The Star of Gorillaz

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You may recognised the name Stars Redmond from the previous edition of this magazine. If not, let me tell you, Stars has the COOLEST job EVER.

She heads up the digital marketing for Gorillaz. Working in digital marketing for any band or musician must be exciting, but imagine being able to do it for a virtual band that relies solely on visuals.

Lucky, we were able to catch up with her and find out how she managed to grab such an awesome job.

What made you want to work in the music industry?

I found the idea of it all quite exciting – being on ‘the guest list’ and generally being in a position that made me feel closer to the artists themselves was what attracted me. It all started with street teaming – handing out stickers for bands, collecting email addresses and sometimes handling the merchandise stand.

You head up the digital marketing for one of the world’s biggest bands. How did you land that job?

Someone had passed on my details to Niamh and Regine at Eleven Management. I got a call from Niamh, not really knowing at all what the call was about. I arranged to go in and meet her and Regine and we decided there and then that we wanted to work together. I instantly respected what they had achieved and the way they went about their business and their general ethos – and of course, who says no to Gorillaz?

You set up the Gorillaz Instagram page and gained 1.2 million followers in just 12 months! How did you make that happen?

It was a no brainer for Gorillaz – the world’s most successful virtual band – to make an impact on Instagram, given that it’s an entirely visual platform that in no way relies on text. They had been inactive for seven years, in which time technology and social media has changed dramatically. Gorillaz had 17 years of history that hadn’t been presented beautifully, and in depth – chronologically. Instagram was the perfect place to display this and in a way that compliments the functionality of the platform. It was also the perfect activity to kick start the campaign for the new album – by reminding everyone of the achievements and progressions Gorillaz has been through since their inception. I think it proved that Gorillaz were, and remain, constantly ahead of their time.

Many people wouldn’t believe that working in social media is a real job. What does a typical work day look like for you?

A typical day for me involves working with a timeline of activity – designing assets for announcements; creating other artwork; thinking creatively about how to bring an idea to life; coming up with new ideas; meeting with our teams to discuss forthcoming activities and brainstorm and checking out what other artists/brands/digital entities are doing creatively on digital platforms. And of course, listening to a lot of music! Non-typical days might be going to Paris to document a show on socials, or going to New York to work on a brand campaign.

Asking the expert, what three tips do you have for up and coming artists wanting to use social media to market themselves?

Be true to yourself. If you’re not the type of person to expose every aspect of your life to social media then that’s totally fine. Find a creative way to express yourself that is true to you and compliments your music and that you can maintain without it becoming hard work. It should feel natural. Don’t do the same thing on every platform – consider the best practise for that platform and create/adapt to that. Which may mean a certain platform just isn’t for you – also fine!

What do you think digital marketing will look like in the next three years?

Good question – with the ever developing landscape of augmented reality and the advances in smart phones I think you’re going to start seeing virtual experiences at the forefront.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Very difficult to say, I find the most joy in being able to exercise and challenge my creative mind – so wherever that takes me. I’ll always love being in the music industry, so I will always want to be involved in management and developing the careers of musicians. I’d like to explore more in the way of creative direction and development, not necessarily just in music – but also art, technology and fashion.

Fancy learning the skills needed to take on a job like this? Apply for our Digital Marketing course.

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