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Thad Baron

Job Title: Managing Director

Company: Big Promo

By Mark Devlin | 11 February 2010

First job within the music industry - and how you got it?

The first job I ever got in the music industry was promoting All Saints' cover of Atlantic Starr's 'Silver Shadow' for my mate Simon Aldridge, who was an A&R manager at ZTT Records.

How did you work your way up to being a plugger?

I've been a DJ all my life, and whilst in uni I began running many successful R&B/ hip hop nights, and also worked in london's premiere hip hop record shop, Wyld Pytch Rekords. Whilst there I was also producer for Trevor Nelson on his Kiss Fm radio show. My mate Simon Goffe, (Roni Size's manager,) used to run Heavyweight Media Promotions, and I worked for him doing club/ radio promo. He became Senior A&R manager at Universal Music and he offered me a job doing A&R. I worked there for five years, signed Kele Le Roc, Structure Rize, Glamma Kid, Phoebe One, Hinda Hicks, etc, etc. I then left the UK, set up 2RYPE Management, and went to live in New York. When I came back I was offered another A&R manager role at Edel Records by Clive Black, (Game manager with Jimmy Henchman.) I worked there for another five years. I then worked for Def Jam Mobile as A&R manager ... then with R&B star Nathan at Mona Records as A&R/ promotions manager. Finally, I set up Big Promo as an extension of my empire.

Highest point of your career?

I'd have to say there's been a couple. Having a whole page written about me as an A&R manager and what I was doing with hip hop worldwide in Billboard Magazine in 2000 - the leading music magazine in the world!
Working with Kanye West, Memphis Bleek and J Dilla on the Cassius Henry and T Love and Spacek projects. (Dilla is my all-time favourite hip hop producer.) Starting Big Promo.

Most stressful part of your job?

Phone calls 24 hours a day.

Best part of your job?

Seeing a client start to make moves and get recognised for their talent and for what they love doing. Ultimately, some form of success.

What's the most common misconception about your job?

That it's easy and it's all parties and freebies.

Funniest thing that has happened to you whilst hosting an artist?

I was at the Jazz Cafe, London. I used to manage Mpho Skeef and I was introducing her to the audience when I fell off the stage, flat on my back. I got up and continued like a true pro. It was funny though !
Whilst DJing in Rejkavik, Iceland with Cassius Henry, and leaving the club at like 4am and the place was still daylight, then realising they have 24 hours of sunlight in summer for like 3-4 months. Freaky!

What would your advice be to anyone wanting to work within the promotions game?

You have to find your own lane and get to know everybody in your relevant scene - DJs, producers, broadcast assistants, heads of music, heads of TV, etc. Follow your dreams, but recognise, the road to success can be a long and uphill one.

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