AEI Group Office

About Us


AEI is powered by a close-knit collective of music fans for whom working in this industry is a lifestyle choice. We celebrate purposeful work, diversity, collaboration, transparency, experimentation and personal development.

Throughout our 20-year history our innovative approach has reflected the fast-pace of the music industry itself as we constantly embrace new technologies, adopt disruptive business models and pivot to stay ahead of trends while remaining relevant and exciting to our clients, customers and audiences.

This approach has enabled us to remain fiercely independent, profitable, self-funding, and in control of our own destiny: attributes we strive to embed in all partners who choose to work with us too.

Whether you work in recorded music, digital media or the live sector, we encourage anyone who works with us to experiment with new concepts, try new approaches and scale their business and audience with the confidence and insight that our experience and infrastructure can provide.

Resources, assets and services we provide to our partners include…

  • Finance
  • Commercial brand partnerships
  • Brand development
  • A&R
  • Global events
  • Consultation
  • Music releases
  • Label management
  • Distribution
  • Royalty reporting
  • Live streams
  • Design
  • Content creation
  • Content management
  • Graphics
  • Marketing
  • And much much more…



Where it all began…

All about that bass



Dropping in with DJ SS & Warren G

// A first ever live webcast with DJ SS & Warren G.

// Over in Sheffield…The first ever Drum&BassArena event arrives.

AEI is Born

// James Cotterill A.K.A The Risky and Del Dias establish AEI Media.

Award Winners

// Drum&BassArena wins “Best music business website” at the Music Week Awards.

Deal or no deal

// AEI offered £5 million to sell at the height of the dotcom boom. We decide not to accept the offer.

Doing what we do best

// First album mixed by Andy C with exclusive tracks compiled by The Risky.

We love a party

// Drum&BassArena hosts 5,000 capacity tent at Gatecrasher summer soundsytem Festival.

// Meanwhile… D&BTV launches.

Triple Awards Whammy

// Drum&BassArena Awards wins ‘Best Website’ at Knowledge Awards, ‘Best Website’ and ‘Best Web Forum’ at Accelerated Culture Awards.

Coming in at No. 3

// TV Advertised Drum&BassArena compilation enters chart at No. 3 and goes on to sell 90,000 copies. Drum&BassArena opens a record shop in Sheffield.

The Big Smoke

// AEI moves from Sheffield to London.

// In the Same Year…Drum&BassArena establishes a residency at Ministry of Sound.

Coming in at No. 1

// Drum&BassArena Podcast reaches No 1 in iTunes Podcast Chart as it celebrates a decade of drum & bass.

Reliving the moment

// Drum&BassArena launches the download store.

Six years on

// A weekly D&BTV launches.

// Meanwhile… AEI gets a dark side.

// GetDarker the authority on all things bass, dubstep and grime, captained by internationally reknowned DJ Darkside joins AEI.


// D&BTV becomes a live webcast, the first of its kind in drum & bass.

// In the same year, the first Drum&BassArena Awards is hosted at the Ministry of Sound.

The more the merrier

// Young entrepreuner Luke Hood and UKF partner up with AEI.

Happy birthday…to us

// Drum&BassArena is 15!

// Meanwhile… UKF hosts Bass Culture at Alexandra Palace ft. Chase & Status.

In comes Charlie T

// D&BTV carries out a presenter search and discovers Charlie T as the face of D&BTV.

// D&BTV 200th show celebrated with a 24 hour marathon DJ session and charity fundraiser for Rhythmix.

We love a festival

// Debut UKF X-Bass Takeover at EXIT Festival.

// In the same year… SubSoul the lead tastemaker,documenting the explosion of House joins AEI.

// A busy 2013…AEI’s very own Luke Hood included in 30 under 30.

From strength to strength

// One of the fastest growing YouTube channels TheSoundYouNeed and groundbreaking YouTube channel NoCopyrightSounds, that unites the gaming and music worlds, join AEI.

Nous aimons les festivals

// TheSoundYouNeed hosts its debut Paris Festival. 10,000 people attend.

// 100,000 people attend Sea Dance Festival in Montenegro hosted by UKF, TheSoundYouNeed and Exit.


