Six Questions With... Grahame Farmer of Data Transmission

Six Questions With... Grahame Farmer of Data Transmission

Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a regular short and sharp interview with a live music figure. Email jhanley@nbmedia.com if you would like to take part or recommend someone for inclusion. 

This week's Q&A is with Grahame Farmer, founder of online dance music website Data Transmission, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

What was your first job in the music industry? 

My first job in music was working for a blog called UK Clubbing back in early 2000s. I helped build the platform as I was a developer back then, and it eventually became the site iHouseU. My main break in music came when I started working at Turnmills nightclub in Clerkenwell as their in-house web developer. I worked there for the last five years of the club's existence. 

How long have you been in your current role?

I started running Data Transmission when Turnmills closed in 2008 and this year we are celebrating 10 years of the website. For the uninitiated, DT is an online dance music platform and, since 2017, a full online radio station with 125 exclusive shows from labels, artists and events. Data Transmission showcases electronic music via our SoundCloud and YouTube channels, and Spotify playlists.We cover our favourite parts of the dance music via our news and features editorial output.  

What is your favourite thing about working in the music industry?

For me, I absolutely love finding new artists and giving them exposure. Finding that one track that makes you dance around the kitchen still gives me a massive buzz. I also love trying to help give artists more information and inspiration to help them improve in all areas. Via my personal channels on Facebook and Instagram I've been giving out daily tips and advice on how to get better from my 15 years experience - these include how to build music channels and how to really get yourself out there as an artist. I've also been asking friends i.e DJs/producers, promoters, industry heads their tips on a host of subjects.

What is the one thing you would like to change about working in the music business?

I'm hot on helping to try to improve the diversity problem within dance music. I really didn't realise there was a problem until I saw a panel at Brighton Music Conference a few years ago and have since worked tirelessly to help through our channels. As a father of a daughter it was truly upsetting to think she might have to deal with this inequality if she wants to work in music at some point at the future. I really cannot have that. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Highlights for me go back to finding people early who then go big, like Disclosure, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur and Solardo, as examples. To be part of their growth is a massive buzz. Other special moments are sometimes much smaller, such as when you receive an email saying thank you from a really small DJ who you have given space to on the platform. You can generate thousands of plays on a Soundcloud mix for instance, and off the back of that promotion they can go and get 10 gigs. 

What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?

The obvious answer to this is 'the one with a group of mates' or 'the next one' or 'the one where you met that person'.  I'm not gonna go down that route; mine is definitely Space closing - the final ever show at Space, Ibiza. I didn't go for the whole thing. I decided to get up at 5am and go down for the last eight hours. I did it all sober which was so much fun. There was so much music i've loved from past and present and the ending was truly emotional. Afterwards I left, had a fry-up and busted out a whole day of work - it was like the perfect day.

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