It was at College in Nottingham that I really sank my teeth into the aggression and raw emotion that is the world of hardcore punk and underground music. After the turn of the millenium, I moved north to take a degree at Lancaster University and it was here that I discovered and entered the world of student radio, initially as a programme presenter and subsequently as Head of music. You could say I was influenced by the John Peel school of broadcasting, the determination to promote new sounds and support musicians who swam against the tide of the mundane. Playlists and chart positions reflected my beliefs and the local airwaves spread the word.
After finishing at Uni, I moved into radio promotion as a career, working for an independent company who promoted bands to regional radio stations, pushing for spot plays and inclusion in playlists. The door of opportunity knocked loudly when I read a job advertisement by Southern Records. At that time they (Southern) dealt with many labels that I loved, so it was without hesitation that I fired off my CV and covering letter. Before you could say ‘Sweep the Leg Johnny’ I was in an office being interviewed by two people who would come to be of great importance and influence in my life.
My first job at Southern was European Coordinator and Advertising, a role I later combined with a new challenge as Head of UK Press. It was during this time that my eyes were opened to the world of Independent music in the truest form.
In the summer of 2009, amidst changes at Southern, I moved to set up a label department at Southern Records Distributors, continuing the exact same role as before. It was here that I learnt more about the export process and gained valuable experience working with retailers. It also opened my ears to even more electronic and beat based music.
The “Spirit of Radio” has stayed with me (I sometimes co-produce a show on London’s Resonance FM) and my love for the written word is exercised by my articles for the Mass Movement Zine. I also play electric guitar as one part of a duo, though we are still in our primal stage as a band.
Which brings us to where I am now, and the decision to spread my wings, declare a state of independence and set up my own PR Business … RARELY UNABLE
And here’s the bottom line, something I learnt at Southern and will take with me wherever I go in this wonderful business of ours. You cannot be an effective PR unless you believe in the music and the people behind it.
So Co Pilots of Spaceship Earth, stand by for lift off!
Lauren Barley – Rarely Unable