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News October 25, 2021

Central Station Records, Sweat It Out announce new hires, promotions following growth

Senior Journalist, B2B
Central Station Records, Sweat It Out announce new hires, promotions following growth

Following a restructuring of the businesses, Central Station Records and Sweat It Out are prepping for expansion with several hires and promotions.

Among the changes, Amanda Jenkins joins the senior management team and is elevated to General Manager, PR & Marketing across Sweat It Out and Central Station Records.

In this role, Jenkins will guide the PR and marketing departments, leading all communications across global campaigns.

Meanwhile, Saskia Wass rises to Marketing Manager, Sweat It Out and Central Station Records. Also, Wass is rewarded for her success in scouting and signing SIO’s Matilda Pearl, by taking on A&R Manager duties for October Records, a role in which she’ll be expected to discover “the next big things for the label.”

Led by CEO and owner Jamie Raeburn, the dance specialists have enjoyed a “substantial period of growth,” the company reports, and is coming off an ARIA Award nomination for Best Dance Release (Dom Dolla’s ‘Pump The Brakes’ via Sweat It Out/Warner).

Stream Dom Dolla’s ‘Pump The Brakes’:

The transformation continues with Josh Kellett transitioning into Director, A&R & Creative – Central Station Records and Sweat It Out, and Matt Nugent confirmed as Chief Operations Officer – Central Station Records and Sweat It Out.

Both execs continue to head up the individual labels they’re responsible for. 

Jayden Collins, a trained journalist and PR, is promoted to PR Manager – Sweat It Out and Central Station Records, and Danny T rises to Head of the Club Sweat imprint, where he will continue overseeing the label’s operations not only domestically but internationally “pushing the company further to be a more competitive force in the label arena,” a statement reads.

In addition, Peter Combes will head up the Sweat It Out and Central Station Records merchandise stores, leading the strategy and creative direction of both label’s merch businesses. Combes continues in his role as head of design. “This is a logical and welcome fit,” the statement continues, “where Peter will be able to further expand his creative juices.”

Evie Preston joins the company in a Label Coordinator role, and will “quickly become an integral part of the team,” assisting in the day-to-day across A&R, PR, marketing, and deliveries.

“The promotions and change of roles has been long overdue,” comments Raeburn, whose companies share staff and resources, but continue to be run independently of one another.

Central Station Records is one of the longest running independent dance labels in the country, and one of the scene’s most easily-identifiable brands.

Over the decades, the label has released cuts from the likes of Starley, Odd Mob, Nick Skitz, Scooter, Armand Van Helden, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Hardwell, ATB, and Topic, and the monster hit from 2020, SAINt JHN’s ‘Roses’.

Sweat It Out was founded in 2010 by Raeburn, Matt Handley and late DJ and producer Ajax, and has released recordings by RÜFÜS DU SOL, What So Not, Anna Lunoe, Dom Dolla, Crooked Colours, Dena Amy, Winston Surfshirt, PRICIE, Matilda Pearl, Annie Bass and others.

The dance labels run independently of each other, with different stakeholders and partners on each side, and very much with their own identities, reps explain.

TIO caught up with Raeburn for some insights into the future and recent past of his labels, and how Central Station Records and Sweat It Out keep spinning in these difficult times.

TIO: Clubland has been punished by COVID-19. Despite this, your statement mentions CSR and Sweat It Out have enjoyed a “substantial period of growth.” How so?

Jamie Raeburn: We’ve found launching new artists without live events just as challenging as everyone else; new music wasn’t sticking.

We had to look outside the traditional avenues in how we approached media and DSPS, what we approached them with.

Marketing required a complete u-turn, whilst A&R needed to look at more familiar, positive messages. PR without the face to face option had the most challenges.

Add to that no festivals and clubs being mostly shut around the country, breaking new music via those avenues has been particularly tough.

Thankfully electronic and dance music isn’t just about the clubs anymore, focusing on streaming platforms helped us grow and cross over some key development acts and further build our slightly more established artists.

Changes were rapid, time consuming, but it worked. We managed to cross over multiple artists in various regions during one of the industries most trying periods. Ultimately the reason for growth was good music successfully delivered.

On Sweat, Purple Disco Machine crossing over in Europe was monumental for the label, our years of development paying off. At home: Dom Dolla’s ARIA win in 2020 with ‘San Frandisco’ and his meteoric rise in the U.S. followed-on from the touring and triple j support on ‘Take It’ which saw his fan audience grow exponentially.

It was inspiring to see the tastemaker DJs of Australia embrace Mell Hall’s debut solo release even with her hometown of Melbourne locked down.

Stream Mell Hall’s ‘Knock Knock’:

PR & marketing have started on some amazing album campaigns due to drop in 2022 when touring (hopefully) returns; Crooked Colours, Winston Surfshirt, What So Not & new artists like FELIVAND, Matilda Pearl, Luude & PRICIE.

It’s actually been refreshing to spend some time finishing works properly rather than rushing out to meet a tour deadline. Really given the label & publishing A&R a chance to sit with artists and create something brilliant.

On CSR, seven-times platinum hit SAINt JHN’s ‘Roses (Imanbek Remix)’ and the No. 1 radio airplay chart with Topic & A7S ‘Breaking Me’ breaking through commercially at the start of the 2020 lockdown has helped greatly as the songs stayed in playlists and heavy rotation over the course of 2020.

Getting singles ATB is hard at the best of times, but during a pandemic, it’s a result as an indie we’re very proud of.

In addition, we focused on catalogue and reworking recent/classics that has seen streaming take a massive jump. The team have done an excellent job with the likes of M&S ‘Salsoul Nugget’, Amen UK ‘Passion’, Junior Jack ‘Stupiddisco’, whilst at the same time setting up new crossover singles from the likes of Jolyon Petch & Starley, Odd Mob & Tina Says to drop over the next few months.

TIO: SIO has managed to expand into publishing during COVID. How did that venture come about and what are your ambitions in that space.

Launching a publishing wing and studio in partnership with Kobalt, was more in answer to what we felt was a gap; an electronic and youth culture specialist in the region.

With specialist writer camps, sessions, sync pitches and A&R support from someone that knows the scene, our target is to grow that internationally and be recognised as a specialist in that field — a local electronic writers creative hub with the backing of a global admin and sync team.

TIO: You’ve made a string of hires and promotions. Why now?

JR: The promotions and change of roles has been long overdue. I’m very happy to welcome Amanda Jenkins into the management team. Amanda’s eye for detail, impeccable organisation, and constant demand for the best are all key points in why she is the perfect candidate for this new role.

Moving the talented Josh Kellett to Director of A&R & Creative allows us to fully utilise his skills in A&R and ability to get more involved and creative with the roster.

With exceptional guidance and advice from the experienced Matt Nugent as COO, I’ve every confidence in our choice in the Senior Management team and in turn, their choice in their team.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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