Carl Hitchborn: “I realised that no-one in the music business knew what they were doing”


We’ve recently come across an article about the owner of one of the UK’s most talked-about and disruptive new music companies. He spent his early adulthood working in his parents’ local bakery, until one day, in his mid-thirties, he decided he was going to take everything he’d learnt in the world of bread-making, and apply it to the music industry. Just like that…

Now, being a baker might seem like a pretty unlikely introduction for someone to learn the fundamentals of the music business – but that’s exactly Carl Hitchborn’s point.

He didn’t know anything about the music industry, he didn’t know anyone in the music industry, but he was determined to learn.

And then he discovered something: the more he learnt about the music business, the more flaws he found

In his own words: “I thought, ‘What even is this industry? This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Interestingly, in building his highly successful company, ‘High Time’ (an artist management house, record company, music publisher, merchandise and branding hub AND independent concert promoter) he relied on the three rules he knew best:

Rule one of running a local bakery: make sure the product is better than anyone else’s.

Rule two of running a local bakery: don’t scrimp on the deal you cut your suppliers, or it will impact their loyalty and motivation.

And rule three of running a local bakery: target your marketing to your key captive clientele


Check it out here:

(The article originally appeared in Music Business Worldwide’s quarterly publication, Music Business UK)