Last week I met up with Daniel Harding, who over the last few years has been diligently carving out an exciting career in the music business. In light of Flamingo’s endeavour to provide useful tips for budding creatives, I thought I’d probe into his experience so far.
I wanted to know how he stayed motivated working under his own direction, and Dan was adamant that it requires a lot of discipline. It has changed the way Dan works, and “It isn’t somewhere you go, it’s just something you think about all the time” – perhaps he’s let it take over his life a little?
It’s fair to say that Dan is a busy guy. He manages ‘Entrepreneurs’, through which Dan sorts out press, booking agents, lawyers and labels. He needs to liaise with artists and video directors, while seeking out remix commissions. In addition to this, he also works for Record Makers, a prominent French independent record label. Here he must form relationships with sync agencies (middlemen between ad agencies and record labels / musicians) in the UK, online promotion for the artists, writing press releases and biographies and scouting for new music. And if that wasn’t enough, Dan is also about to start doing some freelance tutoring work, and is setting up a new online magazine with a friend. Phew!
I was interested to find out what he thought the best and worst aspects of working on his own were. Dan offered that the best thing is the flexibility of being able to work wherever he likes. He wanted to get out of London for the summer, so spent some time using his parents’ spare room in Nottingham – now, enviably, he’s just moved to Berlin before his return to London in Autumn.
It’s not all glamourous globe-trotting, however, and Dan spends an obscene amount of time in front of the computer screen. He worries that he’s blurred the boundaries between social life and work – largely caused by Facebook. You can only imagine how screwed he was when his charger broke for a day.
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