Helping Tinie Tempah to the top

Alex Eden-Smith, EMI‘s Marketing Manager, lists Tinie Tempah’s recent Glastonbury performance and his Brit award as one of the proudest moments in his career. So we had a chat with him to find out how he got to where he is now and what he likes to do in his spare time.

Tell us about the job you’re doing now?

I currently work as a Marketing Manager at EMI, however the role is a little more like a Campaign Manager role. I project manage campaigns as well as providing creative input and overseeing the planning and strategy. I’m the person who gets in trouble if things go wrong!

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?

Time management is always a challenge in my job. It’s hard to make sure that you have enough space and time to be creative and think of new campaigns when you are so busy planning and writing strategies!

What is the most exciting aspect of your work?

It’s great to have a job where I am able to play a part in the success of the musicians and artists that we work with. Being able to bring this music to people and seeing the success of artists such as Tinie Tempah can be really exciting. Watching him perform on stage at Glastonbury justifies the harder moments – also, he really deserves it!

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in life?

I’m not sure if there is anything that I know now that I wish I’d known when I was younger. Although when I was teenager I realised that in order to be successful I needed to do something that I enjoyed and not just do something to please others. I think it’s great to be able to turn something that you are passionate about into a career.

Has anyone been a mentor to you?

I wouldn’t say I had a mentor but my A-Level teachers defiantly helped me to get to where I am. They treated me like an adult and encouraged me, this helped me to go on to University and study a subject that I really wanted to do.

Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?

Yeah they would! I was never really musical and didn’t play any instruments; it was more of a private passion for me that just built up. I spent a lot of time at school thinking “No-one gets a job in the music industry“ or that it was “too hard” to get into.

What school subjects were you good at and have any been surprisingly helpful later on?

When I was at school I was most interested in English. I started to really enjoying reading and then went on to study it at University. I think it’s a subject that helps you to communicate as well as giving you a much broader view of the world.

What’s your desert island essential that you couldn’t do without?

It would have to be my Record Player and record collection. Although I would worry about the sun warping all my records! Oh, and a big tub of ice cream.

Have there been any clear turning points in your life so far?

I was a teacher for a few years before I moved into the music industry and that taught me a lot. It was an amazing experience which really shaped me, but it was tough on a daily basis. Going through this really helped me and gave me the confidence to believe that I really could do anything.

What was the proudest moment of your life so far?

Within my current job it would have to be the night when Tinie Tempah won a Brit Award, I felt so over the moon! I treasure doing things for my own record label, Cross Keys Records, but it was also great to feel like I’d played a part in Tinie Tempah’s success.

Recently I won a Music Week Award for Campaign of the Year for the Tinie Tempah campaign – that was a pretty proud moment!

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?

I would like to be riding a Motorbike across North and South America, or running my own label, or doing what I’m doing now and building on my current job!


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