Job of the Month #11: General Delegate

New episode of our Job of the Month series to discover the many facets of the music industry. This month, Celine Lepage tells us about her job as General Delegate at FELIN.

Each month, IDOL presents a job in the music industry. Or more than a job, a person! Because behind the same job title, there are significant differences from one structure to another. Each person can define the scope of his or her position according to his or her professional background, qualities and skills! Meeting with Céline Lepage, General Delegate of FELIN: Fédération Nationale des Labels Indépendants..

What does a general delegate do? What is FELIN?

FELIN is the voice of independent labels and distributors and is committed to favorable conditions for production and fair access to the music market. To improve their daily life, it offers a real toolbox in free access and leads common projects with the other actors of the sector: artists, distributors, record shops, digital platforms, etc.

The FELIN’s general delegate carries the association’s message and develops projects in conjunction with its members (in this case independent labels and distributors).

What are the qualities required for your position?

A precise knowledge of the business and the concerns for the labels are essential to follow the right direction. Also, I discovered the associative environment and its workings when I joined FELIN, it’s a collective operation where we carry values of general interest.

And of course tenacity and patience are required when fighting against the purchase of fake streams and the transition to the User Centric model for example.

Can you tell us a little about your career path?

I was lucky enough to have a first position as a Swiss Army knife in an independent label based in Paris (Tricatel) which allowed me to learn by practicing the phonographic production business. With missions ranging from physical distribution (by scooter to indie record shops), to the organization of showcases or the search for partners abroad.

Then I set up my own small company to help other labels and artists in their search for funding, including Born Bad Records with whom the working relationship has deepened to take care of the whole administrative part of the label. I also have a loyal working relationship with Cracki Records since 2015.

At the same time, in 2016, I joined FELIN in Bordeaux as Project Manager and then General Delegate. Today I combine this GD position with label consultancy and administration of Born Bad Records.

You also have responsibilities within MEWEM. Can you tell us more?

Today I am the treasurer of the MEWEM France association too, yes!
MEWEM was initiated by FELIN 5 years ago as a pragmatic tool to encourage women to enter the music industry and to push the envelope. A small victory: the number of women at the head of FELIN member labels has risen from 10% to 22% in the last year!

Go and discover the projects of the mentees, they are all amazing, and in any case you will meet them very soon if you haven’t already done so.

How is your daily work organized?

I work between 3 and 4 days for FELIN as part of a team with a project manager and a project manager on a work study program. After sharing the offices of Vicious Circle, Talitres and Platinum for years, we joined MANUCO, an SSE residence center in Bordeaux.

We work by project: Re-Disco: the record recycling project, Disconaute: the platform of distributors for record shops, Indies First: the selection of indie artists and the annual media coverage. We act daily to support the labels (resources, meetings).

For my part, I take care of the FELIN’s lobbying missions in collaboration with the board (Mathieu Dassieu, president, Pierre-Alexandre Gauthier, treasurer and Stéphane Laick, secretary) and the working groups. At the moment, we are focusing on the place of independents in the media, on the regulation of streaming, on the financing of the CNM, the extension of the tax credit and more generally on a market where independents find their place.

I spend about one day a week at Born Bad Records and another day on consultancy assignments.

What do you like about your job?

The complementary tasks between FELIN and the work with independent labels, everything is very coherent.

The human relations and the involvement of the volunteers are also things that make me love my jobs.

Why did you choose to get involved with FELIN? And MEWEM?

FELIN: I greatly admire independent labels and the people who work to develop artists’ careers. I find the collections and catalog they built over the years remarkable. However, their path is full of pitfalls and it makes sense for me to help get past them.

MEWEM: it’s also a project that makes a lot of sense. Every year I’m amazed by the level of the newcomers on the market. They are visionary and determined.

The rapid development of this project is also exciting to follow, from the fine construction of an effective mentoring programme, to a European project, then the emancipation into an association of its own and everything that comes after.

What is your connection with IDOL?

Since Tricatel, then with Born Bad and FELIN I have always worked with IDOL and admired the values of independence it carries. And on top of that, IDOL represents the most beautiful catalog…!

What's the strangest task you've ever done in your career?

Giving wine lessons on the Bordeaux wine stand of the Sailing Tour de France without knowing anything about it, meeting the Shades and Cyril Vessier, joining Tricatel one year later, moving to Bordeaux 7 years later.

Céline's playlist

With this playlist created by Jean-Baptiste Le Friant, the FÉLIN invites you to listen to the new music produced by its members, actors of musical creation and guarantors of cultural diversity.

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