Co-Founder of dance music label, Perfect Havoc

Rob Davies With Joel Corry

Meet Esher Alumni Rob

Music Mogel Rob Davies started his first music company in his first year at Esher, aged just 16. He has since carved out a fascinating pathway in the Music Industry, though sheer hard work and refusing to take no as an answer.

In 2014, he and business partner Adam Griffith, created dance label, Perfect Havoc, signing DJ Joel Corry, PS1, and Karen Harding among others. The label has now generated over 3.5 billion streams globally.

Rob Davies

What did you study at Esher Sixth Form College?

Music Block

I studied Double Media Studies and ICT. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Esher, especially from a social perspective as I met some of the best people and friends, that I still have today. The Double Media Studies course with Mike and Michelle, was brilliant as it gave me a wide range of skills and understanding from film, animation, TV, creating websites and music, which are all skills that I use in the music industry.

My passion for computers and IT led me to music production, and Esher was the start of my own company “CME” (Click Media Entertainment). I started CME at 16 years of age, funded by a bar job at a private health club in Molesey (haha) whilst attending Esher. I signed Oliver Bugg (Mr Bugg) who was also a former student at Esher College and in my year group. We recorded and produced a couple of records together and actually brought out a single, which I got distributed to iTunes. Not an easy thing to do back in those days, as you had to get a distribution deal which I managed to get via a US company called CD Baby. The main lead single ended up actually getting used by PUMA for an internal marketing campaign, and I managed to get Mr Bugg a few shows at Capital VIP and, of course, Esher College Fresher Parties!

This then led me to study at ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) in Guildford for a Music Production / Music Business degree. I then got some work experience at Sony Music, where I met my mentor and now business partner, Adam Griffin, who I set up Perfect Havoc with back in 2014.

How did you get your first break in the music industry?

Perfect Havoc

Once I started my own company/record label back at Esher, I became quite obsessed with how the music industry worked, I was a little geek really (still am) always reading up on music business books and researching articles online from publications such as Music Week and Billboard. I then started attending seminars via AIM, BPI and MMF which were brilliant for networking and learning current affairs within the industry.

After Esher and getting a scholarship at ACM, which was a two-year degree, I decided that I definitely wanted to work in music, so I bugged and bugged the HR departments.  I eventually ended up being interviewed by Adam Griffin at Sony Music, due to being introduced to him by the same person that got Adam work experience a number of years earlier. I hadn’t heard from Adam after the Interview but wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I ended up just ringing him every few days to try and get an answer. He finally answered and said, “You’re very persistent aren’t you, why don’t you come in Monday?” – I can’t tell you how happy I was at that moment and I still remember fist pumping the air!

After a small temping stint at Syco and working on X Factor followed by a two-year role at Electronic Arts (EA Games), Adam and I came together again and Perfect Havoc was born in 2014.

Tell us about your success with Joel Corry?

Rob Davies With Joel Corry

Joel sent us a demo back in 2018 which we ended up releasing called ‘Good As Gold (feat. Hayley May)’ followed by another ‘Fallen (feat. Hayley May) – both of which we managed to get decent support across UK radio from BBC Radio 1 and KISS FM along with streaming support across all digital stores. Joel then played us ‘Sorry’ which I got really excited about. Being a fan of UK Garage, Adam and I loved Joel’s remake of it. We released ‘Sorry’ on April 4, 2019, but it wasn’t until July when it started to really bubble and climb the Official Charts. It ended up at No. 6 and also broke the record for the most Shazam’d song in one day. The record went Platinum too. We ended up licensing to Asylum/Atlantic Records (part of Warner Music), which then followed with Joel’s next singles ‘Lonely’ and most recently ‘Head & Heart,’ which have both achieved platinum status in the UK.

Head & Heart achieved the No. 1 spot for six consecutive weeks and sold over one million units in the UK now. By 2022, it reached 1 Billion streams on Spotify. It’s also gone Gold and Platinum outside of the UK across multiple countries. We have two more tracks left with Joel under our deal with Asylum/Atlantic Records and enjoy working closely with them and Joel’s fantastic management at Tileyard Music, and of course, Joel himself who is one of the most driven and hard working artists I have ever worked with.

What is your favourite part of being in the music industry?

Well obviously the music is Number 1, but equally positioned are the people within it! It’s an incredibly social industry with everyone having a common interest and the personalities are just fantastic and so much fun. Some of the best people I have met were via my work experience at Sony Music, some of which I still work with now. Working directly with talent is so rewarding too, especially when you start at the beginning with an artist and in my case that would be with Joel Corry.

What advice would you give your 17-year-old self?

Be patient. I have always been very passionate, driven and eager and I think one thing I have had to learn massively is patience, especially nowadays with the way the streaming market works as it can sometimes take 4-6 months for a record to break – it’s not like the old days.

Another is “Focus” – Be focused and have a plan. Don’t try and do everything at once. It’s important to keep focused on your main goal, no matter how frustrating that can sometimes feel or momentous.

Any tips on how to get noticed in the music industry?

Wow what a question! This sounds cheesy but what inspires me is just listening to music, new and old. It motivates me in a way I cannot explain. When I hear an amazing song, it’s like a drug actually (in a good way). In terms of how to stand out, my suggestion is just be “creative” and “resourceful” as possible. Nowadays we have so many amazing ways to create content, music and video just from our phones, technology nowadays is incredible and pretty much anyone can make something cool just from using a smartphone!