Sony spotlight: James Mackey
November 18, 2016
As we continue to turn the spotlight on the devoted men and women of Sony Legacy, please meet Legacy Marketing Assistant, James Mackey…
WHAT WAS THE FIRST RECORD YOU EVER BOUGHT?
I think a cassette single of ‘Back for Good’ by Take That was officially mine when I was 3, but having no income, I can’t say I bought it. I do remember, bizarrely, buying CD singles of ‘Ignition (Remix)’ by R Kelly and ‘She Hates Me’ by Puddle of Mudd with money from my first paper round. I think the first album may actually have been Permission to Land by The Darkness, which remains amazing.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONY ARTIST AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG/ALBUM BY THEM?
Sometimes it’s Miles with ‘On the Corner’, sometimes ‘Bringing It All Back Home’, sometimes ’36 Chambers’, sometimes it’s ‘Transformer’ or ‘Street Hassle’, sometimes ‘Horses’, sometimes ‘Lady in Satin’, sometimes The Clash, sometimes ‘There’s a Riot Goin On’.
I was inching towards ‘Astral Weeks’ by Van Morrison, but I think ultimately, it’s My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’, a record that’s meant a huge amount to me for a very long time.
WHAT’S THE BEST GIG YOU’VE BEEN TO?
My big, looming standout is Radiohead in Victoria Park in 2008, during their In Rainbows tour. Looking back, the setlist is astonishing. Hearing ‘Karma Police’ sung by thousands was an early tick on the bucket list.
But I also don’t remember having as much fun as I did at a Buzzcocks gig at about 2am at a Butlins for All Tomorrow’s Parties. I also saw Sonic Youth, De La Soul and My Bloody Valentine there: a good weekend.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ALBUM?
Oh, it’s probably ‘Pet Sounds’. It’s ‘Pet Sounds’, I can’t look around it, or pretend otherwise. Its mastery and invention and beauty is undimmed despite endless celebration.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE ARTISTS?
From the now: Joanna Newsom, Julia Holter, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean, Anohni, Beyonce, Grimes, Jim O’Rourke, Kanye
From the then: Arthur Russell, Nina Simone, Velvet Underground, Kate Bush, Talking Heads, Scott Walker, Big Star, Alice Coltrane, Blondie, Sam Cooke, The Smiths, Gil Scott Heron, Cocteau Twins, Otis Redding, The Fall, Outkast, Television, Joni Mitchell, Burial, Can, Bjork, Silver Apples, New Order, The Supremes, LCD, Pavement, The Replacements, The Zombies, Love, William Onyeabor, Sleater Kinney, The Beatles
ANY STORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
The people you get to meet is just surreal, and wonderful. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in a room with Hugh Cornwell as he signed 500 records, talking about test cricket, punk zines and Jeremy Corbyn. If you’d told me that I’d get to do anything as oddly brilliant as that when I first heard ‘Golden Brown’, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I guess my short time in the music industry is peppered with moments like that, small things that all add up to something bigger: releasing records and helping people listen to the music they love. And that’s a real honour to be a part of, in whatever small way I am.
WE MISS YOU JAMES!
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