Music 101 – Interview with Michael Knight

This has got to be one of my favourite post out of all the music related things i’ve written. One of my marketing assignments was to do a presentation of a record label. I have chosen Circus Records, cause i like Dubstep and Circus is one of the most reputable Dubstep record label in the world at the moment. Circus is an independent record label based in the UK, producing mainly bass music. They were founded by Joshua Steele (aka Flux Pavilion), Shaun Brockhurst (Doctor P), Simon Swan and Earl Falconer in 2009. Still a fairly young label but they are recognized worldwide for bring Dubstep to the mainstream.

Anyway, while doing research on Circus, i came across their “Street Team” application page. I was like “wow, i wanna give it a go”, so i filled up the form and a few days later i was invited to join the Circus Records Street Team private Facebook group. It was such an amazing surprise, there were people like me from all over the world. It’s like a long-distance family. Haha 😛 We all share the same passion for music. We don’t get paid for it. It’s all volunteering work. All we have to do is to follow instructions to share and like photos on Facebook.

So i had the opportunity and privilege to speak to the Michael Knight, he is the in-charge of managing the street teams, to help me out with my music blog assignment. I gave him 10 questions which i thought were relevant to me, and others in the music industry too. Hope you enjoy 🙂

1. What is your exact role at Circus Records? and what do you do?
My title is ‘Label Assistant’ and I help out with lots of bits at the label. I produce graphics (such as the ministry of sound flyer and graphics on Facebook), I submit releases to our distributors, come up with ideas for projects (releases), schedule social media and just the general running of the label.

2. What made u started working in the music industry?
I first wanted to get started because of my pure love for music. I thought, if I’m this passionate about something, then why not make a career of it?

3. How did you get involved or get the job at Circus Records?
I first started getting involved by writing for an online blog called LdnBass. This then lead me to meet new people, and from that I met Ross from Astronaut. Ross had an exciting opportunity for me working with Disciple Recordings with Dodge. From there, I gained skills and experience and also started up my own Record Label – Most Addictive Records. Using the experience I had from that, I applied for a job being advertised, and now I’m here.

4. What has been the highlight in your career?
Highlight for me so far has got to be fixing Culprate’s computer. Very random – he’s a cool guy too.  Oh – and my voice being featured in a few tracks somewhere.

5. What do you hope to achieve in this industry?
I hope to push the cutting edge of music and to promote good music where and when I can.

6. What should artists do to get notice by record labels/A&R reps?
Submit and be critical! Labels are very busy, they can’t reply to everything sent in. We do, however, listen to everything submitted to us – you never know when the next Skrillex or Flux Pavilion will come around. I will stress though, that if someone gives you constructive feedback to take it on-board.  A lot of people issuing advice, are doing it for a positive, constructive reason and usually have years of experience in these matters.

7. Upcoming music trends?
It’s hard to say at the moment, it all seems to be going through a strange transition stage right now. Big Room is on a decline, drum and bass and house are still steady as usual, Dubstep is massively popular in the US, but fewer elsewhere. The ‘Future Garage’ and the heavier trap stuff seem to be remaining quite popular right now along with house.

8. What is the street team for? And how do they benefit the record label?
The street team is there to give back to the music community as well as mutually benefiting the record label. By asking Street Team members to help promote Circus Records, it helps to spread around the brand of Circus and also rewarding our most dedicated members by rewarding them with free merch, stickers and free entry to selected gigs.

9. Any tips and advises for getting into the music industry?
Get stuck in! I didn’t know where to begin, so I bought some decks and learnt how to DJ. I then dabbled in making some music, writing blogs and now I manage artists, run a record label and a lot more! If you’re really passionate about doing something, then put everything in to it and be persistent. Having different connections always helps but remember – everyone knows everyone in this industry. So be nice. 😉

10. What are some ways to distribute music?
Distribution music has been made a lot easier these days with the invention of digital. Now, you can submit your masters, artwork and metadata using a simple form on a website, or by submitting by email. Before, you used to have to send your white label/dub plate to the pressing company, and then once they were made, you’d have to send them all to stores yourself. Manually phoning up shops to see if they have room for your vinyl was a very tedious job. There are lots of distributors you can use now. My favourite is Believe Digital.

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