Instrumental to the success of Women in Dance Music Collective are our ambassadors. Conscientiously curated to represent the latitude of the industry each brings with them talent and an inimitable set of skills and experience to connect, elevate and inspire our collective.
Essential to the success of our ambassadors are the tenacious teams behind them.
As part of our commitment to amplifying women in the industry we are spending time within our Ambassador organisations - connecting with their teams, highlighting culture and showing how our ambassadors are encouraging and supporting women within the business.
We kickstart our Amplified Series at one of the worlds leading dance music labels Toolroom Records talking toHead of Albums Lou Cooper about her career path into the dance music industry.
What inspired you to want to work in the dance music industry? One of my earliest memories from childhood is when my dad took me to a music festival in Brighton when I was four; the atmosphere, the crowd and the feel good vibe was amazing and from then on music has always been a big part of my life and I always knew that I wanted to eventually follow a career in music when I was older.
How did you go about getting your foot in the door? After leaving secondary school, I studied Music Journalism at Southampton Solent University and after graduating I applied for every internship and music job I could find. I started my music career about three months after working as a label assistant for Three Six Zero. They manage artists including Calvin Harris, Jessie Ware, Guy Gerber, deadmau5, Pendulum etc. and I used to work on deadmau5’s label; mau5trap and Steve Angello’s; Size. While there, I saw the role for Album Co-Ordinator at Toolroom online and applied for the job and that’s how I got to where I am now.
What do you do at Toolroom? For the first 5 years at Toolroom, I was Head Of Albums - working on compiling and distributing all our album releases from initial conception to the final finished product you see on stores. So everything from Miami to Ibiza and Amsterdam and all the other album projects such as Poolside, Underground, Toolroom Live etc. too. I A&R the exclusive tracks, license in records from other industry labels, artist & manager liaison, writing press releases, making metadata for the release (label copies, ISRCs, barcodes etc) and then delivering the final products to digital and streaming stores. Since September 2018, I still continue to oversee album projects but I now also label manage all of our sub labels; ABODE, Kaluki, Sola, Etiquette, Saved and Rhythm Distrikt.
What do you love about your job and working in the music industry? My favourite part of the job has to be signing and listening to new music on a daily basis – there’s so much new talent constantly emerging and to have a part in discovering some of these up and coming DJ’s and producers and signing singles/EPs from them and seeing their releases perform well definitely gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment.
What has been a career highlight for you so far? That’s a tough one! I’d have to say probably seeing albums that I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into, hitting the number one spot on both iTunes & Beatport. Similarly, heading up the Toolroom 15 album last year was a massive project for me with 70 brand new tracks that we signed for the album. That was a lot of hard work and was amazing to see it perform so well.
I also got nominated and elected to join the AFEM Executive Board at the end of 2018 which is something that I am very enthusiastic about as AFEM has so many key initiatives that are crucial for us to be championing as an industry so I’m honoured to be a part of that.
What’s the best bit of advice you have for those looking to break into the industry? Stay focused on what you want, work hard to get there and don’t give up even if you have a few setbacks along the way. If you believe you can do something and you set your mind to it then you will get there, you just have to persevere. That’s always been my mantra in life.
What’s your favourite track out on the label at the moment? Has to be Friend Within – 'Waiting'! Such a tune!