Day In The Life: Tim Binns, A&R Director, New State Entertainment
'Señor Coconut is perfect for Ibiza'
Wednesday 18 June 2008
The alarm goes off, but I usually lie in until 7am. I make tea for my wife, Jenny, and then wake up our children, Stan andMolly. I leave the house around 8.30am for the school run, then it’s off to our offices in Queen’s Park, London.
New State is a music industry based group of companies including record labels, graphic design, PR, plus digital music aggregation services. I’m a co-director, along with my partners, Tom Parkinson and Mike Jones, but as with any small to medium- sized company, it’s a broad church of a job. I use the45-minute journey to make some calls and listen to new tracks from our artists.
Our office can have the vibe of a mini-Notting Hill Carnival with 10 people banging out different music, answering the phones and chatting. I’ll skim through my e-mails and answer the urgent ones. My first meeting of the day is with my business partner Tom, where we check the status of ongoing projects. This time of day is also when the music industry gets the midweek official sales chart, so I’ll find out how our releases are performing. We release a lot of compilation albums, working with clubbing brands such as Godskitchen and Bugged Out. Most are TV-advertised projects and May to September is our busiest time.
We’re on deadline for artwork delivery of the new Cream Ibiza album, so I run downstairs for a meeting at Zip Design, with creative director, David Bowden. The UK photographer Jonathan Knowles did a photoshoot for the cover with a high-end white laser to draw out the Cream logo. The results are fantastic. It’s amazing what can come from some scribbled ideas inspired by footage from YouTube!
Head to Red Light Studios in Soho. I’m meeting The Risky (James to his mum) from Drum & Bass Arena to make the TV ad soundbed for the new Drum & Bass Arena album. Soundbed sessions are where we try to cram the hookiest bits of the six most recognisable tracks from a mix album into a 20-second ad. The Risky serves up his street knowledge and Craig, who runs Red Light, gets his magic fingers on the edits. This is just in time for Ecksman (Kevin to his mum), who arrives to record his vocal interpretation of the ad script. He’s an MC at drum’n’bass events and has got a great voice that really cuts through ontheTV and radio. With this wrapped, I’m off to to meet our TV ad director, Pete Brookes from PBPTV. He’s got the storyboard for the Drum & Bass Arena TV ad, so it’s a good excuse to meet up, check the ideas, and then grab some lunch on the hop.
Back to the office and e-mails. We work with the DJ/producer Tiësto on our Nebula label. He recently announced a solo date at London’s O2 Arena and we have just released a remixed version of his Elements Of Life album, so I’m tying up some cross-promotion with Loud Sound, the gig promoters.
I’m off to Ibiza soon for the inaugural International Music Summit (IMS) that Pete Tong is collaborating on and launching. IMS need tracks for their promotional CD, so I’m listening to the audio master for the new Señor Coconut album, Around The World, to choose a track. I plump for the cover of Trio’s “Da Da Da” as it features one of the original members of the band, reminds me of being in my early teens in 1982 and is the first single from the album. It’s also very Balearic – perfect for the Ibiza sunshine.
I sit down with our in-house press & PR company, Cypher. We need to discuss the press plan for the Señor Coconut album and the Drum & Bass Arena and Cream Ibiza Paul van Dyk albums. They’re important projects for New State, so I want to make sure Cypher are maximising printed press opportunities and working online angles. We recently signed a track from the producers Blank + Jones who have teamed up with Bernard Sumner on a track called “Miracle Cure”. I love the whole Factory Records, Haçienda, New Order axis, so it’s a bit of a fanboy project.
I’ve got a meeting with Paul Oakenfold. As he spends most of his time between LA and Europe, he’s done a deal with New State to run his Perfecto label in the UK. We’ve got the first releases coming up soon. These include Paul’s own single “Not Over” with Ryan Tedder of One Republic. We catch up on the club promotion plot and radio plugger feedback. It’s early days, but initial feedback is strong, so we decide to keep to a late June release date. Paul also has a new side project called Joyriders that fuses the theme to Big Brother (which Paul co-wrote) with Bros’s “When Will I Be Famous”.
I sit down with my partners Tom and Mike for a daily round-up. Today we need to discuss the growing digital side of our business. Digital sales on singles have risen to as high as 90 per cent of the total UK market. We’ve now reached a point where we need to take on extra staff, with a digital label co-ordinator to assist our label manager. It’s the shape of the music industry for the future.
I’m out of the office early today and heading home via my local swimming pool. I try to get a swim in three times a week. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to stay in shape, plus it helps me to unwind. I get home around 8.30pm and cook dinner. It’s usually something simple such as seafood pasta. I’m trying to catch up on the many movies I’ve missed and tonight it’s Tarantino’s Death Proof, which is comic-book extreme, but as usual, has a great soundtrack.
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