This week meet Christie Coyle an account rep with Redeye, an independent physical and digital distributor representing over 250 label partners. Christie is based in Seattle, and works with roughly 300 independent record stores, online retailers, one-stops, and other non-traditional accounts from Washington State through Texas, as well as covering the western half of Canada.
When she’s not working she’s collecting all things vintage:
…The majority of my life, I’ve been a collector of all things vintage (clothing, furniture, jewelry, you name it). I’m primed for my time as a 70-year old.
Read more on how she got into the industry, her band obsession and more below.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
Music has always been near and dear to me, but having a radio show at WUAG in Greensboro, NC was definitely the jumping off point. At the station, I was introduced to a treasure trove of music that I may have never otherwise experienced. Playing bands (as well as seeing them perform live) like Trans Am, Battles, Beach House, Toro Y Moi, and more made me realize that I wanted to be around music in some capacity as a profession.
Redeye, which is based in North Carolina, was introduced to me by a close friend. I applied and interviewed for various positions over the course of 4 years from entry level to management, and finally landed the account rep position in 2013. I relocated to Seattle in 2015 to represent our company on the west coast, as well as to better serve our accounts in the western time zone.
What is a day in the life like?
Each day brings something different, really. With the size of my account base and the amount of labels Redeye represents, I juggle everything from scheduling shipments of restock and new release orders, to coordinating in-store performances or ticket giveaways with record stores, to acting as the “Redeye West” office for visiting artists or labels.
What has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
One of the best memories of my career came early on in 2015, when I worked on the Aphex Twin “Syro” campaign. The buzz and mystery around the announcement (remember the blimp?!), coupled with the pedigree of the artist and it being his first new music in over a decade, made for an extremely exciting record to work on. Syro went on to win a Grammy as well, cementing its importance in our catalog.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
Currently, I’d say working remotely can pose difficulties (albeit manageable ones). When I started at Redeye, I was based in our NC office which presented so many opportunities for learning, collaborative conversations with other account reps and label managers, ability to grab an emergency order from our warehouse if needed, and so on. Email and phone calls suffice, but face to face interaction with coworkers can be fulfilling both personally and professionally.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Be persistent! With Redeye, I applied for every position that became available from social media director, to warehouse worker, to marketing manager. As with any profession, networking is key. Even having one contact can help get your foot in the door. The A2IM job board is also a fantastic resource for tons of available positions at labels, distributors, and other outlets in the industry.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
I am! I collected CDs in high school and early in college since that’s the medium I was familiar with (and had equipment in which to listen). Upon acquiring a basic set-up, I started collecting used records, since at the time there wasn’t really a store that sold new records in my city. It was on my first trip to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 that I was able to visit several shops in Portland and Seattle that sold new records. Record stores became places I’d make sure to seek out when visiting a new city, well before starting at Redeye. I now get to work with many of the stores I fell in love with early on.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
One encouraging thing I see is the multitude of new record stores opening all over the country. Previously underserved markets are now more than likely have at least one store for locals to discover new music, build their collection, attend in-store events, etc.
What are you currently listening to?
I’m going to be 100% honest and let you know that right now, I’m obsessed with KISS (saw them live in February for the first time). I mean, delving into early catalog, learning everything I can about the members (shout out to Paul Stanley), reading books, watching interviews, you name it. That’s the approach I take when I discover a band I love – I need to hear everything and know about everything they’ve ever done right away.