Rising Star: James Cattermole

Rising Star: James Cattermole

Meet Absolute's youngest label manager, James Cattermole...

What made you choose music?

Whilst my dad was in the army in his 20s, he used to DJ at the officers’ mess (where senior officers would go to smoke big cigars and drink port), so he had a huge collection of classic Northern Soul and Motown 45s. He’d always play them around the house and those records gave me a buzz like nothing else, so I decided I wanted to be a rock star. I learned guitar and Logic, and did a degree in music production. I quickly realised I was a terrible producer and decided, if I ever wanted to work in music it would have to be in the business. So, instead of going to lectures I took on internships in management and marketing and quickly found my own lane in the industry.

What’s the best thing about your job?

We’re all very lucky to work in a field we’re passionate about (and get paid for it), but I get the biggest buzz from seeing my artists hit major milestones for the first time. That first official playlist add, first national radio play or debut sold-out headline show – these are all moments artists remember for a lifetime. I’m very lucky to be able to share those highs, and it really does make those days and nights grafting on the minute details worth it.

What’s the biggest misconception about the industry?

Too many people take streaming numbers at face value and use them as the sole metric to judge an artist or campaign. There are artists with five million streams on one single who can barely sell 10 tickets in their home town, but bands with 100,000 streams across an EP who can sell out an entire UK tour. People focus far too much on surface level figures and stats, and should really be looking at the bigger picture before deeming whether an artist is ‘working’ or not.

What does the biz need more of?

Companies should give younger members of staff the means and platform to contribute in multiple areas of the business. A lot of companies are guilty of pigeonholing staff (especially younger ones) into their specific role, not giving them the freedom to contribute in other areas and inevitably making them a less-rounded individual. I’ve heard some of the most genius ideas from interns, most of which senior execs would struggle to think of. You’d be surprised the value teaching up can bring to a business.

What’s your dream music job?

Without sounding too much like a meme or cliché, I can honestly say I have found my home for the long term. Even though I’m the youngest label manager, Absolute’s directors have given me the freedom to be as creative and entrepreneurial as possible; from developing and introducing new services to our clients, to working on some of our largest frontline campaigns. The dream is to constantly develop my role here.


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