Harkive 2016 – The Final Countdown – 2 days to go!








On Tuesday 19th July Harkive will return for its fourth year to once again collect stories online from people about the detail of their music listening experience.

The project asks people to tell the tale of HowWhere and Why they listen to music on a single day each year, with the aim of capturing for posterity a snapshot of the way in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today. Since launching in 2013 the project has gathered over 8,000 stories, and on Tuesday 19th July we’ll be doing it all again. We hope you’ll join us by telling Harkive your story. You can read our quick guide to the project here.

We’re now on the final countdown to Harkive 2016, with just 2 days to go. As we have done in previous years, in the run up to the big day we’ll be posting some ‘example’ stories from people who do interesting things with their music listening. Today we welcome James Cherry, Broadcast Manager for independent music publisher Sentric Music.


Based in Liverpool and with staff across Europe, Sentric provides artists with a variety of music business services connected to rights management, including royalty collection and synchronisation. Alongside his role of Broadcast Manager, James also focuses on content management, giving artists the help they need to establish themselves in an increasingly competitive market. You can find out more about Sentric Music on their website, or you can follow them on Twitter.


James kindly agreed to keep a record of his music listening for Harkive, and here is his story.

7.16 – I’m up and out to the gym early, my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify refreshed so I throw that on. It usually provides a few gems, and this week is no different. Zibra’s ‘Flat in Dagenham’ and Gordi’s ‘So Here We Are’ are the standouts.

7.41 – I arrive at the gym, removing my headphones Jess Glynne’s ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ is playing over their internal radio as I head to the changing room.

7.47 – Heading into the actual gym I put my gym playlist on through Spotify. It’s one of my oldest playlists that I’ve curated over five years, a solid blend of high tempo pop, heavier indie rock mixed with traces of hip-hop. Duke Dumont’s latest ‘Ocean Drive’ transitions to Talib Kweli’s ‘Get By’ to Spring King’s ‘City’. It might not be for everyone, but it works for me.

8.50 – Discover Weekly is back on for the 20-minute walk to the office, not too much to report here I skip quite a few of the tracks. I’m not overly impressed with this second listening session , so I eventually turn it off and remove my headphones.

9.10 – Stop off at the local spar to pick up some milk for the office. Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop This Feeling’ is on the radio, that’s a track I’ve heard played to death over the last month so I let out a sigh.

9:46 – We’ve made it to work, and as I’m out for the afternoon I’m keen to crack on with my backlog of emails. It’s headphones on and hit play on Spotify’s ‘Music For Concentration’ playlist. As I get older I’m finding myself listening to more and more music designed for focus.

10:42 – Emails completed we are headphones down and back in the room. What I find out to be Spotify’s One Week One playlist is on the Office Sonos. Can’t say I take much interest but Kant’s ‘Close to the Wire’ and Bob Marley & the Wailers ‘Is This Love – Remix’ perk my ears.

13:48 – It’s our regular A+R meeting at Sentric where we run through all of the latest exciting artists and bands that have joined recently. We have over a hundred to run through, so there is no messing about. We skip between Spotify, Soundcloud and iTunes to listen to the latest offerings. Standouts came from Litany, Old Sea Brigade, Mullally and Benedict Benjamin.

16:38 – Back in the office for the final part of the day and Nancy Sinatra’s album ‘Nancy & Lee’ is on the Sonos.  I only catch the final track ‘I’ve Been Down So Long’.

17:05 – The office is starting to thin out so I put my ‘2016’ Spotify playlist on the Sonos. I’ve created a yearly playlist since 2010, it’s a great way to track the evolution of my music taste, and pinpoint the key tracks in my life’s soundtrack. A track qualifies for the playlist if I listen to it over three times and still like it. Basic I know, but it works for me.

Xam Volo’s ‘Rescue Me’, Stealth’s ‘Judgement Day’ and St. Lucia’s ‘Dancing On Glass’ kick things off.

17:11 – Still in the office, I notice a former Sentric band The Hunna are playing a Facebook live stream for Billboard in New York so I pop my headphones on to catch ‘Bonfire’.

17:36 – Still in the office, I realise I’ve been listening to silence with my headphones on, so I take them off and catch Chairlift’s ‘Polymorphing’ and Kano’s ‘This Is England’ off my 2016 playlist before calling it a day.

19.57 – Back home, I stick the telly on to catch the Italian football team singing their national anthem.

20.34 – While watching the football my girlfriend, Louise walks in from the kitchen and proceeds to serenade me with Craig David’s Live Lounge cover of Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’.

If you enjoyed James’ example and would like to tell your own Harkive story in a similar way, you can do so by emailing submit@harkive.org on or after 19th July with the tale of your listening day, writing as much or as little as you want. If email is not your thing, you can contribute your story in a number of other ways, such as by Tweeting with the hashtag #harkive across the day, by posting to the Harkive page on Facebook, or by adding stories and images to Tumbr and Instagram – just remember to add the hashtag #harkive to each of your posts. More information on the ways in which you can tell your story are on the How To Contribute page.

Harkive 2016 is just 2 days away. We do hope you’ll join us on Tuesday 19th July by telling us the story of your listening day. If Harkive sounds interesting, please do help us spread the word by telling your friends about the project. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions about the project please feel free to email us.

Thanks again to James for his story. If you’d like to follow his activities, you’ll find him as @JamesHCherry on Twitter. We’ll have another story for you tomorrow as the Harkive 2016 countdown continues.