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INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH ANDREW BATTIES



Q: Tell us about your background in the music industry?

A: When I was seventeen, I was fortunate to sign my first recording contract. Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to work in the music industry. Most of my earlier memories are associated with the songs that were playing while I grew up. My first single was recorded in Brian Mannix's (Uncanny X-Men) studio and was released in Australia and New Zealand the following year.


I continued to record and release music under the stage name Sol Demense, moving to the UK in 1993 to work with PM Dawn's producer on a new pop sound for my next release. Living in London for five years and recording in some of London’s most iconic recording studios was a dream come true for me. I released two singles in the UK with BMG Music, and then in 1998, I moved back to Australia and recorded my most successful single, Calling Your Name, with a variety of well-known pop and dance producers at the time.


The Land of Make Believe followed, and I engaged on a tour of Australia and the UK promoting the single, which peaked at Number 11 on the Australian Artist ARIA chart. At this time, I was offered an amazing experience to learn behind the scenes how a record label works, and as a result, I took up a position with the now-defunct dance label Pro DJ International before being offered a position at Universal Music Australasia.


Unfortunately, in 2013, I broke my cervical spine, which interrupted my life plans. On finally recovering from seven surgeries, I decided to set up my own record label.


Q: Have you always called Gold Coast home?

A: I have lived in many exciting cities around the world, and in 2018, my family and I moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne. I absolutely love living on the Gold Coast.


Q: Tell us more about R4A, and what inspired you to start this record label independently.

A: After my last surgery and spending some time in rehabilitation, I decided to record a comeback single, which eventually led to the recording of a full album. It was during this period that I decided to establish a record label to work with artists that the major labels ignore. I wanted to provide an opportunity to learn about the music industry.

My focus over the past three years has been signing artists and working with them to record their debut release while they learn with my team how the music industry functions.


Q: R4A Music is run by artists, for artists.

A: While looking for a mission statement to match my vision, the tag line ‘the label run by artists for artists’ was born. The music industry has been run by ‘the boys club’ for so long that I decided it was time to shake it up. Employing a team of artists to work with me was crucial to the success of the label.


I have never understood how executives are given senior roles and the authority to make decisions on something that they have no practical experience in, and the music industry is no different. At R4A Music, we are all artists in some way, and that gives us the first-hand knowledge and experience on how to guide and assist other artists to grow within the industry.


Q: Why do you feel it is important for artists to learn about what is involved in a label and getting their music out into the world?

A: The first artists who came on board with R4A have now released one or two singles and have also learned all about music production, artwork creation, marketing, and distribution. It is so rewarding to watch the artists progress through the stages from signing their recording contract to the release and promotion of their first single.

As we say to all of our artists, we can work with you and try our best; however, we cannot guarantee success. What we can promise is that you will learn all of the important steps in how to release and market music. Any of the artists that go through our program leave with the knowledge and skill set to be able to work in any record label around the world or set up their own label, and that is the most exciting and rewarding aspect that we offer at R4A Music.


Q: Really though, what does life as a record label owner look like? Run us through a typical day.

A: A record label is a very busy place, and every day changes from the moment that we arrive until we go home. It is one of those industries where you can plan your entire day at 8 am, and then one event can occur, for example: a song being picked up by radio or a chart position debut, and our entire working day changes instantly.


That is the fun part about working in a record label; every day is different. One of the most challenging parts of the role is that we must be able to manage up to ten different projects at one time, and this can be very challenging. Different songs come out on different dates in different countries, and music video premieres are occurring every Thursday and Friday night. We have artists who come in on different days to record with our in-house producer and other artists who come in to record in the studio, and there are music videos being made, social media promotions – it is just go, go, go!


Q: Can you give us a run-down of some of the bands your record label has worked with?

A: We have over twenty artists with us, and our priority acts that are currently in focus are our new wave pop duo, Supasoniq & Demenseon2. We have our London band ‘London Calling’ charting well in the UK and Europe with ‘Shook by the Look’ and our first Urban Rap artist, BIG Karma, releasing his debut single in September. We also have on our roster so many talented and hardworking artists that we can’t wait to launch to the world.


Q: What's one thing you think all emerging Gold Coast artists should know about the music industry?

A: The Gold Coast has so many amazingly talented artists and musicians, and we cannot believe the talent potential. Most of our artists are from the Gold Coast. It is important for all artists to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams.

The music industry is one of the hardest industries to break through. Digital streaming has now made it even harder, and artists need to rely heavily on social media content and work harder to put themselves out there if they want to succeed. Don’t give up; keep your passion and dream alive, and eventually, you will break through. Try different sounds and genres, and try to build your fan base every day by exciting them and leading them to your music.


R4A Enterprises Pty Ltd Trading As R4A Music & A4M Music

ACN 665860837 ABN 19665860837

Pop Muzik Record Label Pty Ltd Trading As PM Records & Luv Ya Work Publishing

ACN: 645799239 ABN: 25114975009



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