Born and bred North London. Supported Spurs since the age of 7. Taped the Top 40 throughout my childhood and hung around friends in (very bad) bands. Studied Genetics at Leeds University where everyone was a Goth – me included. Whilst there I was Ents Sec (they had 2 – I booked the 450 and 800 capacity venue – focusing on Indie bands) – booking the likes of New Model Army, Billy Brag (£10 plus his train fare), Misty in Roots, Fad Gadget, George Melley and John Chiltern’s Feetwarmers and many others. After graduating I worked and travelled around Europe for 2 years. In 1988 I wrote my CV for the first (and last) time and landed a job at Rough Trade Distribution as a receptionist. I managed to work my way into the Production department by the fortuitous running away abroad without any warning of one of the members of staff. Here I worked my way up to Production Manager and left just before the bubble burst. I set up Key in the back office of Jungle Records with a telephone and typewriter and the rest, as they say is history. Just for fun (or maybe it was a mid-life crisis), after returning from a holiday to Nicaragua in Jan 2007, I decided to turn my hand to being a hotelier (not as a career move, more like a challenge). I bought an island in a lake and built a small sustainable hotel which opened in Jan 2010. www.jicarolodge.com
First Gig: The Specials in 1979.
Guilty Pleasure: Has to be a bit of Queen.
I started off on the record counter at Boots The Chemist when they still sold records all those years ago. After a brief spell of female distraction on the perfume counter, I pulled myself together and got a job with Rockin’ Horse Records – notable signing was Lisa Stansfield. As was and probably still is the way, money talks and the company was bought by Arista Records where I found myself booking studios for the Thompson Twins & Meatloaf. I eventually moved in to radio and tv promotions working with artists such as Whitney Houston. All the time I was in a band gigging around London and the song writing bug got the better of me when I signed a publishing deal and took a couple of years out to become a superstar. Needless to say you have never heard of me and thus a call from a manufacturing company, The Producers, saved me from starvation and set me on my current career path. Moving to A to Z Music Services as a production planner, I eventually worked myself up to co-owner and MD which is when I first came in to contact with Key Production’s MD, Karen Emanuel and the rest they say is history!
First Gig: Pretenders at Lancaster University
Guilty Pleasure: Taylor Swift!
I moved to Key in the Summer of 2013, after working as Financial Controller in an advertising agency for several years. I am now combining my Accountancy qualifications and experience with my love of music, having played in bands for years and having used Key Production as a Customer for cd pressing. When I’m not busy making sure the numbers add up I still play gigs in my spare time, usually in and around Camden.
First Gig: Siouxsie and The Banshees at The Royal Albert Hall (with Robert Smith of The Cure on guitar)
Guilty Pleasure: I’m a bit of a chocoholic.
My working life in music began in the mid 80s while I was at art college, when I took a Saturday job at an HMV shop to fund my indie-punk record & gig addiction. These years also heralded the start my life-long obsession of playing in & doing artwork for bands. In the early 90s I began an 8 year sales stint at a large music export company, during this time I took a music course and started a very small (4 releases) record label. At the end of the 1990s I took a new media course which resulted in working as print & web designer for a record label. I stayed there for a while until I happily found myself in the art department of Key Production. I'm still in bands and tour as much as holiday time allows, still go to gigs, still buy records, and still get excited when a good tune or some nice artwork comes my way.
First Gig: An unknown punk band at school, the second was David Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour.
Guilty Pleasure: I have no guilty pleasures, I am shameless. On the office stereo I will put on 60s French pop followed by underground anarcho-punk. My favourite Key pressings include Fabienne Delsol's Between You and Me, Aidan Moffat & Bill Well's Everything's Getting Older, Thurston Moore's Trees Outside the Academy, Holly Golightly's You Can't Buy a Gun when You're Crying, The Restarts Actively Seeking Work.
I’m a displaced Northerner with musical leanings in that direction and have been working in and around disc and print production for over 15 years (most of those with Key Production). I started at Key as a production planner and so understand the processes involved with production and scheduling a job through to completion, as well as the technical aspects of both disc and print production. I work in more of a sales capacity now, so am involved with projects at their conception, including presenting and suggesting client/project specific ideas for packaging. I do like a nice bit of packaging and nothing pleases me more than seeing the end result of something I’ve worked on. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great labels and on some great releases and although I listen to a lot of music, I don’t get to go to as many gigs as I’d like/used to.
First Gig: New Order at Reading festival (I won’t say what year)
Guilty Pleasure: It has to be Frankie Valli... Does that make me sound really old?
Being a huge music fan from a young age, it had always been my dream to work within music. After having various jobs with no significance, I very luckily got a break in the world of CD Manufacturing in the late 90’s where I just had the best time ever. I very quickly realised that I never wanted to do anything else, as busy as it gets sometimes, there is massive job satisfaction of seeing a project through from start to finish. I still find it amazing how quickly I turned into a packaging geek, but I think this makes me more involved and passionate with every project. I still go to gigs and club nights as much as I can, I don’t think I will ever grow out of it, just something special about surrounding myself with my friends, listening to music and dancing the night away.
