Photo by markhillaryManuel Marino: Today we interview Jon Skinner, Jon is a friend and also an impressive talent in the music Industry world. Jon is the mind behind MusicGateway.net a new project that will bring opportunities and contacts to musicians and producers all over the world!
1) Dear Jon, first, let’s talk about you. How your career began?
Jon Skinner: How long for you got? I’ll keep it short and sweet. From a very early age about 6 I was bought a drum kit for my birthday & loved music full stop. I recall the hand me down records I received from my dad, it was a mixture of disco, rock & a bit of classical, I loved a bit of the Three Degrees & Thin Lizzy at the age of 10 years old.
Career wise, it all started from a DJ perspective in 1987, at the age of 17, then had an opportunity to set up an independent record store in Guildford Surrey, just outside London.
It seemed like a natural progression to start producing and making records, in fact one of the store customers simply asked me if I would like to do a record, that was early ’93 and set about creating my first record label dance2 recordings.
Some highlights were Dj Supreme’s Tha Wildstyle, Mount Rushmore’s You Better & Reach & Spin’s Hyper, which I produced with Alex Ellenger & remixed the first two tracks, all of which were signed to Majors.
About 50 odd releases later I changed direction a little from house music and set up Aspect records & Perspective recordings, both drum & bass labels, however I stood true to my love of all things melody, song based and live elements, so I formed a live D&B band Pressure Rise.
A Pressure Rise album followed several singles & another album with singer / songwriter Dina Vass, before taking a break from the industry in 2006 to set up another company in the leisure industry.
2) Why you decided to create MusicGateway.net ?
JS: The need was simple, I had been in so many situations before where I wished I had access to a platform like Music Gateway, the amount of hours & money I would have saved in using a system like MG. There are so many barriers in the industry and what can be frustrating to some, is that talented people don’t always rise to the top and it can be more about who you know that how good you are. Music Gateway helps level the playing field, and provides clear opportunities across the board, rather than an elite.
3) What are your next plans for MusicGateway.net ?
JS: When I originally set down and wrote the business model, it had bells, whistles and multipurpose usage. I read a great book called REWORK, which I highly recommend you read if you are looking to start a business, it allows you to strip back the ideas and focus on priorities of the business, less is more, keep it simple & focused. So as for plans in the future, I have a shed full, but will keep these buttoned for now 🙂
4) What do you think about the music industry today?
JS: CHANGE, that’s the first word that springs to mind, it’s changed no end and still has a long way to go, there are many things still wrong with the industry in my opinion, for getting proper accounting sorted for the artists to balanced shares & splits for digital sales. The good news is, finally the majors have had their wake up call and seem to be listening for a change. The “Let’s bury our head in the sand” approach didn’t and never will work in any industry, the dinosaur fat cats are still jealous as F&%^ about Adele signing to an independent.
5) What do you think about music and technology?
JS: It’s a good that that technology can enhance and support an industry or an record produce, it will never replace a human, a feeling, a vibe or a moment of magic, but it can help with making those things happen more often. We live in such a small world these days, its time everyone started to think on a global level & a global marketplace cos its here now and the doors are wide open!
6) What can you tell us about the future of music and internet?
JS: I wouldn’t want to predict the future, but things are looking good, another word that springs to mind is opportunity, we aim to empower music professionals and aspiring talent, so things are looking good & very positive.
7) What will you do in the next months?
JS: Frankly speaking, I will be working my arse off with the launch, luckily I have a great team around me and some fantastic support & resource, but its head down all the way to launch and beyond.
MM: Thanks Jon for this great interview! You can be sure we will all be at www.MusicGateway.net, this huge project we are so happy you created! Have a wonderful day!