Think you could handle running Hotflush Recordings? First you’ve got to learn to put up with Scuba… Label manager Jack Haighton explains all.
If you want any kind of durability, you have to take your time telling the stories of the artists
Place of work?
How long have you had the job?
Three years, almost exactly to the day.
What does a typical day involve?
The responsibilities are varied and require attention simultaneously, so it’s hard to break it down into a neat daily timetable. But generally the headline concerns are: manufacture, marketing, sales, events. My days are typically spent coordinating between the various teams we have in place (design, pressing plants, distribution, PR, retail, promoters, booking agents, etc) to ensure that the music we love enjoys the widest reach possible. This involves a lot of emails. Too many, in fact; I’m trying to get more stuff done over the phone. People tend to get their knickers in a twist over email.
Highs of the job?
It’s a highly satisfying feeling to see people truly connect with the music that you have believed in, invested in, and worked hard on over several months. It’s not enough simply to have a big tune and throw it out there. People are fickle and tastes are fleeting. If you want any kind of durability, you have to take your time telling the stories of the artists that captivated you enough to sign them in the first place. This can require a lot of patience, but when you ultimately see that captivation shared by the wider public, it’s extremely gratifying.
Lows of the job? The comedowns as a result of the highs...
But for sure the biggest high I get from this job is being able to spend every day doing something I’m genuinely passionate about alongside great friends and kindred spirits.
Lows of the job?
The comedowns as a result of the highs…
Who are the people who’ve had the biggest influence on your career and why?
My parents for giving me the music vocation in the first place, sending me to piano lessons for years in my youth, and for being unfalteringly supportive when I proposed to move to Berlin on a wing and a prayer and with zero money to work in “boom boom music”, as my Mum calls it.
Then came Alex Waldron (now of Island Records), who was the first person to take a punt on me with a marketing internship at !K7 Records. He imparted a sardonic, jaded yet hugely insightful industry mentorship which has served me right to this day, even if it means I can be a bitter cynic at times.
After !K7, I spent four years working at Beatport alongside Matthew Styles who became a great friend and tutored me through the equivalent of a master’s degree in electronic music.
And last but not least, Paul Rose [aka Scuba] for teaching me that rock n roll idealism is quixotic at best unless accompanied by savvy acumen. And for the continued belief in me!
How can you get my job? Learn to put up with Scuba
How did you get the job?
Paul was one of the first people I met in Berlin. We were playing 5-a-side football together and soon discovered a mutual penchant for putting the world to rights over too much red wine. This continued over the years, and as his artistic career and the stature of Hotflush both blew up, he found himself in scant supply of time to juggle the day-to-days of both. After four years at Beatport I was looking for a new challenge, and so it seemed like a good fit for both of us. “I need someone who can put up with me”, I believe was the phrase that clinched it.
How can we get your job?
Learn to put up with Scuba!
Hotflush Presents REFLEXION with Scuba, Dense & Pika, Function and Jack Haighton for London Warehouse Events at The Steelyard on Saturday March 28th. Tickets and more info at LWE.
Oooh “quixotic ” – Nice!
Scuba is babylon personified.