This week we have the pleasure of introducing you to the fabulous Dina Patel, the General Manager of Sound Performance, a specialist physical media supplier to the music industry with offices in NYC and London. Sound Performance works with leading independent record labels, bands and artists, working to project manage the concept, production and manufacturing of physical products including box sets, special packaging, vinyl pressing and CD replication. Dina moved from London in 2008 to set up and run the NY division of Sound Performance in New York City.
When Dina isn’t managing projects she loves traveling, going to shows, galleries, movies, the gym and generally being around a good fun social scene of people, friends & family. She also says, “I also really love my own downtime”.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I have been with Sound Performance for over 23 years and started as a receptionist as my first job, worked my way up to Production, Sales and then General Manager which lead me to come to NY and set up Sound Performance USA.
What is a day in the life like?
Every day varies depending on what fires need to be put out at the moment I am very heavily production focused since vinyl capacity has become so problematic and i am continually trying to find best places where we can get vinyl pressed
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
There are so many bands / artists / labels that I have worked with that are amazing but I have to say the Arctic Monkeys ‘AM’ album just blows my mind, not only am I a huge fan we have worked with them from the very start of their career (though Domino Records) and this album has just continued to press in high numbers throughout all these years!
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
No doubt last year / this year (2021 / 2022) have been challenging due to the lack of vinyl capacity, staff shortages, prices on materials going up and the continued increase in vinyl records which is great but trying to manage this as a broker has been difficult.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Being a broker is quite niche as essentially you are the middleman, it’s important to maintain good relationships with vendors as equally as it is with the clients as you are only as good as your vendors.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
I do not collect vinyl but my office is where all our samples come in so I would say my collection is in the office (NY apartments are small!!). I actually started in cassettes and CDs, we only pressed vinyl for a couple of reissue labels in London (Ace Records & BGO Records) then in NY around 2011 the vinyl resurgence brought on a lot more labels that wanted vinyl pressed and it just continued.
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.
Exciting to see current vinyl manufacturing plants increasing capacity and new plants setting up, my concerns sometimes are the increasing in materials rising and records being too expensive for consumers which may lead to vinyl demand going back down.
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
I would say with recent times music became a huge part of people’s lives, I do believe it got a lot of people through some dark times, it shows in sales the increase in music (physically and digitally) over last few years.
Anything else you’d like to add, if not tell me what you’re listening to:
Loving the new The Lumineers album that we pressed “Brightside” and from last year the Arlo Parks album “Collapsed in Sunbeams“.