First Gig: Although a tad embarrassing I went to every Junior Best Disco In Town at the Ally Pally where I saw the best in middle to late 80’s pop acts (I do see this as a positive and not a negative as this is where I got my love of live music from) now I just love anything with a heavy bass line.
Guilty Pleasure: Dancing around to music with my kids regardless to what music they are listening to, I think they love it just as much as me.
After studying Film & Video for two years at University, I re-evaluated my life and decided instead to follow my love for numbers. I began studying accounts in 2008 and having progressed really well, I am still studying and very determined to break the mould of my background by achieving my ambitions. I joined Key in 2013 and absolutely love it here as I truly believe sports, people and music are the three pleasures in life that keeps the heart happy.
First Gig: Dru Hill @ Brixton academy 1999.
Guilty Pleasure: Neyo - Miss Independent.
I've been working for 26 years in the design, photographic and reprographic world with experience in all sectors of the print-packaging, advertising and display industry, and I'm still not dead.
First Gig: Jimi Hendrix - Isle of White festival. I was one, my parents were on a caravan holiday and took a wrong turn. Many years later, in 1983, it was Rush at Wembley Arena.
Guilty Pleasure: The list is a long and unashamed one but I guess it will have to be Rush, bring on the air guitars.
I have over twelve years experience in Product Planning. In the main, this entails merging my knowledge of print, packaging, audio and visual formats and manufacturing methods to produce high quality merchandise. This has increasingly moved towards producing special packaging for point- of-sale, corporate gifts and bespoke branding. A music fan and avid collector, with eclectic taste. Dabbled at being a DJ for few years, including Radio (pirate – when it was cool). Still collecting, but not Vinyl.
First Gig: Sister Sledge – Lewisham Odeon 1979, yeah, I said it! (An early raver-still in primary school).
Guilty Pleasure: Man vs. Food...and MeerKat Diaries – genius.
I was dragged up in Lancashire; home of pies, grey skies and racing pigeons. Sadly, apart from The Four Pennies there wasn't much musical heritage to boast about, so in 2008 I moved to London to study music production. Since graduating, I've gained experience within record labels, recording studios and label services, so I have a good understanding of the record making process from start to finish. Despite growing up in the age of digital downloads and streaming, I'm a huge believer in the magic of physical products, and there's nothing more exciting than getting my favourite release in a well designed, well made package. I still remember being mesmerised by sleeve designs from The Designers Republic, or pouring over the secret booklet that came hidden under the CD tray of Radiohead's Kid A. It's this passion for packaging and products that drew me to Key Production, and I've been a slightly obsessive member of the team since the summer of 2013.
First Gig: Simply Red at the Manchester Evening News arena, aged 9. Apparently I knew every word to every song. Try not to judge - they put out some belters in the early years!
Guilty Pleasure: I'm partial to a bit of country, or big-band swing every now and again.
25 years diverse Project Management experience gained both client and supplier side. 20 years client side with RCA & EMI Music in varying fields of Production, Manufacturing, Commercial and Trade Marketing specialising in all aspects of production, print and packaging with a touch of licensing and compiling. Still serving the world of Music and Multimedia, I moved supplier side into Account Management for St Ives Direct further enhancing and developing my understanding of printing, finishing, engineering and manufacture of bespoke packaging. Working supplier side was probably one of the biggest learning curves in my life giving me greater appreciation and understanding on what a good supplier goes through to deliver that product. From client to supplier and now here in the creative middle ground with a greater understanding and ability to deliver all your packaging needs.
First Gig: More an array of PA’s was ‘85 or ‘86 Radio London Soul Night Out at Hammersmith Palais
Guilty Pleasure: New Edition – Candy Girl
After putting on DIY punk gigs, writing a fanzine and putting out a record that John Peel played in my teenage years, my first “proper job” in the music industry came in the mid 90s when, as part of my degree course in my final year, I did a placement working for Nottingham based extreme metal label Earache Records (although punk rock has always been my true passion), who then offered me a job as Production Manager as soon as I graduated. After two years with them I then relocated to London in 1996 and worked for Mayking Records as a Production Planner at their Battersea plant. When the decision was made to relocate their plant in 2000, I moved to Key Production, and was based at the Camden office for the following decade. In 2009 I became a consultant for Key, which meant I could spend a little more time concentrating on my own label, Boss Tuneage - which after that first play on John Peel in 1990 is still going strong with over 300 releases in the past 22 years!
First Gig: 26th November 1988 at The Indian Queen in Boston, Lincolnshire – Mega City Four, Snuff and Vehicle Derek – and it had an impact on the rest of my life. Of the eleven people who got up on the stage that night across those three bands who played in front of 17 year old me, I ended up releasing something by eight of them and even joined a band with two of them a decade and a half later!
