From spreadsheets to studio sessions

Thomas about his assignment in the music industry

Who knew that scouting artists, a multi-day stay in the music studios of Ozark Henry, choir recordings at the Galaxy Studios and post-production meetings of a music video could be in the hands of a business management trainee? Thomas didn’t, until he got an assignment at Volkswagen D’Ieteren. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this assignment. 

About a year ago, Volkswagen (VW) D’Ieteren founded its own music label “Car Trax”. They collaborated with Ozark Henry to create and produce songs that resonated with the look and feel of the brand. Several amateur artists with an affinity for VW had to be scouted. A competition to define who could record songs alongside Ozark Henry would help VW make the cut. 

Volkswagen needed a marketing project manager to coordinate the business side (marketing, PR, and management) and the artistic side (label manager, artists and studios) of this initiative. While Thomas had initially taken on a role as data analyst, the need for someone to take the lead of Car Trax led to quite a big change in his assignment. This project was unorthodox, exciting and impactful. Exactly the kind of opportunity that Thomas would never pass up on, and so he became the project manager for Car Trax. Coordinating all stakeholders and finding the right balance wasn’t easy though. How could VW showcase its cultural entrepreneurship, while respecting the artistic independence of Car Trax? 

A project manager for the win. As communication proved to be a crucial skill here, as is often the case in project management, Thomas was chosen to fill this role. His track record in open and clear communication with stakeholders, managing expectations, and, above all, tackling any bumps in the road with creativity and determination made this an easy choice. These competences were key to making Car Trax a success! 

The road to fame

Legal business

When Thomas entered the project at Volkswagen D’Ieteren, the practical agreements with Ozark Henry and the music label for creating Car Trax were already arranged. However, VW still lacked a solid legal underpinning of its musical ambitions. Thomas had to offer a solution and became the legal liaison for the project. He contacted a legal advisor specialised in the music business. All the necessary contracts were developed and agreed upon by the relevant parties; from D’Ieteren’s legal department to Volkswagen itself, various artists and other stakeholders. Since Marketing had their hands full on other projects, Thomas soon became the main Project Manager for Car Trax, coordinating not just the legal side, but also the competition, events, recordings and other integral parts of the project. 

Car Trax on Tour 

To kick off Volkswagen’s musical year, the team organised a series of pop-up events for their biggest customers. These major companies were treated to amazing food trucks, a performance by the band GetSomeWine and… A free podium! The clients’ employees could take the stage and win a ‘golden ticket’ for the official recordings of the Car Trax album. Thomas managed the contacts with the clients, visited their sites with the event team and arranged the planning with the band and free podium candidates. The stakes were high, but all clients were thrilled to give their staff some well-earned leisure. Volkswagen made a great impression and got footage of interesting prospects for the music recordings. And Thomas? Well, he showed these clients, most of which were big consultancy agencies, the effectiveness of an Ormit Talent trainee. Too bad for them he was already taken! 

Album Recording @ SOH 

Shortly after the final candidates for the recording had been selected, Thomas spent several days working from Studio Ozark Henry. He provided logistical support and accommodated the winning artists.  He interviewed them for marketing purposes, all amidst Ozark’s platinum albums and a Gibson guitar on the wall. Thomas gets a lot of energy from building his network and seeing things through, so meeting the artists he had previously contacted was an amazing experience. The recordings themselves were a big treat for the artists. They got to work with Ozark Henry and record in a professional studio. Partly thanks to Thomas, by the way.  


Remember the free podiums? Most performers enjoyed the hell out of it, but were not the types of singers or players that Ozark was looking for. Ozark Henry himself didn’t think it would be worthwhile to check out the last batch of performances. But Thomas remembered how the whole venue was blown away by one singer on stage. He had potential! So, what does an Ormit Talent trainee do in this situation? Speaking up. He convinced Ozark to check out at least this guy’s performance. Guess who got the lead male vocal in the main track, “Running Wild”? Thomas used his specific knowledge and intuition to challenge a more experienced ‘team member’ and, in doing this, left a lasting impact on the project. 

Choir Recordings @ Galaxy Studios 

Ozark Henry strongly believed that a large choir would enhance the songs. And thus, another gear shift was needed to give Car Trax further traction. VW reached out to the many great singers who had just missed out on the final selection. Thomas took the lead for the required communication and stakeholder management: he drafted the copy for the prospect choir members, following up on the registrations and keeping the ever-expanding group of stakeholders – VW marketing, management, Ozark Henry, record label and now also a choir leader – together. This led to the next major event: a full-day recording with over 100 choir members at the mighty Galaxy Studios!  

Thomas prospected the venue, negotiated catering options, and made sure that Ozark and the sound and recording experts at the Studio were aligned. Dozens of nice Volkswagens were lined up near the entrance, passion for music resonated through the air, participants were treated to great food and a cinematic demo by the Studios, and even got a nice goodie bag to end the day. What more could a choir member, or an Ormit Talent trainee who supervised the event, want? 


After the wrap-up of the recordings, Thomas provided support to a come-back moment to get additional footage and oversaw the production of a professional music video. On March 22, the team was finally able to enjoy the culmination of the project, thanks to transparent and effective communication, extensive networking, and the support of all collaborators. Under the band name Velvet Road Collective (also picked by Thomas 😉 ), Car Trax released its first EP with three awesome tracks. Their delightful feel-good music is perfect for long drives through the most beautiful landscapes. In the meantime, the main track has been played for almost 250.000 times on Spotify! 



Are you’re a young professional, looking for a challenging job with a meaningful impact?

Are you a manager and in urgent need of one of more talented and proactive trainees like Thomas?