We’re back with this year’s first #FavoriteFollow, David Whiting, from our Stockholm office. Listen to some of his favourite tunes and learn stuff about David you never knew you didn’t know!
Where are you from and how did you end up at Spotify?
I grew up in the UK, moving around various parts of the west country playing in all kinds of bands, studying Mathematics in Bath and eventually ending up in London doing Data Engineering for Last.fm. In early 2013 when the pace of London life all got a bit much for my rural roots, I crossed the North Sea to join Spotify in Stockholm.
What is your role at Spotify?
I work on the Data Infrastructure team, which supplies the technology necessary to process the huge amounts of data that Spotify produces every day. A lot of the time this means trying to solve tough programming problems with headphones on and the volume up to 11.
What is your most memorable concert?
As an attendee, probably the time I saw Crystal Castles, Friendly Fires and White Lies all on the same bill for around £10 in early 2008. It was at this really cool venue called Thekla in Bristol, which is a boat permanently moored near the city centre with space for about 300 people. All three of the bands went on to be massive, so It’s amazing that I saw them all in one go.
As a performer, it’s almost certainly playing to a 500-strong entirely captive audience while opening for VNV Nation at the O2 Academy in Islington, London last month with my band Heretics.
What has been one of your coolest moments while working at Spotify?
In September I got the chance to go to NYC for a couple of weeks to work with colleagues in the office there and to give a talk at the local Hadoop User Group, which was a really great trip.
Which album would you say defined your adolescence and why?
When I was 17 years old, my music taste was limited mostly to old 80s electronic bands and brit-pop from the 90s. A friend lent me a copy of Brand New’s “Deja Entendu” and it opened me up to a whole world of music and concerts and friends. In the end, it’s probably the only album from that alternative emo rock scene which still sounds great today; there was a load more albums from various bands that I used to listen to at the time, but this is the only one I still come back to.
If you had to describe yourself in one song, what song would it be?
Demoscene Time Machine – The Greatest Adventure
It’s a bit of a cheat because I wrote it, but I think it sums up my attitude to life pretty well.
What song do you have on repeat right now?
Light Asylum – Shallow Tears - such power and intensity, I can’t get enough of it; or if I’m in more of a party mood, the Shiny Mob remix of Gangsterlove by Alice Francis.
What is the best band name ever?
Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
If you could choose to be in any band throughout history, which would it be?
I think being in Kraftwerk in the 70s and helping to shape the whole future of popular music by the pioneering use of synthesisers would be amazing.
Tell me about your picks.
My music taste is really varied, so I’ve tried to include a representative sample from lots of different styles, compiled from a combination of my Spotify playlists, my jams on This Is My Jam and my Last.fm listening data. You’ll hear synthpop, indie, nu-disco, electro-swing, chiptune, acoustic, folk and dark electronics in the playlist, so if you don’t like what you’re hearing, then you might well find something you like if you skip a few.
Check out David’s picks here and be sure to Follow him on Spotify!