Specialist in: electronic, indie, soul
Michelle has been curating playlists for as long as she can remember. Her early days as a receptionist at a music marketing agency took her into live music. Since then, she has established herself as a DJ and radio host, best known in Barcelona where she spent 10 years, also promoting club nights and festivals.
"Technology is forever changing and evolving so we need to get on board and roll with it. But the human touch and personal taste will always be why music is so powerful - it builds communities, creates conversation and can make any bad day feel good."
An interview with Michelle
Let’s start from the beginning - please introduce yourself and give us a background of your life in music!
Starting my career in the music industry goes back to the mid 2000’s. Working as a receptionist at a music marketing agency took me into the world of live music and festivals; from then on I knew this was where I wanted to be. Since then, I have established myself as a DJ and radio host, best known in Barcelona where I lived for almost ten years until recently. I also promoted club nights and festivals, and I have been curating playlists for as long as I can remember.
Do you remember what music inspired you at an early age? And perhaps a few tracks that inspired you to start a career in music?
Music has always been a part of my life in many ways. As a child we always listened to the radio in the morning getting ready for school. Taping the Top 40 every Sunday was a thing and making up dance routines to Janet Jackson at mates' houses was everything. My parents had a pretty varied record collection; from The Beatles to Kate Bush, Earth Wind and Fire and Led Zeppelin, so my inspiration draws from many colours of the spectrum. It wasn't until the early 2000's that I got into dance music when I started listening to early Warp Records, UKG, and techno. That pretty much changed everything and I bought my first pair of Technics 1210’s.
Is there one area of music you specialise in i.e. genre or scene that you are particularly close to?
I have knowledge in lots of genres and I think that's key to the job we do at Open Ear as Music Curators. But overall, electronic and alternative music are what I get most excited about. 80’s Soul and Disco are very close to my heart.
What are your favourite places, sources, sites, radio shows or people to discover new music?
I discover a lot of new music through my peers over a few beers - it still exists! Record shops, DJ promos, radio playlists and music publications are also always a good source for what’s new.
Talk to us about your approach to music playlist for brands, do you have some key do’s and don'ts?
Think about the bigger picture. Understanding the brand from the eyes and ears of the client is key. Working closely on ideas, getting to know the personality of the brand, the people behind it and who they are speaking to. Does it work in the space and does it fit in with the target audience? Don’t overthink it.
What are your thoughts on computer algorithms shaping the future of music curation?
Technology is forever changing and evolving, so we need to get on board and roll with it. I certainly have discovered so many favourites because of certain algorithms, but the human touch and personal taste will always be why music is so powerful - it builds communities, creates conversation, and can make any bad day feel good.