After misguided pre-teen cassette purchases of Shakespeare’s Sister, Bryan Adams and U2, my musical tastes improved and broadened dramatically with the discovery of my parents’ record collection in around 1992. I love jazz, old R&B and rock, but enjoy pretty much any music except manufactured pop, rubbish dance and opera. My career started back in 2004 at Soundmasters Mastering where my love of music (especially vinyl) blossomed, and I am now really lucky to be able to do what I love as part of such a knowledgeable and professional team, helping people turn their music into a lovely tangible product.
First Gig: Bon Jovi, Keep The Faith tour, Wembley Arena 1992.
Guilty Pleasure: The occasional well-crafted pop song that I listen to with a mixture of appreciation and self-loathing. eg: Kelly Clarkson ‘Since U Been Gone’.
As well as counting beans for a living, I played drums on the London pub circuit with rhythm & blues band "The Runner Brothers" for over 20 years. These days I swap the sticks for trainers and spend most of my free time outside of work and family life, running about all over London in training for various international marathons and other long distance races. My favourite bands are Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Ojos de Brujo. Musical guilty pleasures: Elvis Presley
First Gig: Genesis at Wembley Stadium in the early eighties, when Eric Clapton came on for a guest appearance encore. I knew then that my musical path was ROCK (not pop)!
Guilty Pleasure: Star Wars Merch collecting
I have worked in Reprographics and Print for over 19 years and in a Mac Support role for 17 plus years. I started out working in a Reprographics house doing magazine publications, corporate and advertising print. From this I gained a lot of experience in digital manipulation of images. Since working in music manufacturing I have gained plenty of experience with Vinyl, CD and DVD packing of all types, and of course cassettes and VHS tapes when they were in use.
First Gig: UB40, which my sister took me to when I was about 9 or 10.
Guilty Pleasure: I would not say I have any guilty pleasures, if you like something why is it a guilty pleasure?
Way back in the olden days, I made my social life my job and started work at Key . Since then I’ve been pressing Bjork’s vinyl for One Little Indian , building box sets for Crammed Discs, creating CD’s for Jungle Records and keeping the likes of Cargo Distribution’s warehouse filled with albums from such luminaries as Wire to Brian Jonestown Massacre and the very brilliant Hyperdub Label. Through all these years I’ve helped musicians of all genres bring their creative ideas to reality and present it in packaging that has ranged from the bizarre to the magnificent and the music remains as important to me now as it was before I got my hands dirty with it all those years ago. All this and getting the chance to talk to your heroes, can’t be bad can it?!
First Gig: Abba, Sydney Showgrounds, 1977
Guilty Pleasure: First 2 Marillion albums. Like punk never happened!
After studying business at University, I left looking for a role where I could combine a career with my love of music. After holding various roles at Virgin/EMI I moved into production at Warners and went on to join Key, where I could really let my inner packaging geek loose. I get my greatest job satisfaction finding the perfect packaging solution for a project. I love nothing more than discovering great new music to add to my music collection and working with Key’s varied roster of clients is the best way I’ve found yet to uncover brilliant new artists!
First Gig: Inspiral Carpets / Credit To The Nation / Chumbawamba
Guilty Pleasure: Del Amitri
Starting at RTM in 1992 my working life began, I then moved over to Vital Distribution doing export sales in the dance dept, from there I then joined Sarm Management doing the Bookings/Contracts, it was here where I started to move into an accounts role, with doing credit control for the engineers/producers, with this I wanted to do more accounts work, so when the opportunity came up at Key Production to do Sales Ledger / Credit control and with knowing Karen and Key Production for years I jumped at the chance and haven’t looked back since, some 12 years ago!
First Gig: A band called Caravan @ The Forum, which was then called the Town & Country Club.
Guilty Pleasure: Dance Music and Clubs
I was educated in Tokyo and Wales. After working for a number of London Student Unions: Polytechnic of Central London, UCL, Birbeck and East London Universities, I found work in the voluntary sector. Working for The Directory of Social Change (radical social think tank), I managed their extensive Publications Team as well as organising NGO training days in all 32 London Boroughs, and was part of the planning team which set up the inaugural CharityFair Event held annually at London’s Business Design Centre. Previously worked with Rough Trade Distribution, Music & Video Exchange, Blackout Records (New York) and Brilliant Merchandising, as well as stage work for the Blast First! label events. Tour driving, merchandising and technical crew throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe. Founded Household Name Records in 1996 and learnt how to release CDs, Vinyl, packaging and merchandise on budget and on time from the ground up. As a promoter and booking agent I set up nearly 800 gigs & tours for artists throughout UK, Europe, and the US. Set up and built independent punk/rock shop All Ages Records in Camden Town in 2003, which is still one of the must-visit London destinations for punks from all over the world. As a customer I have used Key Production since 1995 to manufacture all my 100+ releases.
