Sarah Hamilton - scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do? I am the Regional Manager for AUNZ at Ditto Music – we are a music and distribution company that works with artists globally to get their music on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and to get it heard around the world.

We work with over 500k artists globally, and I oversee our local operations. We work with some incredible artists and I love that my job is so focused around music – honestly sometimes I pinch myself that I am paid to listen to music (and a few other things)!

I also co-founded a platform called One of One with a friend Joanna Cameron – we have a website that profiles women and NGC people in the music industry – it's been running for six years. We also have a team that helps put on events for International Women's Day; we've held five events in Melbourne, two in Sydney and one in Adelaide.

Why do you do it? I like to help and empower talented and creative people. I've always loved music, and knew I wanted to work in the field somehow. I enjoy being a part of great music and artists shining through.

We started One of One because we were working among so many talented and fiercely intelligent women, who often didn't put themselves forward or celebrate their achievements. We wanted to shine a light on the work they were doing, and we are proud to have been a part of the shift in culture.

There's still so much work to be done, but it's happening. Everyone has their own, unique story – hence the name 'One of One'.

What do you love about the city you live in? I live in Melbourne, and although it's been such a hard 18 months of lockdowns etc. I love the city and the people who live here more than ever.

There's a community spirit, support and resilience that exists here and when I moved here ten years ago, I really felt like I'd found my place and my people. When Melbourne is alive and open, there's so much to do: see a band, have an amazing meal, go to a street festival or an art gallery; it's a really creative and culturally-focused city.

Where did you go for your last holiday? My partner and I went to Yeppoon. His best friend lives there with his family, so we visited them but also snuck in a trip to Great Keppell Island, which was amazing.

We went snorkelling, saw the wild goats there, it was beautiful weather and the ocean was sparkling. Just one of those really special days in life that stick in your memory. I'm from Queensland originally and so it felt really familiar as well – I love the weather up there and the friendly people.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Probably my Nike Air Maxes. They're new! They're already not very white anymore, but they're super comfortable and I am just wearing them everywhere at the moment. I've definitely embraced the activewear lifestyle during lockdowns.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid? 'Seinfeld'! I've watched every episode maybe five times. I have older brothers and it was one show we all liked. It's still my go-to show if I want to watch something familiar and comforting, and have a laugh.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go? I would love to have experienced San Francisco in the '60s and '70s. Great music, great fashion and no social media. It would have felt really cool to be a part of that time in history, where a real movement was happening. Nowadays a lot of movements happen in the digital space and I don't think it's quite as electric.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? We'd start with an epic cheeseboard. Then I'd probably make something Italian – pasta of some kind, with homemade garlic bread, fresh basil, lots of red wine if you're that way inclined and tiramisu for dessert. I'm very into themes when it comes to dinner parties – making sure everything is linked in some way. Also, is there anything better than Italian food?

What's the best lesson you've ever learned? One of my Dad's favourite sayings is: 'If Peter talks badly about Paul, you learn more about Peter than you do about Paul.' I think this is about trust. If you talk badly about someone to someone else, you're no longer a trustworthy person. I think this is especially important in a professional setting.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows... I am really struggling to think of this one because I tell everyone everything! