NAME & COMPANY: SOPHIE MCCREDDIE - NOVA MUSIC
WHERE ARE YOU BASED? LONDON
NDA: Tell me a little bit about your business and what was the impetus to startup?
NM: I run a West London based music company. We act as a promoter, booking agent and artist development agency to entertainment acts of all kinds and genres. From solo artists, to bands to DJ’s and producers, to composers and everything in between. I started up after playing gigs all over London and being pretty disillusioned by the promoters that I dealt with. I knew I could do it better because I know what it’s like being a musician on the other side. I pride myself on the loyal, strong and long standing relationships I have built with artists over the years; Nova is built on honesty, understanding of what it’s like to be a musician and passion for music of all kinds.
NDA: Where do you operate?
NM: We are based in West London and we put on nights all over the country now, even as far as Edinburgh! We also work with musicians across the UK and oversees. There are no boundaries.
NDA: What is your biggest achievement so far?
NM: I would say one of the things I feel proudest about is receiving the interest, recognition and approval of my peers. This is a tricky industry to work in at the best of times, let alone being a woman building everything from the ground up and outside of the tall walls of the, sometimes quite old fashioned, male centric music industry. Nova has been built gradually and our foundation lies in the strength of the relationships we have created with everyone from our artists, sound engineers, venue managers to other agents, promoters and industry insiders.
I am proud that however small we are and no matter how long it has taken to build, we are receiving great recognition. Reputation is everything and this is why so many smaller start ups fall by the wayside, it is tough and people try to cut corners losing sight of the fundamentals. Our aim is to nurture our relationships and grow organically.
NDA: What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
NM: Saying no to things just because there just simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I have so many ideas and I am learning to restrain myself. It’s best to try to keep things straightforward and simple.
NDA: What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
NM: My Mum (a multi business owner) told me to take the time to think about my responses to important emails. Her advice is - 'you ought to write it, leave it in your drafts, look at in the morning and more often than not you will probably delete it or think twice about sending it, more than likely with a new more balanced perspective.
When you build a company from scratch you tend to take things very personally. As I mentioned, our reputation means everything to me and Nova’s foundations are built upon it, so I am bound to be quite protective. I have learnt to hold my tongue though, it’s not easy but it works out better in the end.
NDA: Many people only contemplate setting up their own business, what advice would you give to spark the catalyst?
If you have a great idea and know you can do something better than someone else have a go! My impetus was that burning feeling that I knew ‘I could do it better’, coupled with the fact that I work really well independently.
If you feel strongly enough about an idea just give it a go. Do you want to be in the driver’s seat and not just a passenger coasting along?
Time is usually the factor that stops many people….so make time, give it a go….'this time next year Rodney you could be a miwyonair’…. (quotes Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses)
NDA: What do you do to stay active and how has it changed your life?
NM: I am really into jogging, it’s so therapeutic (only in mild weather though….Springtime jogging is the best). My friend and I would meet up for a jog down Embankment and round Battersea Park - we called it Chogging- Chat Jogging. I also love yoga it is just such a release. Every time I leave yoga I feel about 100 times more relaxed, together, calm, positive and de-stressed than I did when I walked into the class.
NDA: Do you have any favourite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy everyday?
NDA: Us too, big time.
NM: Stretching in bed.
It sounds ridiculous but engaging with and talking to people you don’t know. We don’t do this enough in London, but when I do it lifts my spirits.
Laughing, I run Nova with my brother and he is the funniest person I know, he makes me laugh every day and I really find it one of the biggest de-stressers.
Tell the people you love that you love them.
Draw up a plan of action and plan getaways and non work orientated things then you feel like you are working towards something.
NDA: Do you consider yourself a ‘healthy eater’ and are there habits you wish you could kick?
NM: Yes I do, I eat nearly everything….just not parsnips. I have a varied diet and I don’t really have a sweet tooth so that helps, although the odd pack of Haribo must be allowed ;) I have recently been making little juices in the morning- orange, pineapple, banana, coconut milk, honey and ginger was a rather banging recent attempt.
I wish I could be less addicted to pasta. I try not to eat too much meat. Meat should be a treat I think so maybe eaten once a week.
NDA: What is your typical…
NM: - Breakfast: weetabix, yoghurt and some kind of berry
- Lunch: sandwich of some kind or mackerel salad or soup
- Dinner: the other night I made smoked haddock on a bed of spinach, garlic and capers with a poached egg on top = yum. I love Pan Asian food.
NDA: Lastly, how lucky are you, and why?
NM: I am lucky that I am healthy, I have a wonderful healthy and supportive family (most important thing in the world), who I love spending time with and who make me laugh and forget any troubles I may have. I am lucky to have confidence, good friends and a roof over my head. I am lucky to be sitting here writing to you as Spring is just around the corner.
NDA: Thank you Soph x