusion are valued above all else. We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go and a lot of work to do.
ELLIE’S RECOMMENDED TRACK: Aldous Harding – The Barrel