G-CHECK #1

SIMON WAINWRIGHT

GLOBAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT SONOS

The G-Check series are our lighthearted conversations with friends from the industry. Original thinkers who share their passions and views with us. First up, he is an honorary Amsterdam local, he is witty, he is the boss of sarcasm, he is Simon Wainwright. 

“I’m Simon Wainwright, originally from Northumberland in the northeast of England, now based in Brooklyn, NY, having lived in London and Amsterdam in between. I work as the Global Creative Director for Sonos, and my background is largely in design, communications, experiential marketing, and cultural brand partnerships. I love spicy food, hate olives, and am known to walk insane distances in foreign cities to see a cool building or find a decent cup of coffee.”

Who inspires you right now and why?
It might be a cliché, but my son, Alden. He’s only a toddler but is teaching me so much every day; some of it is about myself (good and bad), but mostly it is showing me how to look at the smallest details with wonderment and excitement again. He’s brought an incredible sense of new perspective, and also reminded me what is most important in life.

What should we watch?
During lockdown I seem to have metamorphosed into a middle-aged Korean, and have binge-watched a ton of K-dramas on Netflix. I also got obsessed with this one show, Hyori’s Bed & Breakfast. She’s a K-pop icon and lives with husband Sang-soon on Jeju island – “the Hawaii of Korea” – I typically hate reality TV, but both seasons are wholesome as fuck. They’re an incredible couple, and they invited the general public into their home and took care of them. I think I needed something really human to offset the worst weeks of 2020 in NYC.
 
What should we listen to?
I’m fortunate to work with people who like me, are obsessed with music culture and share a really broad range of influences. I love new music discovery and  have been enjoying releases from Moses Sumney, Little Simz, Deerhoof, Yves Tumor, IDLES, Crack Cloud, Medhane, Fontaines D.C., SAULT, and Slow Pulp… a playlist might be easier at this stage? One album that completely stopped me in my tracks recently is Amazones Power by Les Amazones d’Afrique

What new skill would you like to pick up?
As a kid I’d spend part of my summer holidays visiting my Grandpa in London. We’d stay at the RAF Club on Piccadilly with all the old gents that flew during WWII, and they’d entertain me with stories while I ate my breakfast every morning. Ever since then I’ve wanted to get my pilot’s license, and I’m grateful for this question reigniting that desire.
 
Instagram account to follow and why?
Picking one, let’s go with @work2day – it’s largely a compilation of contemporary art installations, but it constantly inspires me because of the varied use of materials, compositions, and the overall quality of the execution in so many of the pieces.

What is your favorite local food spot?
There’s almost too much choice in Brooklyn, but I try to take friends from out of town to Yemen Café on Atlantic Ave. It was always absolutely packed before the pandemic, and the staff are awesome. I feel happy whenever I eat there.
 
Which recent brand campaign positively stood out to you and why?
I think with COVID and the crucial civil rights movement we’re witnessing, I’ve tuned out from what many brands have to say. It has all been a bit pseudo-caring, or desperate attempts to appear relevant. “We just want you to know we’re putting you first during these uncertain times…” – all times are uncertain, piss off! As a result, the last campaign that truly stood out was from LEGO. “Rebuild the World” was their first in 30-years, and it absolutely crushed. They’re doing a lot right, and the Nintendo Entertainment System concept they just dropped is really fun and imaginative.
 
What is your favorite place to be in the world and why?
My favourite place I have ever been is Vietnam. It is an incredible country, but the openness and warmth of the people combined with the brilliance of the cuisine make it such a special destination. It is an epic sensory experience on every level. I am desperate to visit again with my family, especially the northern region and Sa Pa.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Only that I cannot wait to be back in Amsterdam again. I’d booked a visit in April but the world had other plans. I miss the city and my friends there so much, even Randy and Lee at GOWTU. Thanks for thinking of me, and caring enough to reach out in this wildly challenging year.

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