Behind The Brand: Emma Chambers

Behind The Brand: Emma Chambers

The world of music PR can be a demanding and unforgiving career path, with an agent having to constantly be on their toes to the latest trends and blogs, where and when to push their artists sound and having to manage the expectations of ego-driven DJs.

One PR company who has seemingly nailed every project to date is So Dark Its Light, headed up by 31-year-old English born Emma Chambers, dividing her year between Barcelona, Los Angeles and London, Emma now handles the workloads of Christian Smith, Enrico Sangiuliano, Pig&Dan, SHADED, Gary Beck, TERR and more, and often works campaigns for labels like Clash Lion, ELEVATE, Drumcode, We Are The Brave and others.

The third edition on our Behind The Brand series saw us catch up with Emma to get inside her head on what it takes to work in an ever-changing industry, what she came up against when starting out and what projects she is working on at the moment.

So where did the idea for So Dark Its Light come from?

Well, that is quite a strange story actually. I was working another job remotely, but met a few artists via my boyfriend who is a DJ and got talking about all sorts, of which PR was one of them. It was something I did now and then for the last company I worked for, but in a totally different capacity and industry. I heard a lot of artists found PR expensive, and that there wasn’t really any middle ground options for the lower level artists. So that’s when I started looking into the idea.

There are a lot of companies out there I discovered, and everyone’s has their niche, and what they can offer. It’s about the artist finding the right company for them, and if they gel it works. The name itself, that’s an even longer story, it’s quite a mouthful but I guess it’s one that you don’t forget, and I can’t change it now! Sorry to say it doesn’t really mean anything.

And did you face many struggles in the beginning?

So many, and still do to this day. Its not an easy job. There I was thinking that this would be easy to just start a new name and try to get clients. I had a few people who had some faith in me, and gave me a shot in the early days. But I soon realised it’s all about the relationships with platforms, radios, magazines and more, which at that present time, was zero.

Also, creative writing; that took a long time to get used to doing on a regular basis and to try and do it well. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and put my hands up for that, because I think that’s the only way to deal with it and to learn in the long run. I also forced myself to just keep my head down and get on with it. Failing wasn’t something I wanted to happen, and I guess I am doing ok, as now this will be my 5th year!

What does a typical day look like?

It all depends on where I am based, as I move around a lot and in different time zones which can be a bit of a hassle when emails come through at 3am. But normally early, I am an early morning person, always have been. I still use good old fashioned hand written lists every day! I always start the day with the most urgent emails and try to get my inbox to a manageable level.

Once that’s all done, which usually takes me all morning, I start to work on each of my current clients PR sheets, which I literally rely on for everything, and work through every single one each day, chasing up emails, phone calls and then new leads. A lot of research is done also, which I try to do once a week, about new features and options for artists popping up. Once a month I also have to complete all my reports, which is a solid day’s work.

Which project makes you feel the most proud?

That would be unfair to say, as honestly all of my clients have got me to where I am today, and they all have been amazing. I feel I have been lucky in that sense, I consider everyone I work with a friend and I really personally care for all that can be done for them. If a project doesn’t go right, then I really take that hit on a personal level.

Getting print for some of my clients make me feel really proud, there is something about having an actual magazine that you can buy in a shop, and know that you got that feature with the help of the editor and writer. I keep all the articles and features for my clients, it’s nice to look back at them.

Tell us the worst job you had in the past?

Ohhh probably working in a kitchen as a waitress, but haven’t we all done that? I used to work at a local pub on Sundays, serving their roast dinner specials, and I would stink of deep fried food for days afterwards. It was nasty. When I was really young, about 12 or so, ever the entrepreneur, I made flyers for my local neighbourhood for car washing and baby-sitting services, I did really well and saved every penny, but can’t say cleaning a car for 3 hours for £15 was much fun!

What are your main goals for 2018?

I would like to look at expanding a little more this year, I am still a one-woman operation and that’s the way I have always wanted to stay, but now and then it’s becoming apparent having someone around might be beneficial to be able to take on more clients than I currently have. Then again, that said, I am really happy how things are now. So the old saying comes in “Why change something that’s not broken?”

What projects do you have running right now?

At the moment I have about 9 artists on the go, some of those are long term clients who I look after and have done for a while, and then I am also working on some other stand-alone campaigns. The big release for this June is Enrico Sangiuliano’s album, and then I have two compilations due out on Tronic and ELEVATE.

Later in June I am working on a really cool Turbo release, and who knows what else will pop up in between then! I have enjoyed working with some new artists this year too, and seeing them grow.

Lastly, give us a track you can’t seem to turn off at the minute?

Genuinely I never listen to music when I work, and find the radio a nice break from dance music when I am in the car driving somewhere. I work out a lot, and when I do, I like to listen to the heavier side of techno. But as for a specific track, I really do not have one right now. Sorry! And if I say Taylor Swifts new one, then I might loose a few friends I think.

Get the latest updates on all Emma’s campaigns here.