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interview

Ace

Skunk Anansie / ICMP

Ace has been playing guitar and recording music for over 35 years and has been successful in the industry for over 27 of them! He has earned a reputation as being one of the top creative guitarists in rock as well as an author, educator, session player and musical entrepreneur. He has also produced records professionally since 2001 for many European acts.

Ace holds an MA in Media and Project Management based in Music Education from London Middlesex University. He is currently Head of Industry Partnerships and Business Development for ICMP in London. 

He is also a visiting lecturer and delivers masterclasses at various UK and European colleges and owns The Ace Guitar Academy in Europe, providing courses in beginners guitar formulated by using his own learning method.

Ace

Where are you based?

I’m based in London, but I work globally. Most of my musical work is mainland Europe.

Where do you work? What do you do?

I have two jobs:

Head of industry partnerships and business development for ICMP in London.

The guitarist and songwriter for UK Rock Band Skunk Anansie for the past 27 years.

What are you listening to?

I am listening to tons of records at the moment as I am always looking for new releases on iTunes most days. My listening taste is quite vast and some of the artists I’m listening at the moment to are: Rag’n’Bone Man, Muddy Waters, Muddy Gurdy, Scott Mckeon, Maxïmo Park, Robert Finlay, While she sleeps, Royal Blood, Greta VanFleet, evanescence, Ben Howard, Lana Del Rey, David Gray, Black Keys, Jamie Lenman, Manchester Orchestra and Motorhead

How do you discover new music?

I discover new music in three ways.

From iTunes for the new releases. From Instagram from friends posts, and a bit more rarely these days, by word-of-mouth

“I am always looking for new releases on iTunes most days”

What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?

99% of the time I listen via iTunes streaming, as this is the best way to check things out without spending lots of money. I pay the monthly subscription so that I can access the full roster. I do like listening to CDs in my car as I have a killer stereo system and they sound great but they are expensive and limited to just changing them all the time. I really haven’t got the effort to listen to vinyl anymore, even though I do like the sound of it a lot.

Where do you do most of your music listening?

I probably do the most listening in my car driving to and from work etc, and on the school run in the morning with my son. My car is a Lexus NX 300 H Sport so has a really good stereo in there. Otherwise, I will be listening on headphones when I am out walking on my iPhone. My headphones are made by Audeze and are the best Sound ever! I have a killer stereo set up from the old days at home of a Quad system with ATC speakers, but it’s very rare I get to turn it on as it’s in the front room and my family are always watching TV!

How do you find and listen to pre-release music?

I really just listen to music that is out and on the iTunes platform, even if a few tracks on the album are yet to be released. In this case I add the album to my list and it updates as soon as the other tracks are available.

What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?

I love it, it’s one of the best things that ever happened, as I get to listen to so much stuff anytime I want, anywhere I go, and from any era as it usually has all of the back catalogue – where I would have to search for that physically anywhere else.

How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?

Everything I listen to is usually added to my iTunes library so I can just go back and find it easily. iTunes will also order the most recent records you’re listening to as well so it is incredibly simple. I love it!

Discover the #HowWeListen Playlist

Listen to the #HowWeListen 2021 Picks playlist. Curated by this year’s interviewees.

Listen on Spotify

Do you tip other people off to new music? How?

All the time… Socially, in the workplace, on my Instagram, via WhatsApp, etc..

I am mentioning music every day to people I see as I am surrounded by people that are still interested in it. If I’m really passionate about something I will also put it up on my Instagram for my friends to see what I am listening to.

Anything you want to “promote”?

This playlist of artists from ICMP is great!!!

"I love it, it’s one of the best things that ever happened, as I get to listen to so much stuff anytime I want, anywhere I go, and from any era" [on digital music]

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