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Marshall heralds indie sector


 
The current managing director of Warner Bros records has enjoyed a long and prosperous career in the music business, working with artists as diverse as Peter Andre, Take That, Muse, Madonna and Gnarls Barkley. After an early career as a "glamourised coffee maker/talent scout" with RCA, he founded the Infectious records label signing Ash and Muse among others, using the money from his redundancy package to start the company.
 
"The independent sector is a really exciting and dynamic place. With bigger companies there is an agenda that involves shareholders and a broader responsibility. With independents, that entreprenuerial process that you have to go through, I really admire that."
 
Marshall says the independent sector is always an invaluable learning experience. "The independent world is not what it was in the 80s and 90s but ... it's your own and you can make your own choices. You can find very different ways to market a record if you've only got a budget of £15. You're only ever 3 1/2 minutes away from a succesful company."
 
Talking about the business at large Marshall was optimistic about the opportunities ahead. "There is more music in the ether of society and the media than there has ever been. Genres have fractionised. It's a reflection of society. Its a much rounder broader process now. It's a challenging time but I'd like to think that out of change comes opportunity."
 
Summarising his career in the business the former architectural student revealed he turned down The Darkness twice before finally signing them, and noted that he once had to courier baby oil to Peter Andre who was on tour in Asia and couldn't find any.
 
South West Sound was this year held across Bristol and Dartington in Devon, and aims to inform, advocate and grow the music economy in the South West of England. Now in its fourth year, the event incorporates sessions and masterclasses; live fringe events and networking dinners. It concludes tomorrow night in Dartington.

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