// AEI moves to beautiful new offices on the water-front in Haggerston.


// AEI gets a new name & a logo refresh



Drum&BassArena turns 20

// Drum&BassArena celebrated turning 20 with a special compilation album and a series of shows.

Toby Howieson

Digital Operations Manager


Toby Howieson

Digital Operations Manager

Toby-HoweisonAEI since: October, 2006

Responsible for the management of AEI’s ever-growing digital catalogue, Toby operates all content distribution services and DSP liaison. Constantly sourcing new services and securing licencing deals, over the years Toby has developed strong relationships with all DSP editorial teams and frequently lands coveted product feature placements and special promotions for our content. Card-carrying Chelsea supporter and avid drum & bass fan, Toby has DJ’d at many of London’s premiere night clubs including fabric and Ministry Of Sound. He DJs under the name DJ Snige, a name he took from a children’s book Nigel The Elephant.

Diluk Dias

Managing Director


Diluk Dias

Managing Director

Diluk-DiasAEI Since: Day One

Philosophy graduate-turned-digital entrepreneur, before meeting Drum&BassArena founder James Cotterill Del developed his own boutique multimedia design agency creating flyers, visuals and album sleeves for independent record labels and websites. Together with James he established AEI in 1998 and has been responsible for ensuring the success of the company ever since. Del supports all heads of department and is passionate, determines strategy and business plans and coaches all entrepreneurs who join the company.

Passionate about developing a progressive company culture, Del is a keen advocate of a healthy work/life balance and actively encourages all staff’s interests and pastimes outside of work. Naturally he has a few himself, including swimming, cycling, cooking, cocktail making, playing the guitar and writing songs with his daughters and running a food pop-up with his sister, hosting Sri Lankan supper clubs across London.

Luke Hood

UKF Founder / Director


Luke Hood

UKF Founder / Director

Luke-HoodIn 2009 Luke’s passion for bass led to him setting a little broadcasting service for college colleagues. Thanks to his discerning ears, and ability to recognise acts with true potential, that little broadcasting service turned into the music brand phenomenon that is UKF. Switching shelf-stacking and forensic computing studies for a partnership with AEI within months of its launch, Luke has now developed UKF into a full brand with best-selling albums and events and festival stage hosting around the world.

This development continues to this day as Luke directs the brand and applies his expertise and knowhow to AEI’s overall business development, inviting like-minded curators to join the company and helping them amplify their message and develop equally strong futures.

Our People

Professionals Music lovers Real people

Farhana Aboo

Head of Marketing


Farhana Aboo

Head of Marketing

Farhana-AbooAEI Since: Jan 2012

Qualified at the Chartered Institute of Marketing and boasting an impeccable track record with internationally renowned brands such MTV, Perform Group, Relentless Records and One Little Indian, Farhana’s experience with marketing, public relations, strategic communications and large international product and event launches has been a major asset to AEI since 2012.

As well as managing successful marketing strategies of all AEI music products, liaising with our publicist and editorial team for effective content campaigns and building relationships with commercial partners and advertisers, Farhana also represents the company as an industry expert at music conferences, facilitating new careers and creating new opportunities for AEI.

Beyond all things music and marketing, dual Kenyan/UK national Farhana is also a fitness freak. As well as regular gym missions, she’s had experience in a multitude of martial arts including Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and kick boxing.

Daniel Zahariev

Lead Developer

Daniel Zahariev

Daniel Zahariev

Lead Developer

Daniel ZaharievAEI Since: October 2011

A master graduate in information technologies, Sofia-based Daniel leads all builds, support and server management across all AEI brand websites. His in-depth IT and programming skills include social media integrations, site architecture, CSS templates, PHP frameworks, database optimisations. Daniel’s past experience and successes include full site administration for Bulgarian companies such as Bonito Media, My Media and Komfo. He was also recruited as a student consultant by Microsoft during his studies. When he’s not deep in code and UX wireframes he’s also a yoga practitioner and an amateur improvisational theatre actor.

