Marcus Welch is the co-founder & CEO at Quadio, college streaming platform and creative network that he launched alongside his step-cousin Joe Welch.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I began working in the music industry the summer after my sophomore year in college, interning at Sirius XM and Secretly Canadian. I was really inspired by those internships and decided to take a leap of faith and change my major from geology to communications and fully pursue my passion for music.
After college, I worked on Music Partnerships at Twitter, working with an incredible team and helping emerging artists connect with their fanbases and get the most out of the platform. It was an enlightening and humbling role and one where I got to work with some true industry legends, from Pusha T to Erykah Badu.
After Twitter, I took a job in marketing at Blizzard Entertainment, a company I had admired and dreamed of working at for a long time. And, although that was a great experience where I learned an unbelievable amount and worked with some of the greatest people I’ve met, after a short while I began to really miss working in music and got very eager to get back into it.
Over the summer of 2018, my step-cousin and Quadio co-founder, Joe Welch, approached me with an early idea for a platform that could help college artists connect with collaborators and peers. We developed the idea into a business plan and incorporated that fall.
Quadio has evolved enormously since its inception and has become so much more than just a platform – we now operate a record label, host clubs for developing creatives and panels with industry veterans, and that’s just the beginning of what we’ve got in store.
My current role as Quadio’s CEO is about holding a nuanced understanding of each moving part of the company, strategically planning to balance our long and short term goals, and communicating that vision to our team members, advisors, and investors.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
One of my favorite parts of working at a start-up is that no two days are the same.
A recent workday, for example, included check-in meetings with Quadio’s leadership team, reviewing a contract with our entertainment lawyers, gathering and analyzing user retention data for a board member, and sitting in on a meeting where we brainstormed creative marketing ideas around the launch of a new single for one of our Quadio Records artists.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, Quadio made the decision last March to move to remote work for the safety of our team. We’re all looking forward to returning to the office when it’s safe to do so, but in the meantime, it means that much of my work happens over zoom or Google hangouts.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Finding the right kind of balance is always going to be a work in progress for me, I think. I’m so lucky to have a family who understand how meaningful my work is to me and who fully support me in prioritizing Quadio.
In terms of balancing life and work, it’s been helpful for my wife and I to establish a somewhat-regular routine of dedicated time together, like the time we spend walking our dog every morning and eating dinner together every evening.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I got back into cycling this year, and it’s been really great. I used to ride somewhat competitively when I was in school but I stopped after I sold my bike in a cross-country move several years ago.
I was able to get a new bike and set it up for indoor training and riding. During this time working from home I needed to find a way to stay active and combat stress, and it’s been a great outlet that I’ve really enjoyed.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
For sure! I listen to all kinds of podcasts about all manner of specific interests and hobbies of mine, but I’d have to say a current favorite of mine is the podcast 99% Invisible. I really enjoy getting deep on the specific histories of objects, moments, and traditions and understanding where things come from and why they act or look the way they do.
I’d also recommend IndieCast as just an excellent podcast for music-related banter, great band recommendations, and just keeping up with the music industry – specifically from the indie point of view. I always come away from it with something I want to listen to or dig deeper into.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
There are all kinds of things I feel like I could recommend, but above all I’d say that a great and comfortable pair of headphones is a must-have for me. My current pair are Bowers and Wilkins P7s – they sound great and I can wear them for hours on end without discomfort.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I think it would be really interesting to hear from someone like Earl Sweatshirt or Frank Ocean – a musician who largely stays out of the limelight but who also clearly dedicated a lot of time to creating and refining their music before releasing it.
When you listen to the music they create, you can tell they live very interesting and full lives that have inspired their work, and I would love to learn more about how they balance the amount of time it takes to craft such moving art with the time spent living the experiences that inspire it.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think I would say that, while it can be scary to pursue your passion and abandon a more traditional career path, and there’s absolutely a level of sacrifice involved, working on something that is one-thousand-percent your passion is the most rewarding work experience I can imagine. If making the leap into this kind of work interests you and you’re not afraid of the work that comes with it, I would absolutely recommend it without hesitation.
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