By Dani Lauren
Welcome back, and for those of you in the Northeast braving the blizzard, stay safe! I feel like I’ve finally settled into life in London. Even though I’ve been finding it hard to meet people my age here, I’ve still done tons of exploring and I feel like I’ve adapted to city life quite well. I’ve even started planning some trips outside of the UK. I’m going to Amsterdam on a tour that leaves from London, I’m visiting my best friend who is studying abroad in Madrid, and I might even go on a solo trip to Prague! There are so many cities I need to see and so little time, but hopefully I’ll be back here soon enough.
Working for Kobalt has been amazing. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to go into too much detail about the work I’m doing, but a lot of it involves listening to music and classifying it in the system. I’ve discovered so many new artists that I never would have listened to on my own. Right now, I’ve been listening to and loving Above & Beyond’s acoustic album, everything Susanne Sundfør does, and Until The Ribbon Breaks. Before working here I had been very into my classic rock and certain singer/songwriters, but this has definitely expanded my taste in music. I also love just being in the music industry. I’ve been writing for so long and I’ve been studying publishing and the rest of the industry in school, but this is such a different experience. There’s something about working with licenses and music hands-on that makes it feel new and exciting. Especially working in a company as innovative as Kobalt, I’m learning a lot about where the publishing industry is going, which I couldn’t get from a textbook at school.
As for my experiences around London, I’d like to highlight one day in particular. I woke up last Saturday and decided to have an adventurous day filled with things I haven’t seen or done yet. I love markets so I decided to go to Borough Market, which was probably the best decision I’ve made since coming here. If you’re ever in London and it’s a nice day outside, this should be on your list of things to do, especially if you love food. I must have wandered around for two hours just trying new things from all of the different food vendors and taking in all the different smells and bright colors. Borough Market has everything, from wine tasting and homemade cheeses to organic vegetables and street food. They also have the best doughnuts I’ve ever had, oozing with vanilla bean cream-filling. From there, I went on to Selfridges to treat myself to an incredible cinema experience. Yes, it was a little bit expensive for a movie, but the theatre was unbelievable. When you walk in, there’s a wine bar that lets you take your glass into the theatre with you. The seats themselves are all either couches or individual comfy chairs, and they have assigned seats! I think I enjoyed the actual theatre more than I did the movie. Afterwards, I decided to be a little daring and go out to dinner by myself. Fair warning, London is not the best place to eat solo at an Italian restaurant. I can’t tell you the amount of weird looks I got and the amount of times the waiter came over to ask if I was okay. I was a little annoyed too because I had just had the most wonderful day by myself and these people had to go and ruin it. Aside from dinner though, I’d say the day was a success. The other intern from my school finally came to London last week too, so I won’t have to have many more dinners by myself.
As far as the music scene goes, I have yet to see a live band, but I plan on getting tickets to more shows soon and going out to some pubs and Jazz bars to get a feel for how the independent musicians are here. I even went to a vintage guitar shop near Brick Lane and bought an acoustic, so maybe I’ll get to play some gigs during my stay here!
If you want to follow my adventures in London, I will be posting here on Musicovation every other Friday! I will be talking about the London music scene as well as life as a member of the Synchronization department of an innovative music company.