Eugenie Arrowsmith is a music industry professional of many years standing. She began her career as a teen singer songwriter signed to Virgin 10 by the legendary A & R man Mick Clark (they are friends to this day). Her half a million pound album is currently languishing in a vault, being cared for by Virgin/EMI. The album was the result of several years of intense development at Virgin 10 records and publishing. Eugenie had the privilege of working with producers like Steve Hillage, Glen Nightingale and John McBurnie and stellar musicians like James Halliwell, Guy Barker and Blair Cunningham. Her debut single was remixed by her Heaven 17/B.E.F. hero hero Martyn Ware as they shared the same manager for a period of time. She was meant to be the ‘next big thing’ but opted for being human instead, after all their is nothing more alienating than other expectation you will be a ‘superstar’.
Her album not coming out was possibly the best thing that ever happened to her, although that will probably sound counter intuitive to most people. It was not the right moment and her personal circumstances were such that it would not have been helpful. However the experience was not and is not a lost one. Her passion for the music industry from a creative perspective has never waned. She was fascinated by the way the industry itself worked and that led to her career on the other side of the equation, working with other musicians and labels.
The independent music scene, is in her view an area of unprecedented creativity and innovation and cultural relevance. This was and to this day is, the focus of her passion.The industry is going through many transitions and challenges, as a result of the changes caused by wide spread piracy and digital distribution. The sense of the art form loosing it’s value because it has lost its obvious commercial power is something she rebels against on a daily basis. Commerce cannot be allowed to define artistic value because the end result of that is an industry without backbone and soul in the truest sense of the word. In this climate artists need to take a strong and united stand, to fight for their worth and to value their skills. The classic ‘three men and a dog joke’ about gigs is a cliche but if it’s the right three men/women and a particularly cute dog, it can be life changing for all concerned.
Eugenie has represented records and artists signed to numerous labels including The Big Chill Label, Buddha Bar Paris, Wikkid Records, Altura (an imprint of Ministry of Sound) and Six Degrees Records and many more besides. A formative experience for her was being the UK label manager and PR for innovative San Francisco based label Six Degrees Records. The Six Degrees catalogue gave her the opportunity to work with legendary Philadelphia based producer and now arts curator and afro futurist King Britt, Roy Nathanson and The Jazz Passengers, featuring Debbie Harry (officially the most adorable rock star ever to have lived in the known Universe and beyond, in her humble opinion) and Elvis Costello and UK based electronic innovators Banco De Gaia and Another Fine Day. The quality of the output and the intellectual ambition of Six Degrees Records has become something of a template and a defining set of values that Eugenie has extended into her own career as a label manager and the founders of Six Degrees and Bob Duskis and Pat Berry still inspire her.
Another Fine Day then went onto introduce Eugenie to The Big Festival Founders Pete Laurence and Katrina Larkin and very quickly after an initial meeting Eugenie was immersed in the world of Big Chill and working on The Big Chill Label. Having been a hippy kid Big Chill was a natural place to be particularly as both she and the festival had a strong connection to Wales. The element that drew her to Big Chill was the extraordinary attention to musical detail and the exhaustive and meticulous search for innovative art, music and collective experiences. The emphasis was never on who was ‘The Headliner’ but on creating a platform for all the incredible music that was being produced by small producers across the UK. To this day no festival has managed to replicate the unique place for emerging music that was Big Chill. Eugenie worked on releases by Tom Middleton, Chris Coco, Animat, Alucidation, Lol Hammond, John Metcalfe and Mr Scruff as well as signing John Turrell, Jo Harman, Mezzowave, Holotronica and Kalakuta Millionaires to the label once Live Nation purchased the festival.