First Gig: The Woodentops / Weekend (ex-Young Marble Giants) at Cardiff University Great Hall.
Guilty Pleasure: Stuart Maconie’s FreakZone on 6 Music.
My first accounts based job was in 2007, working for a Construction company. Accounting wasn’t a career path I necessarily chose, I kind of just stumbled upon it. So the opportunity to join Key in 2012 and combine my love of music with work was the perfect combination. My music taste is quite varied - I have my favourite bands like everyone does but that aside, I listen to all sorts of stuff. Not only is Key a great place to work, full of lovely people but it is also the reason I’ve come to love Music Photography. The first gig I ever photographed was thanks to Key and I haven’t looked back since. Having the opportunity to photograph some of my favourite bands is ACE! Who knows, perhaps one day Key will be manufacturing a Gatefold Sleeve which has on it a photograph that I’ve taken!
First Gig: Green Day at Milton Keynes Bowl in 2005, I think.
Guilty Pleasure: Songs from Disney Movies, Taylor Swift and a whole bunch more. I don’t feel guilty about any of it.
I’ve always wanted to work in the music industry. Music is my number one passion, I wanted my life to be all about it, but I was too lazy to learn any instrument, and already knew that I wasn’t going be good enough to make a living out of it, so the option of working behind the scenes sounded great. I did my Masters in Music Management in Newcastle (good times), back to Italy, I was lucky enough to have in my hometown the most amazing Italian Indie record label, Ghost Records, and started working with them and helping out as venue assistant at Twiggy Club their co-owned music venue, absolutely loved it. From then, I’ve done an endless number of internships, sometimes two or three at the same time to gain as much experience as possible, some really helped me to pursue my path like: Press Assistant at Black&Blue Festival, Music Catalogue Assistant at Beatpick.com, PA at Passe’ Publishing, and others I just want to forget, but all of them brought me to Key Production in Dec 2013, which is brilliant!
First Gig: too ashamed to tell, but I was 13, it doesn’t really count, my music taste at the time was horrible.
Guilty Pleasure: I’m proud of everything I listen to, even if sometimes I find myself singing the last super mainstream pop hit.
I first signed up to the music industry in Bristol around 20 years ago organising production and manufacture for Revolver and Vital (soon to become PIAS) Distribution but was lured down to London by the promise of some pretty ostentatious street paving. During the subsequent 15 years in pursuit of those elusive streets I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wide diversity of labels from Damaged Goods to Good Looking Records, from Hooj Choons to Chemikal Underground, from Atlantic Jaxx to Wichita and Matador and with artists from Arab Strap to LTJ Bukem and from The Divine Comedy to The Darkness. The freshness of the music we work with and the ever delicious new means of packaging it has sharpened rather than jaded my palate over the last 20 years so that my enthusiasm for the work is as strong as ever.
First Gig: Buzzcocks at Manchester Apollo (with my mum).
Guilty Pleasure: Bryan Adams and Mel C When You’re Gone
When I moved to London from Edinburgh in my early 20s with some vague idea of working in the music industry, I didn’t really know where I would end up. With a degree in Production Engineering and an obsession with music, I suppose it really should have been obvious that I would end up in the manufacturing side of music. After an initial grounding in a couple of mastering studios, I moved on to a CD/Vinyl manufacturer called A2Z in the mid 90s where I learned the tricks of the trade and worked my way up to Head of Production. A2Z were then taken over by Key in 2002 and I’ve been here ever since. Music has always played a big part in my life. Over the years, I’ve played in bands, run a record label and now help to run a music festival (Deer Shed Festival)
First Gig: UB40 in 1982. My fourth gig was The Clash. I often pretend this was my first gig when asked.
Guilty Pleasure: I like country music but I don’t feel guilty about it.
I’d like to say my contagious smile fills the office with joy, which is why I am front of house, but sadly no! However, I do keep the motley Key crew in order, helping the team with anything they need, including tidying up their toys! It’s taking years of training but they're getting there. Since I joined back in 2009 the industry has changed and Key has moved with it, I still find myself reflecting on my own music influences and obviously my guilty pleasures in music, which started back in 1982 with ‘Pass the Dutchie’ by Musical Youth. Whenever I hear that song, it never fails to put a big smile on my face and reminds me how everything has changed since those heady days of the 80’s and everything we've done!
First Gig: Any forgettable Irish band at the 'Swan', Stockwell
Guilty Pleasure: Musical Youth
My background in the print and design industry is quite varied. Starting out as an Editorial Production Controller for a specialist b2b publishing company, then moving into typesetting and artworking, pre-press, photography and book binding. This was intersected with time outside the industry working at a major accountancy firm and a multinational pharmaceutical company. My musical taste is quite diverse thanks in part to my parents. This included listening to Motown music , Queen, Elton John, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Kate Bush, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, E.L.O, The Who, Genesis and Michael Jackson to name just a few. Now, I listen to music from many genres from rock and rockabilly, to jazz , blues and swing, electronic and house music, 80's, film and game soundtracks.
