Q1: If you had the opportunity to get an inspiring message across to a large amount of people, what would your message be?
I’m not a fan of inspirational and motivational messages, I find them a bit too preachy and people that may be influenced by you may take your lead and not their own. People should follow their own path.
Q2: How did you get started with music? And if you weren’t doing this what would you want to be doing?
I was an industrial chemist by profession, working in refractories and ceramics, and had always been passionate about music since being a kid. As a young adult with a good income, I collected records and travelled to gigs all over the country. Following chats with my friend George Evelyn – aka Nightmares on Wax – about our frustration of not being able to go out to clubs and gigs and hear music we were into, we decided to put something on ourselves. We then set up a club night, Funky Mule, which specialised in hip-hop, trip-hop and drum and bass. If I wasn’t working in music I would see myself diving. I love diving, and I am a qualified rescue diver, and would take it further and become an instructor or dive guide.
Q3: What keeps you motivated and inspires you?
I got into music simply through loving music and following a passion for it so it’s pretty easy to keep motivated. I love seeing acts on stage having a great time and a room full of people loving and appreciating their performance. To be a part of making that happen gives me a lot of pleasure and when I am at one of my shows I never feel like it is a job, more of a night out.
Q4: What are the most memorable experiences of your life and career so far? And what have you learned from them?
I’m 50 years old and have been fortunate to do a lot of different things I have wanted to do with my career and life, so there’s too many to choose from really, which makes me feel a very fortunate. Some of the ones that I do remember and treasure the most are the results of using my networks and contacts in music, film, television and dance to do projects with young people, some of which come from very challenging backgrounds and awful situations of abuse, and because of the nature of some of that, and the work, I can’t be too specific about it. Being told that your project made a massive change in the confidence and behaviour of those people is very rewarding and very emotional too. From that I learned I could make very good use of the networks and contacts I have, to help others; it ultimately gave me my inspiration to be less commercially focused and gave me my work motto: Make a difference and not a fortune.
Q5: Would you go back and change anything in your career so far? And if not, why?
Give me the time machine and I wouldn’t go to Ibiza in 1996 for a whole summer and promote a dance night at Amnesia. It was a very crazy summer, very stressful with a lot of madness and a lot of fun thrown in, but it lead to the loss of a relationship with a girl I loved. I know I hurt her so much, I have never fully forgiven myself for the pain I caused. Fortunately, time is a great healer and we are now great friends and very close.
Q6: In the next two years what do you aspire to achieve?
Promote more, great, emerging talent and help them to get more widely known and appreciated. And get chance to take a holiday; I am an addict to my music work and really bad at taking proper holidays.
Q7: How much of your life and your background has influenced your career?
All of it. I believe it to all be interconnected.
Q10: Is there one most inspiring message you have heard in your life so far?
I am not sure some would see it as inspiring but it gave me an amusing slant on what lay ahead as I was getting busier, and it inspired me to be ready for challenges and hectic schedules. It also makes me laugh when things are full on. It was told to me by a dear old friend that is sadly no longer with us, who was a miner and his exact words were: “Remember this, Watson, life is like a shit sandwich, the more you bite off the more shit you get”.
Q11: Do you have a motto in life that do you live by?
You can allow people to be who they are but you don’t have to allow it to affect you.
Q12: Which bands or artists are currently on your playlist?
I mostly listen to local unsigned acts. I have a massive passion for that scene, so I rarely listen to established acts. This week’s list is Wuzi, Adore//Repel, Skull, MUFFIN, Glass Mountain, Lauren Rycroft, Loux, Serratone, Nightmares on Wax, Victors, The Seagulls, Thomas Harvey, Hypnosister.
Q13: If you could have one song to be the soundtrack to your life, what would it be and why?
Tough one, so many to choose from. I would probably go with ‘Always Look on The Bright Side of Life’; it’s certainly not a great or classic song but the lyrics are all about living your life and trying to keep positive, even when things are crap. I always look for the positive and if things are really bad I tell myself that things can always be a lot worse, so don’t worry about.
Q14: What are your biggest dreams? And your biggest fears?
To score the winning goal in the FA Cup final. To lose in the final of the FA Cup.
Q15: What are your plans for this year?
To grow #360RAW and keep on doing what I do with music and keep on enjoying it. I should also renew my passport and have a holiday. I want to do a road trip through Andalucía, which is one of my favourite parts of the world, and go visit some different friends that have moved to different parts of it.
Q16: What would your advice be to those who want to live out their dreams?
Get on with it, you’re a long-time dead!
Q17: Lastly, for those who don’t know, what are the best social media methods for people to follow you?