We had a chat to the new Managing Editor of Purple Sneakers Caitlin Medcalf about her takeover of one of Australia’s most prominent and influential niche music hubs.
Based around a young and enthusiastic team of contributors, Purple Sneakers prides itself as being ‘Trusted for Taste’. Whether they are writing about new music, sharing it over the airwaves, playing it in a DJ set, or giving it a live platform at their parties; the Purple Sneakers team are committed to imparting the work of tasteful, young artists with the world.
GI: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Caitlin Medcalf: I’m very lucky to have grown up in an environment where creativity was celebrated, and I think this has extended into all aspects of my working and personal life. I’ve been freelance writing for seven years now, a radio host at FBi Radio for five years and a DJ for two and a half years. I occasionally throw parties on the side, manage Purple Sneakers DJs and produce my own music (nothing to show for it yet, but hopefully I’ll have something by the time the year is out hehe).
GI: How long have you been working for Purple Sneakers, and what were you doing before taking the reins?
CM: I’ve been with Purple Sneakers since mid-2012, so almost 7 years to the day. I took over as Managing Editor from our previous ME, Emma Jones in September last year. I honestly had huge shoes to fill, Emma’s a star at everything that she does. Her passion for Australian music and ensuring PS’ coverage is as diverse as it is today is something that continually inspires me, and I still often look to her for advice.
Before taking on the role as Managing Editor, I was only a few months out of my [university] degree, working in [hospitality] almost full-time, running my own blog Pretty Broad, DJing and really just planning my next move, so for this opportunity to come along, it wasn’t just a case of it being the right fit, but it was the right time too.
GI: When did you find out you’d be taking over, and what was your initial reaction?
CM: It’s funny how this sort of came to fruition, because it had been snowballing for a few months. When Emma left and I took over, everything was kind of up in the air with a few things happening behind the scenes and PS’ founder and owner, Martin Novosel, was a bit unsure what to do next. He called me up and asked if I wanted to take over Emma’s job for a few months as the interim editor while he worked some things out.
A few months down the line, sometime around February this year, I got a call from Martin asking to meet. We met up at the Surf Club in Redfern for a few beers and to talk about PS future, and he long story short, offered me the company.
It was honestly very surprising, it’s not every day that you get an offer to take over a company with such a rich and culturally embedded history. It felt a bit like fate.
GI: How have you been finding it so far? Is it much of a step up compared to what you were previously doing?
CM: We’re in a bit of a transition period at the moment, plus with the birthday happening so soon it’s all been a bit of a blur, but surprisingly it hasn’t been too much different so far. Prior to Martin asking me to take over, I was running most of the day-to-day, including the site, radio show, PSDJs and putting together the birthday event with our friends at UNDR ctrl.
These last few months, I’ve been having these big conversations with myself and Martin about my vision for the brand and where I’d like to take it over the next few months and years. He’s been a great mentor in taking an idea, running with it and doing what you can to make it happen.
GI: Considering the significant role PS has in the music industry, what do you think you’ll need to do in the long run to uphold its reputation and purpose?
CM: I’m a firm believer in your actions speaking louder than your words and I think this will be key for PS going into its next phase. I want us to put on more live shows, give artists the opportunity to tell their story via the website, put on a few free panels where people can come and learn from others in the industry and do our best to give back to the community that we’ve been able to thrive in for so long.
Despite the many iterations of PS, I think the one thing that’s remained our most core value is passion and I would love for that to remain central in everything that we do.
Make sure you keep up to date with the latest PS news and events here: http://www.purplesneakers.com.au/