First Gig: King Diamond at The Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 2003.
Guilty Pleasure: Gustav Holst; Mars, The Bringer of War, from the Planets suite. One of the most epic sounding pieces of classical music ever written. Influential in John William's score for Star Wars and Hans Zimmer's Gladiator.
I used to come to London every month to see gigs and take pictures of bands so the only economical thing to do was to move here, which I did from my native France almost two decades ago. I started my ‘music career’ at Creation Records where I was a Regional Radio Plugger and then branched out as a webmaster and designer for the record shop Intoxica where I learned all about the vinyl collectors’ quirks! End of the 90’s I found my true calling in manufacturing when I started at V2 Music and then Mute where I worked on some pretty packaging and cool artists’ releases! After a few years bossing around men in suits in the City, I got a call from Key Production to join their team to look after PIAS’s manufacturing and I haven’t looked back since!
First Gig: Duran Duran at Bercy (Paris) mid 80’s
Guilty Pleasure: K-Pop
My number one passion is music: I attend a lot of gigs and festivals. I’m an avid collector of vinyl – not only do I love the warmer sound it gives, I also like how the design and format creates a collectable, treasured item for music-lovers like myself. Back in the day I worked for a few dance labels, with a spot of DJing in my spare time. I returned to the printing industry, progressing to artworking and design. I have 11 years of experience in the creative industries, where I liaised with clients, suppliers and printers to manage projects, from clients' briefs through to worldwide delivery. So, combined with my love of music and my knowledge of print, this is the perfect job for me.
First Gig: It was either Public Enemy in 1988 or the Pet Shop Boys around the same year with my parents, I can’t remember which came first.
Guilty Pleasure: I have quite a few! But if I had to choose one it would have to be John Farnham “You’re The Voice” which, incidentally, goes down very well at the Bugged Out All-dayer which happens every New Year’s Day. But at Christmas time that will change to “Stay Another Day” by Walthamstow’s finest: East 17.
It was French that got me places. Living in Brussels in my early twenties, I secured my first job at independent label Play it Again Sam Belgium – fluent in French and a music lover to boot – right place right time. On to pastures new and I landed at Silvertone (no I didn’t witness the infamous paint splattering scene but did spy the handwritten lyrics to “Fools Gold” in a filing cabinet ). This was followed by a couple of short stints at London Records and Parlophone in Marketing until I finally found my long term home at Polydor A&R. As A&R co-ordinator I was busy with all things recording - budgets, producers, studios , musicians – you name it I co-ordinated it. A stint as a teacher (French of course) was ditched as soon as I got the call from Key to join the team. I LOVE being right back in it with Key. There’s no better place when you’re still as enthusiastic about new music as ever and find time to help run an independent musical festival in your spare time.
First Gig: Howard Jones – Southampton Guildhall “Hello Southampton. I’m home!” swiftly followed by The Cure in 1983. No need to guess which one I usually name drop.
Guilty Pleasure: All things Jacques Brel especially “Le plat pays” – an homage to the flat lands of a certain small country in northern Europe – my second home.
Growing up in Reading, I was raised on a diet of yearly Reading Festivals, gigging round the town with my band and great transport links, the latter of which caused me to spend much of my time going in and out of London. Once I’d done A-levels, I shunned University in favour of continuing with my band and got a few jobs, eventually getting a job in IT at a school. I spent 2 years learning everything I could about servers and computers and general IT support, while spending most of my downtime travelling between Reading and Paddington, before coming up with the extremely-thought-out-and-meticulously-budgeted plan I called “Moving to London without a job”. This plan was thwarted by the timely request to come in for an interview at Key less than a month before my moving date. It’s been great to join the team and company and I look forward to growing within the confines of such a stimulating environment!
First Gig: I’m assured it was Tony Di Bart when I was 2, but the earliest I remember was probably Lighthouse Family…I was a victim of circumstance. You can hear Reading Festival from my house so I’m settling on Nirvana when I was 3 months old…
Guilty Pleasure: I didn’t think I had many, but a collection of vinyl I’ve put on in the office and had taken off would be Debussy, Huey Lewis and the News and once even a Devo album.
I came to London from Marseille to study English for six months and I ended up staying for 11 years! I’m really into photography, writing, surfing and won’t say music just because is too obvious, right? With a degree in business, a master’s in law and a deep love for spreadsheets, I was the go to person for all my musicians friends who didn’t have a clue on how to manage themselves but in exchange they took me to all their gigs and I had the chance to explore the world of French drum’n’bass and jungle from the inside, go around Europe and even learn Provencal. My favourite band in the whole world is Depeche Mode, I adore them and I accept no judgment looks because of it, it’s not that bad when you think that I could have said that I listen to French spoken words (which I do).