Sampo Kaskia

Content Assistant / A&R

Sampo Kaskia v2

Sampo Kaskia

Content Assistant / A&R

Sampo Kaskia v2AEI Since: March 2015

The man behind the uploads: Sampo speaks three languages… Swedish, English and YouTube. As well as being responsible for sourcing, licencing, rendering and uploading the most exciting, brand-aligned tracks for the UKF network he also handles licencing and administration for all other AEI channels and provides A&R assistance on Drum&BassArena. Sampo’s ear for future music can also be felt in our music department as he A&Rs for our branded compilations, using his passion and contacts to source exclusive tracks that have never been released before.

These skills have been developed and fine-tuned at NeurofunkGrid, a YouTube channel, record label and international events brand that he co-runs. Developing key connections with labels and brands, NeurofunkGrid has played a key role in developing the profiles of many underground drum & bass acts who have since gone on to become major players.

Rupert Plumb

Project Development Manager / Photographer


Rupert Plumb

Project Development Manager / Photographer

Rupert-PlumbAEI Since: November 2011

Proud tech and gaming nerd, Rupert is responsible for all development projects at AEI Media. From conceptualisation to final tests and optimisation, Rupert oversees all developments from start to finish, manages development time and staff workload. This includes Drum&BassArena’s site development and NoCopyrightSounds website, AEI Media’s highest volume website. He’s also responsible for many of our brand’s live streaming events and successfully broadcast from the world’s first TwitchCon in San Francisco. A dual Australian/UK national, Rupert is also an expert event music photographer, keen skier and foodie.

Mark Austin

Royalties Manager

Mark Austin

Mark Austin

Royalties Manager

Mark AustinAEI Since: July 2014

With a content catalogue as extensive and multi-faceted as ours, undertaking all royalty duties is a huge undertaking… And it’s one that Mark Austin relishes consummately. With previous experience working on leading indie Domino and heavyweight major BMG, Mark successfully navigates the legal landscape ensuring royalty reports and payments are submitted to artists, licensors, brand owners and labels we work with. When not buried deep in paperwork, Mark also plays the drums, collects records, attends as many gigs as possible and is a club-level road cyclist.

Craig Haynes

Head of Production


Craig Haynes

Head of Production

Craig-HaynesAEI Since: August 2010

Championing creatives and managing content production across AEI’s brand portfolio Craig conceptualises, briefs, oversees and optimises production across video, webcasting, web development, branded content and editorial. Crucially, Craig brings these facets together and converts this content into commercial success. Working closely with Commercial Director Matt Dicks, Craig has successfully executed creative campaigns with major brands 7UP and Desperados and also developed and implemented the site with the editorial team which has converted to millions of additional views.

Rock climber and squash player, Craig’s passion for production creativity and electronic music culture continues in his real life: he’s behind vinyl crowdfunding start-up Vinylised, tumblr blog BassBeatsClicks and likes to think he can still bboy.

Frazer Richardson

Licensing Coordinator


Frazer Richardson

Licensing Coordinator

Frazer-RichardsonAEI Since: February 2014

Ensuring all the right tracks on AEI’s many best-selling albums are legally locked down, Frazer coordinates the essentials before release. He also takes care of our content catalogue and negotiates and secures licencing and sync’ing opportunities to third parties such as advertisers, compilations and games. Naturally his passion for music extends his role at AEI – which is his first ever proper job! – and Frazer frequently attends live shows around London and contributes live reviews and artist interviews for a variety of blogs and platforms.

James Cotterill

AEI Co-Founder / Drum&BassArena Founder


James Cotterill

AEI Co-Founder / Drum&BassArena Founder

James-CotterillAEI Since: Day One

Passionate drum & bass connoisseur, James identified the internet’s potential for celebrating and promoting music and uniting the communities that support it at a very early stage. Founder of Drum&BassArena – which began as regular broadcasts from his own bedroom and rapidly developed into the go-to portal for fans, artists and industry insiders – James’ knowledge and enthusiasm for bass music, and his respect within the industry, has been a key component to AEI’s success. As co-founder & director he heads up AEI’s worldwide music division developing albums for our brands, ensuring they’re the very best in their field.

View the full team




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