• Harry Lousley

'Sometimes You Just Have To Let It Go' - A Guide to the Politics of Office Music

In a creative environment, music is the cornerstone of a productive working day. Patching over that eerie, corporate silence is essential for encouraging the flow of ideas that companies like ours are built on.

Without it, the relentless drone of keyboard warfare starts leaking into your thought process causing boringness, shellshock and all sorts of other nasty ailments.

So, I could not have been more thrilled when I was first asked to take on the DJ duties. Finally, that extra bit of responsibility I’d been working so hard to prove I could handle. I’ve always thought of myself as having a pretty eclectic taste, and was confident my Spotify repertoire covered enough genres and generations to make a name for myself as a real crowd pleaser. This moment was destined to be the start of my boundless progression through the ranks in the company. Five years down the line I’d be sitting in my own office with ‘Director of Creative Culture’ engraved on the door, sipping Châteauneuf-du-Pape at my solid oak desk and insisting that staff salute the John Lennon mural upon entering and leaving.

Everything seemed like plain sailing at first. I’d made my way through the eighties and nineties, tactically targeting the directors and senior staff first. Satisfied with the occasional head-bop of approval coming from the boardroom, I decided it was time to take on the rest of the crowd. ‘A bit of early noughties indie revival should do the trick’ I thought to myself. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Out of nowhere, I was dealt a devastating hammer blow.

Just seconds into one of my favourite songs someone asked ‘Reckon you could put on something a bit less depressing?’. Ignoring the rage that came over me like a terminal fever, I forced out a polite ‘Sure, what would you like on?’, to which I received the most demoralising of replies.

‘Perhaps a bit of Disney music?’.

My conscience begged me not to be the first one to burst out laughing, so I looked around the room for someone to get the ball rolling, but, to my surprise, everyone seemed like they agreed. Reluctantly, I put on what I can only describe as sensory punishment and strapped in, while almost everyone else seemed to be having the time of their lives in the same room that the Frozen soundtrack was playing.

Not only was my day ruined, but my ambitions of becoming Director of Creative Culture destroyed. I can just imagine, bowing to a Cinderella statue every time I leave the director’s office, grimacing as they tuck into a strawberry Yazoo. Oh, and I can wave goodbye to the bearskin rug and taxidermy deer head I had my heart set on.

Oh well. Creativity continues to thrive and the general mood in the office is at an all-time high. Although at this rate, it won’t be long before there’s a maypole at the centre of the room and everyone turns up to work via helter-skelter.

God, I hate democracy sometimes.

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