“As long as I was seeking and learning and find something new I was happy, I didn’t want to be making widgets.”
Brent Hansen (@bvhansen on Instagram) spent 19 years at MTV Europe where he rose from news producer to President of Creative and Editor-in-Chief of MTV Networks International. He was in the start up team of the European arm of the company and played an instrumental part in its meteoric growth.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, on the same day as Little Richard recorded ‘Tutti Frutti’ Brent’s childhood of listening to music and student days spent volunteering in anything to connected to music led to a job with Television New Zealand followed by a variety of roles at a pre-cursor to MTV; Radio with Pictures.
In his early 30s while planning a 6 month trip to London followed by returning to New Zealand via New York Brent reached out to various people working in the then relatively small area of music based TV in those cities. One of those people was MTVs Les Garland and although he had left the channel by that time, that letter led to Brent getting a job at the fledgling MTV Europe. This was the beginning of an almost two decade adventure working for and ultimately running arguably the most influential force in music on TV across Europe.
If you’re interested in the media industry and the extraordinary heights consistent seeking and curiosity can lead you to Brent’s story is for you.
In this wide ranging conversation we talk about:
- Interviewing David Bowie, Lee Perry, Iggy Pop & Sonic Youth
- Being told you’ll never make a career out of Rock & Roll
- Learning through doing
- The difference between US and UK companies
- The vision of the United Sates of Europe
- Regionalisation of MTV Europe
- The intimacy of MTV Unplugged
- Launching the MTV Europe Awards
- Listening through your eyes and the increasing visual literacy of younger generations
- Not taking luck for granted or ‘getting above your raising’
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