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Interview: Wesley Verhoeve

Photo by  Julia Robbs

Photo by Julia Robbs

Wesley Verhoeve is the founder of NYC-based music company Family Records, an independent label and artist management/development firm.

He’s also the co-founder of GNTLMN and writes about the intersection between creativity, tech, and business.

After The Show: You work on so many projects – what’s the breakdown like? Take me through a typical week or day for you.

Wes: It depends on the week and day. Some weeks I’ll have a client in town. Other weeks we have a new product launch…we’re working on watches right now for GNTLMN. Sometimes a new music release. I’ve realized it’s not so great if I try to work on multiple projects in one day…It really just depends on what’s more important that week.

On Sunday mornings I always take a couple hours to review my past week and see if I maybe missed something or got caught up on something. So, look back and then look forward to the next week and block off days for specific projects.

Tell me about the work you’re doing to connect tech and music start-ups in Europe to the American market.

That’s a newer thing…I’m trying to figure out how I can add the most value, for example to a company that’s successful in Germany and trying to come over to the US. Because I’ve lived on both continents, I can give them advice on how to adapt their product or marketing. So there’s product-focused strategy, and marketing-focused, and also introduction based (introducing them to people). It’s really pretty diverse…sometimes also curating.

What project do you find most challenging?

Family Records. I’m spending more time thinking rather than doing. The problem with music releases is that there’s so much released, and it’s so ephemeral. I’m thinking about how to make releases stickier.

How do you reach a balance between consuming and creating?

That’s a good question. It’s a little bit in flux. My friend Frank Chimero is a designer and he had an article about this particular topic – being a freelancer/creative can be kind of lonely. I can get caught up in talking a lot. It’s very easy and fun for me to consume magazines, books, and all that stuff, but while you’re doing that you’re not actually making anything. Making is more important for me.

I’m trying to be very conscious of that. I’ve scaled back some on the podcasts I listen to, blog posts I follow, people I follow on Twitter…there’s so much to consume that I can’t create anymore. Doing things like going out into nature is more interesting to me than reading about it.

Where do you get ideas for the articles you write on your website?

It’s either something I’m dealing with myself – and writing it down to help work through or crystallize it – or something a friend talked about. A lot of times it will be sparked by something I hear or read.

It’s funny…my most popular/shared one is the coffee shop post [published in Fast Company, “Why You Should Work From A Coffee Shop, Even When You Have An Office”]. That was a quick one to write and turned out to resonate more than articles I’ve spent a full day slaving over. You never know!

Thanks Wesley! Keep up with his latest projects at WesleyVerhoeve.com.

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