First Gig: A not identified rapper in an underground club with 10 people.
Guilty Pleasure: Abba, there’s more to it than “Mamma Mia”
Unlike a lot of my very talented colleagues, I couldn’t play a note of music if my life depended on it. I do love the stuff though. Live, physical, streaming, it’s all good and I hardly go anywhere without a soundtrack in the background. I came to Breed Media from a background in Graphic Design, and started working here initially in a reprographics role. After spending the previous 13 years working for a publishing company in Sheffield, where I learned my trade designing for print, when an opportunity came along to combine my love for design with my passion for music, at Breed Media, I jumped at the chance. During my time here at Breed, things have changed a lot, and I now find myself working on the production side of things - still using my design experience wherever possible to help people get the best out of their physical products. When I’m not helping people making make records and CD’s, I can usually be found running. I do a lot of that.
First Gig: New Kids On The Block @ Sheffield Arena – circa 1989/1990 (age 10). My parents thought they were doing me a favour, secretly getting tickets to see the biggest band around at the time. Nice gesture but my street-cred never fully recovered.
Guilty Pleasure: I’ve had a lot of stick over the years for proclaiming, to anyone that will listen, that Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake is one of the greatest songs of all time. So that, I guess.
I have loved music from an early age, growing up in our house always rang loud with the timeless melodies of Motown from Diana Ross and Gladys Knight to Stevie Wonder. I remember trying to cleverly record the Top 10 on the radio so I could cut the DJ’s comments out and create my own mix-tapes. To this day, I can still remember where Michael Jackson’s Thriller stopped and I had to turn the tape over to keep recording! Career-wise my love of planning and organising lead me into project management within the Security and Construction Industries. Through a serendipitous introduction from a friend, I landed in vinyl production project management and I haven’t looked back. I confess, I didn’t own a record player or listen to music on vinyl until then, but now I am hooked and love every aspect of production and planning within the music industry. It’s really satisfying to be able to produce a tangible product in such a virtual world. I have always had a love of travel, I spent just over a year in the Cayman Islands on a career break, soaking in the sun, kissing stingrays and working at a beach bar, from there I have added LA, Vegas, Jamaica, Thailand, Canada and of course half of Europe. My travel bucket list includes the Great Wall of China and India, “soon come” as they say in the Caribbean.
First Gig: Michael Jackson – History Tour – I was 10
Guilty Pleasure: The Spice Girls
I couldn’t wait to get a new toy when I was a kid - another thing to take apart to see how it worked. Sadly it took me a long time to figure out how to put them back together again. On my first day at school the teacher said I would be an architect as I was so good at building sandcastles. Who would have thought that 20 years later I’d be using these wonderful skills?! It was my degree in Product Design at the University of Brighton that ignited my passion in all forms of design. It opened the door to an internship at a local company called Modo. I loved the job so much that I returned after graduating. Shortly afterwards, we joined with the Key Group and that opened up many more opportunities and interesting projects to work on. My other passion is photography, not only from an artistic or creative perspective, but to help me document how I see culture, trends and the built world. I greatly admire Saul Leiter who was famous for using colour film as a medium to capture 1950s New York. For me it is about documenting change, trying to understand how the world works and how cultures differ between places. My dream is that one day in the future people will look at my photos, in the same way that I look at Saul Lieter’s photos from over half a century ago. Recent visits to Hong Kong and China really opened my eyes to the World. I’m planning a trip to New York and Tokyo. Photography inspires my design work - I’m always drawing inspiration from what is around me.
First Gig: Blondie at the Brighton Centre in 2003.
Guilty Pleasure: Carry On films.
Born and bred in the beautiful land of Sicily, I left my hometown when I was 18 to attend University in Milan. My job as photographer allowed me to move around a lot, I lived in Milan, Ibiza, Barcelona and ultimately London. I had the chance to work with and photograph some of the greatest musicians in the world as Arctic Monkeys, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cave, Queens Of Stone Age, Incubus, Arcade Fire, The Killers and many many more. During my time in Milan, I have collaborated with Rolling Stone Italy, documenting the Italian independent music scene, following on tour several Italian bands. I have also shot and directed two short documentary movies about the music industry. I moved in London in 2014 and since then I’ve started working for Key in 2016, learned to play drums and percussions, developed a passion for ukulele, joined 2 bands and founded Seven / Eight, the first creative studio specialised in visual communication for artists of every genre.
First Gig: Justin Timberlake w/ Black Eyed Peas (I was 12yo, don't judge!).
Guilty Pleasure: Ska-P
After studying music technology at University, I exited with the hope of becoming a “hot” music producer acquiring studio equipment religiously (that I eventually sold). After encountering the steep learning curve learning to play the piano and releasing a few instrumental songs, I came to the realisation that I enjoyed the curation of content way more than spending months producing a song that never saw the light of day. As my passion for digital platforms started to expand, I started developing strategies to promote products and services that potential consumers engage with. I landed in a position at Black Swan Data for 2.7 years while developing a strand of websites, wearables and mobile applications promoting recording artists to a few start-ups. I then decided to dive headfirst into my true calling of digital marketing to now enjoying promoting all the key moments at Key.
