Ben Cherrill talks about Label Raid Recordings

Ben Cherrill talks about Label Raid Recordings

We caught up with Ben Cherrill founder and A&R of Raid Recordings to talk about the label.

What were you up to before starting Raid Recordings?

I have now been working in the UK music industry for over 20 years, and have a lot of experience and proven chart success within artist development and ‘dance music’ specifically, so before launching the RAID label in conjunction with Strictly Rhythm, I held a number of senior management and key A&R positions at leading UK dance labels and major record companies including ‘Head of Global Underground’ at Ministry of Sound, ‘Senior A&R Manager’ at Positiva Records / EMI, ‘A&R Manager’ at Manifesto Records / Universal and also ‘A&R Manager’ at Hi-Life Recordings / Universal…

What made you decide to do a label, and why with the Strictly team?

I have always wanted to launch my own imprint since leaving Positiva Records in 2006, but I followed a slightly new career path within a very important new sector of the business and set up my own ‘Synch Licensing & Music Supervision’ agency where I have been placing music into film & TV and also working exclusively on a number of new feature films and TV shows, taking care of all music related matters. I also represent a number of different music producers, independent labels & publishers and I try to find placements for selected repertoire.  I was approached in 2009 to run the UK office of the well known electronic music brand GU, and after doing this for a year, I felt the time was right to launch my own label brand, and I have had a long-standing A&R relationship with Strictly Rhythm since 1998, so it felt like the natural home for me, and I also feel that their respected position in the global marketplace can really help the label and it’s new roster of artists get launched in the correct manner…

Why do you call it Raid Recordings?

I wanted a label name that gave a slight nod to the ‘old skool’, which is where it all started after all, and I was always inspired by an underground London rave club called ‘The Raid’ from the late 1980’s, yet I also wanted a name that summed up what we are trying to achieve right now, and we definitely aim to ‘Raid The Dancefloors’ across The Globe’ to find new and exciting electronic music for the future…

What artists have you signed and how do you go about choosing them?

I have recently signed 3 new artists to the label, Argenta who are great producers & DJs from Italy, Quivver who is a well established DJ and producer from the UK but now based in LA, and also a new female DJ/singer/songwriter called Lea Luna who is from Denver in the USA… I am predominantly looking for ‘song based’ tracks to sign, and throughout my A&R career, I have always tried to sign exciting, well produced and ‘commercially viable’ dance music that can translate across borders, and this is just as important right now as we operate in a truly global marketplace… there is a lot more to come from RAID in 2011 & 2012, you have been warned…     

How do you tackle a digital marketplace?

I think the ‘digital revolution’ has given us incredibly exciting times again, albeit with new creative challenges and a few obstacles, but it is already proving to be the best thing that has happened to the music industry in a very long time…if not ever. It is always important to embrace ‘change’ and find new and exciting ways to market and promote music and brands directly to your target audience and fan base wherever they might be, making best use of the incredible ‘social media’ and ‘networking’ platforms that are available to everyone…

What are your label goals for 2011?

To release some great new music that doesn’t necessarily conform or sound like everything else that’s around, as it’s really important to be different and try to stand out in your own unique way, plus it’s really important to use my direct industry experience within A&R to help nurture and develop emerging and established talent from across the globe, and give them a new release platform, and the potential to grow as artists and DJs… I am specifically looking to develop new artists from the USA right now, as I feel the electronic music scene will continue to explode and give us many new ‘stars’ over the next 5-10 years…plus I will be running the label from Los Angeles very soon and this will help massively with the above mentioned goals…

How has club culture evolved over the past 10 years in your opinion?

I have been very fortunate to be a part of the global club culture movement for the best part of 25 years, so have seen it change quite dramatically around the world in many different ways, it has definitely had a lot of ups & downs during this period. I have also been lucky enough to develop many artists, DJs and hit records that have had success in many different countries, so my view on how it has changed in the past 10 years is this… finally once again ‘dance music’ is being more widely accepted in the pop domain and ‘electronic music’ is definitely influencing more ‘major recording artists’ from pop to r’n’b to hip-hop to soundtracks, which will hopefully help more new producers get noticed from the dance music scene over the next few years. I have also seen a lot of ‘legendary’ clubs close down but a lot of great new ones open up, but this I guess is normal and healthy. I am excited by what is happening within the ‘live outdoor’ festival scene, especially in the USA, and I feel that the door for success is wide open for quality music and professional business minded people to be part of a whole new cycle, as a new generation of kids and music buyers get into club culture around the world...

What’s your definition of a great record?

In my personal and professional opinion, a truly great ‘dance’ record is one that has a ‘strong musical message’ and ‘positive emotional content’, which is normally achieved either though great lyrics and/or a strong melodic hook, and when this combination truly works in harmony, it will make as many people smile together as is humanly possible… so surely this is could be one definition of a ‘great record’?  

Give us 3 words to describe (your label)

How about 5 words - ’Electronic Music For The Future’

Raid Recordings second release from Quivver Feat Cari Golden - Happy is out now, click here to listen & buy >>

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