Our Director sat down to speak with us about his career and his poignant advice for young people starting out in the creative sector.
You have a career history in music. What inspired you to get into music and what made you transition into consumer brands?
I was originally fascinated by advertising so joined Capital Radio as they had an advertising department. So I fell into music but I loved its variety, pace of change and how it makes you feel. For 16 years, I worked with consumer brands as they all wanted to work with me either at Capital Radio / XFM / Classic FM or Spotify. What is new and exciting for me at Hook LDN is now being able to understand the amount of effort that goes into creating an amazing consumer product. Design, production, marketing and logistics all have to work seamlessly. It's not easy but I love a challenge.
What stumbling blocks have you faced along the career ladder?
I’ve had loads. Joining Spotify and launching it in the UK and then having nobody wanting to speak to us or use the product was a pretty big hurdle to get over. Another huge hurdle is working out who is great to work with or for, and who isn't. You don’t always get it right, but the important thing is not to give up and strive to work out what makes you happy.
"We’ll always have tough days / weeks / months, but if you are excited about what you do and the people you work with then most things can be achieved."
What advice would you give to any budding young creative?
Your opinion matters. Be passionate about what you do. Take risks. Life is a long road, so while you are young try as many avenues and experiences as you can, as it makes you more interesting in the long run.
"The world doesn’t owe you anything, so go and chase down what you want."
What one essential item can you not live without?
No joke, my glasses. I can’t see without them!
What’s your favourite place in London to relax at the weekends?
I grew up in the countryside, so I love cycling around Richmond Park or failing that in summer there are a couple of spots in Hyde Park where you can’t see any buildings and it's super peaceful.
What’s your best London discovery?
On returning to the UK from the US, London seemed to have discovered craft food and drink, which is great. But actually the Sir John Soane museum is probably one of London’s best kept secrets. Just visit and you’ll see what I mean!
Where is the most exciting place your work has taken you and why?
I moved to New York to live for 2.5 years with Spotify. It really is a city that never sleeps. It has an energy that I have not felt anywhere else. You can feel it in the taxi from the airport as you head into Manhattan over the bridges.
If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and what would you do?
Vladimir Putin and I’d make sure Russia made real peace with the West.
In an alternative universe, what would your dream job be?
Ski bum in winter and fishing guide in the summer. Beautiful outdoors all year round and stress levels at zero.
What’s your life motto?
You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
Missed our last blog story? Read our 'Q&A with Simon Goodfellow'