Full house Pt 2: Merck Mercuriadis, Zena White and Fraser T Smith offer you their top WFH advice

Full house Pt 2: Merck Mercuriadis, Zena White and Fraser T Smith offer you their top WFH advice

In the current issue of Music Week we take a very special look at how the music business is operating during the current coronavirus lockdown.

As part of our coverage, we asked a host of top names in the biz to give us their best tips about working from home, staying healthy and how to keep business moving during the pandemic.

We’ve already given some snippets from big names like Stuart Camp and Kanya King in Pt 1, but here, we round some more key industry figures to find out what’s working for them…


Merck Mercuriadis (founder/CEO Hipgnosis Songs Fund)
“We have to accept that, as per post 9/11, we are entering a new normal. I suspect that working from isolation/home may well be an important part of that for a long time to come so great communication skills are essential. Start with the clean desk policy. Return every email and every phone call the same day wherever possible. We can all have massive success together even if we are physically apart.”?

Zena White (MD, Partisan)
“My new normal has quickly become doing something else for about an hour around mid-afternoon. A walk, a run, yoga, listening to an audiobook that has nothing to do with work or Covid-19, a bath, baking a cake... Basically any kind of mental break.”?

Fraser T Smith (producer/artist)
“I’ve been self-isolating for about eight months, making my album, so I’m very skilled at this. Stick to a schedule of what you want to achieve each day, use FaceTime and Zoom more, and check in on people you care about.”


We can all have massive success together even if we are physically apart

Merck Mercuriadis (founder/CEO Hipgnosis Songs Fund)


Sarah Williams (CEO, IMPEL)
“Start the day with Wim Hof’s breathing technique which you can easily find online. Wim Hof (aka “The Iceman”) is a force?of nature who has developed a short but powerful breathing regime to release the body’s inner power to adapt to changing environments. Do this for 10 minutes first thing and I guarantee your body will be flooded with oxygen, your brain will be engaged and you’ll be ready to go. I find it really fires me up, physically and mentally.”

Zeon Richards (head Of A&R, MinistryOf Sound/founder, Renowned Group)
“After the first couple of days of working from home, I found myself bored and missing the daily interaction of our team at Ministry Of Sound. I then decided to be specific with my planning for the following day, hour for hour scheduling time for tasks, video calls and so on.?I recommend embracing the creative opportunities to engage with an online audience at this uncertain time, it is a great time for talent to showcase itself.”

Jane Arthy (VP, Radio & Playlisting, Warner Records UK)
“It’s all about having some routine. So I’m getting up early to run – and listening to an album each morning. And I’m just listening a lot more while I work. To what people are saying, to live radio and ‘listen again’, really digging in to playlists and exploring spaces I never have time to usually.”

Subscribers can read the full feature here.

 * For the very latest music industry updates about the Covid-19 outbreak click here. To make sure you can access Music Week wherever you are, subscribe to our digital issue by clicking here.

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