First Gig: Marcella Detroit
Guilty Pleasure: The Motown Chart-buster Albums (and I mean all the volumes)
Accounts was nothing planned as I’m more the creative hands on type, so it was something I literally fell into and have since been within the finance sector for over 10years. Having initially started as an office junior assistant for a kitchen and lighting company which then progressed into an accounts payable clerk role. My journey took off from there where I gained all my experience through the opportunities I have had by being a part of some great businesses. I am very much into fashion and all my previous positions besides my first job have been in accounts within the fashion retail industry. I joined Key in 2017 and so far, it’s been great slightly different to the fashion stuff but most definitely a good place to be.
First Gig: Jodeci with my mum and older cousin
Guilty Pleasure: Mc Donald’s (trying to do better lol)
Remember the days at Making back in the 90s? Can’t say I do, my journey started in the spring of 2015. To set the scene: It all began on a rainy afternoon at the University of Brighton. After a spell of missed lectures I attended a careers seminar, mostly out of guilt. Complacent in the notion that roof tiling, medical and McDonalds design placements weren’t for me, I was set to take a, lets say, ‘early lunch’. Being well versed in prematurely leaving a pointless seminar, I was sure my best bet was to discreetly pack away my bits and pieces whilst the handsome bloke at the front unpacked his. It was the perfect ‘crime’. Ready to initiate the final phase of the plan, I had one last scan of soon to be ‘crime scene’, it was then I caught a glimpse of a much-coveted Stone Roses box set. Being wholeheartedly betrothed to my Discog’s Want List, I decided to stay. It was during the course of the short presentation that followed that I came to realise I could combine my burning passion for design, music and vinyl in one perfect job. Without sounding too dramatic (perhaps a little late for that), that presentation swept me up and changed my life. I knew I had to work in the music industry! Fortunately, I was offered an internship with Modo, which later developed into a full time position with Key/Modo …Years later, I’m still loving my job more than a seagull working at Harry Ramsden’s. Moral of the story, start a Discogs Want List, follow your heart and don’t skip seminars.
First Gig: First ‘conventional’ gig: The Cribs at O2 Academy Oxford
Guilty Pleasure: If I’m completely honest, in company I often find myself covertly skipping the 60’s Country tracks that persistently crop up on shuffle. “They just won’t understand” I tell myself.
On leaving university, and recognising that life as an alternative guitar hero was an unrealistic prospect due to lack of talent, I resolved to make a career for myself in the wider music industry. Initially finding employment changing lightbulbs and adjusting the air conditioning at Sony Music, followed by various gigs sorting post, booking couriers and entering copyright data into ancient databases, I finally found myself at Parlophone Records in the A&R department. There I booked studios, sorted equipment hire and arranged CD & vinyl mastering for artists including Radiohead, Supergrass, Gorillaz and Kylie. I also worked on some neat projects for the Regal Recordings imprint where we were able to come up with crazy packaging concepts until the finance department spotted how much they cost and made us stop. From there I moved into artist management, having a fantastic few years working with Blur guitarist Graham Coxon on his solo work and other artists including Pete & The Pirates and Turin Brakes. After going on hiatus to study for an MBA degree I spent time working in digital music advising a few tech start-ups on digital strategy before moving down here to Brighton, where I’ve been fortunate to hook up with Modo and Key as an account manager. In a way I’ve come full circle – not so much with the lightbulb changing, more working once again on great CD and vinyl projects.
First Gig: Reading Festival 1988, the day after my GCSE results and the year before Reading got cool. I went to see the Wonder Stuff in the middle of the afternoon but ended up staying for the headliners Iggy Pop and the Ramones, viewed through a hail of flying beer bottles.
Guilty Pleasure: I’m not the slightest bit guilty to tell you that Neil Diamond is a genius.
Thanks to my Grandad who was a Bandmaster for 'The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland' music has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember; from being classically trained on the piano and clarinet to picking up my first guitar and more recently my first analog synthesizer. I grew up in the Medieval City of Salisbury (now famous for Russian spies) which had a great local music scene and an even better council funded rehearsal / recording studio ‘Grosvenor House’ where throughout my teens I spent my evenings practicing in various bands and getting into mischief, this led me to playing gigs all across the UK (and causing yet more mischief). When I joined Modo as a Product Design Intern in 2011 I knew the music industry was the place for me and after graduating from the University of Brighton I found myself back at the same desk, but this time working on entire projects from designing the initial concepts right through to the delivery of the finished product. It's a job I couldn’t have even dreamt up when I was laboriously applying to anyone that might have me, yet here I am 7 years later working on more and more incredible projects with artists I love!
