Nitin Sawhney CBE, recipient of the Ivor Novello 2017 Lifetime Achievement award, is one the most distinctive and versatile musical voices around today. Sawhney has recorded multiple albums, film soundtracks and compilations, encompassing over 60 film and TV scores and is established as a world-class producer, songwriter, touring artist, BBC Radio 2 and club DJ, multi-instrumentalist, theatrical, dance, videogame and orchestral composer and cultural/ political commentator.  He holds 6 honorary doctorates from various UK universities along with 2 fellowships and works as Ambassador for/sits on the board of multiple charities. He has received over 20 major national and international awards for his work and is a member of the academy of motion picture sciences (Oscars), BAFTA and the US recording academy (Grammys). Sawhney is also the new Chair of the PRS Foundation, the UK’s funding body for new music and talent development. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Nitin Sawhney CBE on the fundamentals of why we make music.

Thought Economics

Sophie Ellis-Bextor is one of the UK’s best known singer songwriters. She first came to prominence in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the indie rock band Theaudience, and went on to achieve huge solo success with her unique blend of mainstream pop, disco, nu-disco and 1980s electronic influence. Her debut solo album Read My Lips went double-platinum, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide with her follow-up albums Shoot from the Hip, Trip the Light Fantastic,  Make a Scene, Wanderlust and Familia achieving significant success and critical acclaim. Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Instagram Live Kitchen Disco’s during the Covid-19 lockdown were a means of virtual escapism for many, and became weekly moments of united sequined catharsis for the hundreds of thousands tuning in (the concept was so successful that Sophie now has a tour and album of it). In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Sophie about the power of music & dance and why music has been such a powerful force for good during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Thought Economics

Brian Eno is a remarkable man. He is a musician, producer, visual artist, theorist, activist and philosopher, a polymath who has become one of our world’s most significant artists. In this first of a new series of conversations around our biggest unanswered questions, I spoke to Brian and asked: Why do we make art?

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Matthew McConaughey is an Academy Award®-winning actor and producer who has played starring roles in some of the most seminal, and commercially successful films in recent history including A Time to Kill (1996), U-571 (2000), the Wedding Planner (2001), Failure to Launch (2006), Magic Mike (2012), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Interstellar (2014), The Dark Tower (2017) and The Gentlemen (2019). In 2009, Matthew and his wife, Camila, founded the just keep livin Foundation, which helps at-risk high school students make healthier mind, body, and spirit choices. In 2019, McConaughey became a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Minister of Culture/M.O.C. for the University of Texas and the City of Austin. McConaughey is also brand ambassador for Lincoln Motor Company, an owner of the Major League Soccer club Austin FC, and co-creator of his favourite bourbon on the planet, Wild Turkey Longbranch. McConaughey has led a charmed and full life. His recent memoir Greenlights takes the reader along with him as he tries to work out this riddle called life but unlike most, he fills it with practical advice and lessons from his life to ours. As Matthew wrote his memoir, the process revealed a theme- an approach- to living that gave him satisfaction at the time, and still today. He calls this process, ‘catching greenlights’ and in this exclusive interview, I spoke to Matthew McConaughey about how we can apply the lessons from his life, to our own. As he says himself, “…hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.” 

Thought Economics

Kalki Koechlin is an extraordinary talent. She is an actress, writer, producer and activist who has received numerous accolades including a National Film Award, a Filmfare Award, MetroPlus Playwright Award and two Screen Awards. Born in Pondicherry, India, to French parents, Kalki studied her craft at Goldsmiths, University of London before returning to India, making her screen debut as Chanda in the drama Dev.D (winning her the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress). Her diverse career has led her to star in two of the highest grossing films in Bollywood history Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and iconic movies such as Margarita with a Straw, Shanghai and Gully Boy (with Ranveer Singh & Alia Bhatt). Kalki has also been a pioneer in web and streaming formats. She drew critical acclaim for her characters in Made in Heaven and Sacred Games and Zee 5’s original titled, Bhram. She is also an engaged and respected activist, promoting causes ranging from health & education, to the empowerment of women and gender equity. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Kalki Koechlin about her life, her art and her advocacy. 

Thought Economics

Ally Brooke is an astonishing talent. Following her time in Fifth Harmony (described by Billboard as the biggest girl group of the 2010s’), the multiplatinum singer-songwriter kicked off her solo career with back-to-back Top 40 charting singles and an impressive resume of collaborations including “All Night” with Afrojack which marked her first #1 as a solo artist on US Dance Radio. A life-long entertainer, Ally competed on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars before embarking on her debut headline Time To Shine Tour in early 2020 with scheduled stops including a sold out show at New York’s Gramercy Theatre. She also appears in numerous Nickelodeon shows including Blue’s Clues & You and The Casagrandes, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title for an Animated Program and plays the role of “Alissa.” With total career streams already in the billions, Ally is only just getting started. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Ally Brooke about her incredible career in music, following her dreams, what we can all learn from her journey, and why she decided to chronicle her life in her fantastic new book Finding Your Harmony: Dream Big, Have Faith, & Achieve More than You Can Imagine.

Thought Economics

Jade Jagger is a visionary artist, creative director and jeweller. Her childhood coincided with the halcyon days of the New York pop art scene and Andy Warhol once famously said, “I love Mick and Bianca, but Jade’s more my speed. I taught her how to colour and she showed me how to play Monopoly. She was four and I was forty-four.” In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jade Jagger about her passion for jewellery, her creative process and what it takes to create some of the world’s finest jewels.

Thought Economics

Tracey Emin CBE, RA is one the foremost artists of our generation.  Her work is provocative, introspective, beautiful and challenging – and has achieved iconic status not because of the art establishment, but in spite of it.  Tracey is a fighter- and has defending her art and her method at every stage of her career, refusing to adapt to the parameters of the art market, but instead ensuring that she speaks form a place of creative honesty and truth. In this exclusive interview, I had the privilege of speaking to Tracey Emin to learn about her work, creative process and the role of art in our lives.

Thought Economics

For a few days, a ‘city’ of more than 250,000 people emerges onto 900 acres of countryside, joined by viewers from 40 countries around the world; together they form the largest outdoor green fields event in the world, the Glastonbury Festival. 2020 marks 50 years since the start of the festival, and Emily and her Dad Michael chronicle their journey in their new book Glastonbury 50. I had the pleasure of catching up with Emily Eavis (Co-Organiser of the Glastonbury Festival) to learn more about the Glastonbury Festival, and being a part of a unique, global, family business.

Thought Economics

As society has moved through the renaissance into modernity, the questions of why (typically the domain of theology) moved from the arts to science, the preciseness of the latter arguably unsuited to such philosophical questions.  The primacy of overtly scientific approaches to understanding life has come at a tremendous cost; in some ways we see the world in shades of grey rather than in full colour. For many thinkers therefore, the pull of the questions of meaning are too strong to ignore.  In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Dr. Jordan B. Peterson – professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a clinical psychologist and the author of the multi-million copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.  We discuss the question of how we can find meaning in a complex world.

Thought Economics

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