Rising Star: Marathon Music's Darbi Donaldson

Darbi Donaldson: “I’m certain that we’ll see a more equal industry”

The biz’s brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it’s the turn of Darbi Donaldson, senior marketing manager at Marathon Music Group.

What does it take to make it in the music industry?

“I’m still working on this, I’ll let you know once I’ve got there...”

What’s the most difficult obstacle you’ve faced?

“During my first few years working in the industry, I worked in a very male-dominated environment. Being new and one of the only females at the company, I found it incredibly difficult to voice my opinions and ideas. Only after meeting and building relationships with like-minded women in my field did I finally begin to come out of my shell and feel confident in my abilities. Much of the credit goes to Vanessa Bakewell and her Women In Entertainment And Digital group, as well as events hosted by Shesaidso and similar communities. I feel we are moving in the right direction, however, there is still a huge hurdle that younger women starting their careers in music will face. Change will require involvement and a unified approach from the top down, but I am certain that over time we will see an equal, more balanced music industry.”

When are you happiest at work?

“My happiness stems from the three Cs: collaboration, creativity and credit. It’s incredibly fulfilling to get to work with like-minded individuals and to be given the opportunity to be creative each and every day by diving into the nitty-gritty of campaigns. But, on top of all that, I’m happiest when I see credit and praise being given to the right people. Whether that’s to me or to my dedicated peers, it is rewarding when the hard work and investment is noticed by those above. All too often, our accomplishments are swept under the rug and going above and beyond has become normalised to the point where it is simply what’s expected in the music industry. Giving credit where it’s due can go a long way for morale and personal growth.”

What are you most proud of?

“A few years back, I worked with Björk on her album Vulnicura and the accompanying exhibit Björk Digital, which featured each of the album tracks as virtual reality music videos. It was surreal to be a part of the movement when traditional music videos came to life in a brand new format. I also find great pride in working with a developing artist from the beginning of their career and seeing them grow into a success. There’s just something so satisfying about standing in the crowd at a massive sold-out gig and knowing you were there from the start and helped to make it happen.”

What’s your dream for the biz?

“I’d love to see an industry that mirrors the artists and creators we represent. The faces sitting around the conference table should be as diverse as those performing on the stage.”


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