Each week, Music Week profiles the brightest new talents in the business. This week, Saquib B, A&R at GRM Daily and Parlophone, tells his story...
How did you break into the industry?
I actually started as a voluntary writer at another publication, writing articles for their website. I then moved over to GRM Daily as social media manager before getting into A&R at GRM a year later. Now, my new role sees me acting as the glue between GRM and Parlophone Records, A&Ring for both and working out of both offices which is really cool! I realised being an A&R was what I always wanted to do, it just took me a while to figure it out and gain the trust!
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
It’d have to be the GRM Daily Rated Awards. It’s a huge team effort, but I’ve been involved since the first one, and to see it go from a little church in Islington to the Roundhouse is just amazing. The increase in votes and viewers each year has been crazy too. That’s definitely the one that’s closest to my heart!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Seeing young artists grow. Over the last year I’ve worked with artists including Not3s, Hardy Caprio and Ramz before their breakthroughs, and seeing their lives change with one song is just amazing. Being a part of their journeys just makes it even more enjoyable when I see them going silver or selling out shows!
What’s the biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is judging how well a song may perform. As part of my job, I have to listen to songs and project how well they will perform on our YouTube channel, as that will impact what we invest in the song. Getting that right can be quite daunting, but sometimes it pays off, like with Ramz’s [current single] Barking and Addison Lee [Not3s’ 2016 breakthrough track, 298,116 sales, according to the Official Charts Company] for example!
What advice would you give to those looking to break into the biz?
Study the game. I see a lot of young people wanting to break into the music business, but they’re just attracted to the blue ticks [on Twitter] and fame. You should know who the head of Spotify is, the heads of the different labels, what press officers do and so forth. Read and study, it’s vital!
What’s your greatest ambition
Right now, my biggest ambition is to go on a proper worldwide tour, far and wide, Canada and Australia etc... I have loads of other ambitions too though; hopefully I can head up a label one day…
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