3Minutes30 with Doug Burwell – Brand Director of Arcadia Media (Merchandise)

By: Karousel Music

February 27, 2015


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We're always thinking of ways we can help artists make ends meet. Merchandise is one of the main income streams for artists these days, so we got into our little black books to see who we knew that could help. Lucky for us, we met Doug Burwell a few years back when, being the sterling music lover he was, he kept Chris temporarily afloat by buying everyone he knew a copy of Goodbye Cruel Circus (I'm off to join the world) for Christmas and birthdays. And it just so happens he's now Brand Director at Arcadia. We're delighted that Arcadia will be offering some amazing help to our artists and associates, manufacturing the merch at whatever quantity, at way below the price any regular supplier would - meaning the artists can make a good deal more on tour, and hopefully have a slightly less stressful existence. Chris and Roger had some lunch with Doug in Soho to chew the cud (well, burger/bavette steak in this case - whit woo!) and find out how he could help, and what items are available - spoiler alert: almost anything.

/// So Doug, first up, what is Arcadia?///

Doug: Arcadia is one of the leading branded merchandise companies in the UK, we specialize in Far East sourcing bespoke or GWP ( Gift with Purchase ) merchandise and also secure online stocked merchandise schemes. We work with a real diverse range of top brands including Universal Pictures, Mattel, Virgin, Goldman Sachs, Savills and Tripadvisor to name a few. www.arcadiaonline.co.uk

/// How can our hook up with Arcadia help our Karousel artists? ///

Doug: I can make sure all artists get the best possible prices, although we are set up for mostly larger corporate orders, I am happy to help all your artists produce all kinds of things like preloaded album USB's, branded Powerbanks (to charge phones and ipads - with your logo on), T Shirts, Badges etc. I will guarantee best prices on any quantity and we will do all artwork in house too.

/// Why do you want to help? ///

Doug: I have a massive passion for all music and a real soft spot for Karousel. I love what you are doing for the artists, I love the music and honestly, I really want to help and be part of it. Its hard out there and with my contacts and buying power I know I can help.

/// A little bird tell us you've been involved in music down the years? Spill the beans... ///

Doug: Ha Ha, yeah I used to be a hot shot DJ back in the day, In the early 1990's I was a House DJ, producer and artist. I had a couple of really dodgy top 40 hits including Bagpuss under DJ Burnz. It was truly awful, but looking back, good times. In the mid 90's I got heavily into Acid Jazz, Rare Groove and Funky Soundtrack music and then turned from house to Funk and started DJ'ing as Bob the Funky Donut in some of the best London clubs. These were very good times. More recently I DJ'd last Year for March of the Mod's and I still DJ now from time to time but only ever on vinyl. Vinyl Forever! (geezer -Ed.)

/// In a world where it's ever more difficult for artists to survive, do you have any tips for them on how to make the most of their income? ///

Doug: Don't give up, believe.... if we can help you believe a little more by making you some more on your merch - even better! There is so much manufactured rubbish out there, without you we would all be listening to Olly Murs. Obviously, use Social Media as much as you can, more kids now watch YouTube more then BBC1, which is crazy. If all else fails you can start a singing waiters agency together! My biggest tip though is carry a new £50 note - always - and when with friends, offer to pay but come back saying they couldn't take the £50, then most likely they will pay. (If any of you guys have ever seen a fifty, an artists impression would be most welcome so we can look out for one - Ed.)

/// What tools/apps/websites have you seen lately that could make life easier for artists? ///

Doug: All Social media, YouTube, Facebook etc are vital in getting you out there. Soundcloud is good too, to spot and listen to new artists. The Karousel website looks excellent. Get your gigs filmed and uploaded to your own channel too. I do like the recommends at the Apple Store. I have found some good artists this way. RedTube is always good if your need to relax. (Not sure what that is - Ed.)

/// Best record you've bought this year from a new artist?///

Doug: This Year, ok lets see, I buys lots of music, I'm trying not to buy CD's anymore, I just want Vinyl or Downloads. Charlie Winston - Curio City - He is the brother of Tom Baxter and a great live artist; but the best record of this year that I haven't got yet is the debut album from mighty The Family Silver. Their Pledge Music campaign is active here - promises to be a classic!

/// Best hidden treasure of a record too few people know about? ///

Doug: Easy, Matt Deighton - You Are The Healer - My favourite album of all time and a proper hidden treasure.

/// Perfect Sunday roast listening? ///

Doug: Turntable spinning or Ipod (with high res files!) fired up, Sunday Roast Playlist would be:

The Bench Connection - Stainless and Last Needle in the Haystack
Paul Weller - Live Wood
Tom Baxter - Miracle, Almost There
Terry Callier - Unitl Tomorrow / Candy Man
Paper Aeroplanes - Little Letters
Dr Robert - Pond Life
Cow - Black Harvest
Breaks Co-op - The Otherside (thanks for the recommendation, not heard this - Ed.)
Quincy Jones - They call me Mr Tibbs / Fats Popperdaddy
Matt Deighton - Too many to list, all albums
Mother Earth - Apple Green
Chris Sheehan - To Wonderland / Dancing for the Blind
Eva Cassidy - Songbird
Morcheeba - The Sea
Anything by Curtis Mayfield

/// The dream merchandise item for a touring artist, in a perfect, cost-free world would be... ///

Doug: The Power Bank - Charges all your devices quickly - your fans will love you when they need you most - either in a break up (the album) or when their smartphone is about to die. The USB sticks instead of CD's is becoming a no brainer...

/// And finally.... when I am king...///

Doug: I would impose an 8 day week with an extra day inbetween Wednesday and Thursday. Thinking logically this will make us more productive as a Country, age us more slowly, and allow more time to get things done. This day would be called Dougday and unlike all other days in the week will be a day to catch up and laze about. Failing that I would make the world turn more slowly, so the days are longer - maybe a 48 hour day, that would be nice.

See the ARCADIA WEBSITE for info on the items they make - everything is customisable text and colour wise... let's get some great merch out there...!

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