“What do you want to be when you grow up?” When I was in primary school the answer was “have an ice-cream van”. Towards the end of secondary school I’d switched to “music producer”, and by the time I got to sixth form I had no idea at all. From GCSE onwards, the subjects I chose were based on things I had a decent level of interest in and thought might be useful skills to have in life; but for the most part I was indifferent about them.
I graduated with a 2:1 in International Business and Spanish and went on to do a Masters in Business Analytics. While my coursemates were stressing over completing online aptitude tests for grad schemes at reputable management consultant firms, I was on w3schools.com trying to figure out the right HTML tag to make the page title on my music blog bigger.
When I think back I should’ve known my career would revolve around music and content creation. I played the piano from age 9 and was an avid ‘selector’ long before music curators were a thing. I used to make mixtapes for my friends on a twin cassette deck and later upgraded them to mix CDs when P2P’s like Limewire popped up and meant unlimited downloads of just about any record you could possibly think of.
So in a way, starting my first music blog was a continuation of my enthusiasm for discovering and sharing new music. After uni it was a much loved hobby and something I was infinitely more dedicated to than actually figuring out a post-academic career path.
Without realising, the platform I’d created for emerging artists and new music was simultaneously providing me with the time and space to explore, enjoy and develop a bunch of new skills, and alternative ways of approaching creativity and problem solving.
The blog expanded into a YouTube channel, radio show and live music events and with that I self-taught and took on the roles of director-content producer-editor-videographer-interviewer- graphic designer-promoter-photographer and much more.
My time as a gratuitous multi-hyphenate (a multi-hyphenate is defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘a person, with several professions or skills’) was my incubation period. Unknowingly, I was mapping out my own career trajectory straight towards the place I currently find myself. That is as a Slashie. ie. DJ/ Photographer/ Social media strategist/ Content creative/ promoter.
Right now I can confidently claim and proclaim each of those titles but it’s taken a while to get there. When the penny finally dropped and I understood that dedicating my life to one single profession wasn’t right for me, the toughest challenge was owning it and embodying it.
Owning it even though having your ‘fingers in many pies’ is somehow considered as having a lack of focus.
Owning it even though I wasn’t sure of how to make it work financially.
Embodying it without really being sure whether I was even talented enough to succeed in any of those areas, and how realistic progressing in multiple roles at the same was.
I tried a few times to narrow them down and focus on one or two but ultimately I kept coming back to that same combination. Why? Because for me, each of those pursuits tie back to my core passion – storytelling through music and visual art primarily using digital tools and via online and social media platforms. It’s a mouthful but it makes perfect sense to me and that’s really all that counts.