Where are you based?
I go between Nottingham and London, in the UK. I’m from Nottingham originally.
Where do you work? What do you do?
I’m a PR consultant, and I work wherever my laptop is, but usually in my home office in Nottingham or my local co-working space when I need motivation. I run a music PR agency called Brick, working with various artists, events and festivals. I also founded a platform called House of DIY, which helps creatives and musicians do PR for themselves through one-to-one work, workshops and resources.
What are you listening to?
I listen to a mix of new music and anything nostalgic, depending on my to-do list. I often listen to my client’s new releases and think strategically about where to place the streams or videos. If I’m not doing that, I’m usually spinning some old stuff. Today, I’ve been listening to Jay-Z’s The Blueprint.
How do you discover new music?
The work I do is very much concentrated online, so that’s where I discover new music. Because I’m always trying to place content – mixes, playlists, singles or album releases – I regularly visit music editorial sites and trawl through playlists, many of whom curate brilliant collections. Clash Magazine, for example, offers an excellent mix of in-depth editorials with new and legacy artists and cutting-edge playlists.
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?
I usually always stream via my phone or laptop for convenience. I’d say Spotify is a vital tool I use daily. I listen to the radio often in the car or via Alexa at home when I can’t decide what to listen to, and that’s how I discover a lot of new mainstream releases.
“The work I do is very much concentrated online, so that’s where I discover new music. Because I’m always trying to place content – mixes, playlists, singles or album releases – I regularly visit music editorial sites and trawl through playlists, many of whom curate brilliant collections.”
Where do you do most of your music listening?
I listen to music all day, and that’s a mix of listening to music that my clients send me (new releases, a new mix to place), or to familiarise myself with artists on a festival line-up. If I’m not listening to new music I’m working on, I’ll often throw on something nostalgic like a UK Garage mix, some hip-hop, or maybe one of the early Blink 182 albums from my teen years for motivation. I am also privileged to catch many live acts and DJs performing at the festivals and music venues I work with.
How do you find and listen to pre-release music?
Premieres are much less popular than they were a few years ago; most releases I find online now are already – if only just – out. Many sites do ‘best music of the week’ style round-ups, a good way of discovering new tracks and artists. Radio is still a good way of previewing music that’s unreleased or brand new.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
My clients tend to send me MP3s or playlists of music from SoundCloud, which I’ve used for many years and find easy to navigate. Sometimes, I listen to the same playlists repeatedly because I’m busy working. It’s so easy to do this with streaming services because the library is so vast that there’s a lot of pressure trying to select something new sometimes! The benefit, on the flip side, is having all this music at your fingertips and being able to be creative with playlist building. I’m an older millennial and spent my teen years making mixtapes, recording my favourite tracks from the official Top 40 charts on the radio on Sunday evenings.
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Spotify playlists are my friend, and I try to be as organised as possible. I collate my clients’ music within their own folders on Google Drive as MP3s, and I’ve used Byta to service pre-released albums to reviewers.
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
Through Brick’s social channels, we regularly promote new music by sharing our artist’s content and platforms. I follow a lot of music industry people on socials who are also constantly sharing the music they’re promoting or working on, so it feels like I’m in the best place to have new music discovery at my fingertips in that way.
Anything you want to “promote”?
I’ve worked with the multidisciplinary artist Nwando Ebizie for many years. She is an incredible artist, and her work continues to blow me away. We recently worked on her 2022 album ‘The Swan’, which I highly recommend. Ekiti Sound is an award-winning boundary-pushing Nigerian artist whose sophomore album, Drum Money, we just wrapped. He seamlessly blends elements of Nigerian music, electronic beats and hip-hop influences – a brilliant listen. I’d also love to tip the cross-genre punk outfit Millie Manders and The ShutUp, who sold out an incredible live show in Nottingham last month as part of a UK tour. It was electric!