Motive Unknown boss criticises ‘toxic’ working culture


After yesterday’s widely-shared column on wellbeing within the music industry by David Emery, now marketing agency Motive Unknown’s boss Darren Hemmings has posted his own response. “Of all the people I know who work in music, more have suffered with severe anxiety issues and depression than have not,” wrote Hemmings.

“I’ve heard tales of people hiding from family when on holiday, sitting in their room checking emails on their phone, right through to comments from colleagues realising they have no life whatsoever beyond music… Across many music companies, be it labels, management or beyond, the sad reality is that the working culture is frequently toxic. Often there’s an expectation to be on call 24/7, with personal devices ensuring that you can be contacted by any means such that escaping from work is all but impossible.”

This is by no means restricted to the music industry – it’s one of the by-products of uncertain economic times as well as the relatively recent developments in those personal devices that fuel this 24/7 culture. Hemmings: “That does not make it right, sorry… Let’s not allow this debate to go away. Change can – and should – be made.”

Stuart Dredge

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