First Gig: A local punk band called Whitmore at the Salisbury Arts Centre.
Guilty Pleasure: Some may consider it as such, but I see it as a true classic…Sugarbabes ‘Overload’.
My teeth were firmly cut, IN THE EARLY 90’S, as Sales Director of Battersea based "Mayking Multimedia” a purveyor of home grown CD, CD-ROM and Vinyl. Having served time there I was given the role of Managing Director of Sonopress UK, a Bertelsmann company. At Sonpopress I worked extensively with the exploding UK games market and in the early days got into the packaging they built around each release. Seeing a decline in Audio CD sales I thought to apply a special packaging logic to the music market. I formed MODO with a partner and we became the go to people for Creative and special packaging in the ever expanding music boxset market. Following a merger with Key, Modo continues to thrive in it’s chosen market sector.
First Gig: Bauhaus
Guilty Pleasure: Kung Fu
While pursuing a degree in Accounting and Finance, I always held tight my dream of becoming a world class music producer/ record label owner. With my rap skills I formed a group, did my own part of underground domination for 5 years and didn’t feel that was enough. Moving on, I realised it wasn’t just about the talent, it also involves in-depth knowledge of the market environment and their modus operandi. Ever since I realised that, my passion became even stronger and more focused. I then decided to find a way to merge my knowledge of business with my love for music. Now I'm enjoying the art of turning good ideas into great products with key people at Key!
First Gig: An underground hip-hop event somewhere in Nigeria
Guilty Pleasure: Following Eminem’s career and watching movies
After finishing college in Finland my only plan was to move to London for a “gap year” and make the most of everything the city had to offer that I’d been deprived of growing up in a small town. I ended up working in retail and as a bartender at Brixton Academy for a few years all the while going to loads of gigs and travelling whenever I could. I always dreamt of working in music and I knew London was the place to be to make that happen but I had no clue where I would fit in the industry (I secretly imagined becoming a successful artist when I was younger but have since decided the only public performing I’ll ever do is at Canavan’s). When an apprenticeship at Key came up it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my passion for music and love for vinyl with my sales experience and I now get to work with different record labels!
First Gig: A Finnish girl band called Gimmel, I was obsessed with them as a kid.
Guilty Pleasure: Jonas Brothers… I’m still waiting for a reunion tour to happen.
The opportunity to begin my career in the music industry walked into my lecture theatre at the University of Brighton. I was sat at a placement talk which I was paying very little attention to, as a nondescript man droned on about roof tiling. The following talk quickly turned things around as in walked Jack, with him he brought stunning box-sets, gatefolds, records and cds. Collaborations with artists I admired (the likes of Muse, Led Zeppelin, Bonobo, Fink, Nightmares on Wax…) All plastered with incredible artwork, foil finishes and textured wraps. I couldn’t believe this could be my reality, this was exactly where I wanted to be. My knowledge of graphic and product design got me a year placement working at Modo Design and Production where I was able to explore packaging design, pre-sale renders, reprographics as well as the ins and outs of the physical production of music. I went back to finish my Product Design degree and upon graduating great people and timing introduced me to Key Production and an opening that lead me to move to London. I didn’t know there was a place in the industry for me (having absolutely no musical talent, only a 10 year old delusion of becoming the next Gwen Stefani), at Key I get to use all of my skills as a designer while working with record labels and talented musicians.
First Gig: The Kooks / The Hives (with parental supervision)
Guilty Pleasure: Dipping popcorn into hot nacho cheese… makes my belly smile every time.
Though born in the UK, I moved to South Africa at age 7, where I went to school and university. The first thing I then did was join the Uni radio station as a DJ, from there I got into running and DJing at indie/alternative club nights in Durban, South Africa, slightly to the detriment of my university studies. (I did graduate, honest!) Moved to the bright lights of London in 1996, and immediately immersed myself in the incredible London music scene like a kid in a candy shop. Living in Camden, I was able to experience what I had previously only read about in the pages of NME and Melody Maker. With Reading festival approaching, and money fast running out, I took a job working at the same Battersea CD pressing plant as Tim, Aston and Mike, initially in the factory, but within a year or so, I was promoted to production planner. That factory moved out of London, so I joined another CD pressing plant in 2002 as customer service manager for the audio market. In 2005 Tim invited me to join the Modo team, which gave me the opportunity to work directly with some great indie labels and artists. They say never meet your heroes, but I have been lucky enough to work closely with a number of my favourite artists from the 80s and 90s, and they proved that saying wrong! My teenage inner self is still in awe, and I am proud of making some beautiful deluxe editions and helping them turn their artistic visions into finished albums, With Modo joining the Key group in 2017, I can see my sense of wonder with what I do, and the love of my job carrying on for many years.
First Gig: The Cure in Paris, December 95
Guilty Pleasure: Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and other Sci Fi and Fantasy but I am not guilty about it.