Where are you based?
Los Angeles, CA.
Where do you work? What do you do?
I am the co-founder and COO of Thematic, leading the product team and overseeing operations. Thematic is a collaborative platform where creators can license music from their favorite artists in exchange for promotion.
What are you listening to?
Lately it’s been a mix of Metric, Samia, Hippo Campus, Taylor Swift, boygenius, and Phoenix.
How do you discover new music?
By any means necessary! I’m always on the hunt for new music.
At the start of the pandemic when we shifted to working from home, Spotify’s Daily Mixes and song & playlist radio stations became a staple in my everyday listening. If there’s a song that catches my ear while I’m working, I’ll add it to a “currently listening to” playlist and dive in to discover more of the artist’s catalogue.
I’ve also started following a few TikTok & Spotify curators (like Kasey Gelsomino and Fuegostine), whose playlists I’ll check out once a week to see what’s new on their radar.
Some of my favorite new artists have come from friend recommendations, often when driving in their car and listening to their playlists. This was how I got turned on to artists like Middle Kids and Samia.
And, of course, I check out all the new releases on Thematic each week, adding my favorites to my personal playlists. Recent discoveries here are “Glossier” by Paul Russell and “Tall Man” by no suits.
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?
My go-to is Spotify. I’m plugged in here for the majority of my day – from working at my computer to working out, taking a walk, or driving. I have my most listened-to playlists downloaded offline on my phone so I’m always loaded up with something to listen to, even when I’m on the go.
I also enjoy taking some time on a lazy afternoon to have a more intentional listening session by listening to a record on vinyl. My vinyl collection mostly features my all-time favorite records, from artists like Metric, Sylvan Esso, and Louis Armstrong.
“One of my biggest annoyances with digital listening is getting stuck in an echo chamber of the same music and artists. While I love listening to songs I know and love, I’d appreciate a bit more variety and exploration in the algorithms to introduce new artists and songs more frequently.”
Where do you do most of your music listening?
I primarily listen to music during the workday at my computer. Our team is still mostly remote, so it’s nice to be able to plug in with noise-cancelling headphones and have a great soundtrack for the workday.
If listening to vinyl, I have my living room set up with a custom U-Turn Audio turntable and Audioengine A5+ speakers. It’s a perfect fit for my apartment.
How do you find and listen to pre-release music?
This happens mostly through new releases submitted on Thematic. It’s always nice to get a first listen to what’s coming down the pipeline.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
One of my biggest annoyances with digital listening is getting stuck in an echo chamber of the same music and artists. While I love listening to songs I know and love, I’d appreciate a bit more variety and exploration in the algorithms to introduce new artists and songs more frequently. I try to combat this by seeking out other genre playlists or discovering new curators.
I do appreciate, though, how easy it’s become to discover new songs and artists as a whole. I feel my musical taste has expanded with the advent of streaming services. We can now so easily explore new sounds and genres and share playlists with friends.
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
My “currently listening to” playlist is constantly updated with all my recent music discoveries. Once I’m ready to cycle a song off, I’ll pass it into a “soundtracking this life” favorites-style playlist, so I can be sure to circle back on it later.
Any artist I’m really into will get followed on Spotify and/or social media so I can keep up with any of their latest releases.
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
My friends and I love to swap music recommendations. We’ll play our latest music finds for each other when we get together in person.
Anything you want to “promote”?
All of the independent music artists dropping their releases on Thematic! Here’s a playlist of some of my recent favorites.