The evidence The record company executive's office

Simon Aldridge is an A&R (artists and representation) manager for Columbia Records, specialising in R&B and pop

"Our computer system (1) is linked into all Sony employees all over the world. Right now, I'm writing a proposal on it as to why I think we should take on a particular artist. Most of the CDs on the left (2) are songs that have come in that I like. I buy a lot of music (3); all of these are from the past month or two - favourite tracks or classics like Joni Mitchell. My Lauryn Hill mouse mat (4) is very rare and very sought-after. I get most fashion and music magazines (5), from i-D to Music Week - you have to keep abreast of what's going on. I carry my diary (6) around with me. Lose that and I'm dead. The Post-Its (7) have been on the wall for ages. I haven't gotten round to throwing them away. On the wall are Dats (8) of work I've done over the years, some demos I've liked, some unreleased music and a set of all the Motown hits (9). I have MTV (10) on in the background all day. I spend a lot of time listening to demos (11); most of it is sent in by managers or people in the industry. I get sent a lot of unsolicited work as well. It never really throws up anything you think is fantastic, but there is usually one thing out of every 100 that catches your ear. You can usually tell fairly quickly if something is going to be good."Photograph by Claudia Janke