Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall

DO IT Records

Paul is a songwriter, musician and music executive who was born in London, England but now resides in Auckland New Zealand.

He has a long history in the music business, having started performing and playing drums in the UK when he was 12. Before leaving England, he auditioned as the drummer for The Cure.

Arriving in NZ, Paul started his own band Hangar 18 who toured with acts such as, Silverchair, Collective Soul, No Doubt, Ocean Colour Scene. Hangar 18 toured South East Asia prolifically and in 1997, performed live at the historic Unity Hand Over Festival in Hong Kong live to a stadium audience of 10,000 people. The show was simulcast on live TV to over 900 million people. 

In 2001 Paul started his own artist management company DO IT Management that went on to become DO IT Records in 2009.

Where are you based?

I’m originally from Thundersley, Essex in the UK, but moved to New Zealand in 1994. So I am now based in Auckland NZ.

Where do you work? What do you do?

I am the CEO of record label DO IT Records. We are an indie label with distribution through The Orchard / Sony Music in New York City. I have signed a large cross section of artists in all genres and styles of music and from all corners of the globe. Unlike other labels I am also a songwriter, musician and recording artist myself, so this keeps me grounded in the day to day workings of a recording artist. So I have a unique perspective of the music industry, working as an artist and as a record executive.

What are you listening to?

I listen to a lot of new artists usually through submissions to my label but I also listen to Spotify Discover weekly every Monday morning. Those algorithms are pretty good at supplying me with a stream of new music that I generally like. However I do make sure that I listen to some curve ball artists and records now and again, just to throw the algorithms off, so that the “suggestions” are more varied, otherwise you can get stuck down the rabbit hole.

How do you discover new music?

I am in a unique position as I get to listen to new music from all around the globe everyday as we receive a lot of submissions to the label. I get to listen to artists before they release their music, so for me this is an exciting part of the business and in my office you will hear music blasting most of the day whilst I’m working. I also listen to some of my all time favourite artists, like right now I’m listening to Life On Earth by Snow Patrol and before that I had on I’m Hungry by The Sugarcubes.

“algorithms are pretty good at supplying me with a stream of new music that I generally like. However I do make sure that I listen to some curve ball artists and records now and again, just to throw the algorithms off, so that the “suggestions” are more varied, otherwise you can get stuck down the rabbit hole.”

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

All of my listening is now digital unless I’m in the recording studio. I love being in the recording studio as that is where you hear the best quality sound of any recordings. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to audio quality. I would much rather listen to WAVs than MP3s but of course a lot of the time it’s MP3s as that’s what all the major music platforms deliver. With the artists that I’m into personally I gather the best quality files possible and then play them on my “home stereo system” which I put together. I won’t go into all the specs but I have great wharfedale speakers. Luckily my house is fairly soundproofed as I do like to crank the music!

Where do you do most of your music listening?

Most of my listening is done in my office whilst I’m working. If I find something great then I tend to add it to my liked songs list and on a Friday I will kick back with a glass of wine and crank up the main stereo and re-listen to my favourite new discoveries of the week. Pre Covid I was always at a lot of live shows discovering new talent at source. Plus when on my bands own tours internationally I always make the effort to watch the support acts. How we long for those days to return!

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

All of my new music findings come from submissions to my label. I no longer listen to radio stations, I haven’t for years, unless I’m having to monitor a new release which we have put out, and/or we are doing the radio plugging for a track. In regards to the latest new music findings then one of my latest signings is a US act called ‘Miley Virus’, so you heard them here first!

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I don’t have any frustrations with digital music listening and for me it’s an absolute bonus way of listening and cataloguing music, especially as a label. In the ‘old days’ I would have a pile of CDs on my desk and it always seemed like a lot of effort to get up and place a disk in the player and then have to stop what I’m doing to skip a track or change the CD. Now however it’s all on my computer which I’m working on all day so having Spotify in the corner of my screen it’s just an easy mouse click to skip or play music, it’s way more convenient and I for one, now listen to way more music digitally as opposed to the old formats.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

I organise my music mainly through Spotify. I add them to my ‘liked songs’ list or save as a favourite artist. For label submissions that are not yet released we only accept links as we do not accept downloads, otherwise our computers would be full in a month!

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

Yes I have a lot of friends who will hit me up for what I’m listening to and if I have any recommendations. I don’t always throw my label acts at them sometimes I will discover something new that’s nothing to do with my label and being a huge music fan myself I naturally promote to others, even if they don’t ask ha ha such as this act Dizzy, I love their 2018 album Baby Teeth which was the album I first discovered from them, their new music is great also.

Anything you want to “promote”?

Shameless promotion, I’m glad you asked! Im obliged to share a link to my band Hangar 18 – https://linktr.ee/Hangar18NZ we will have a new release out later this year.

A couple of brand new acts to keep an eye on;

Plus a new artist touring business which I’m launching soon: Touriffik 

I would also like to promote peace and good will to all humans, let’s be kind to one another in these tough times.

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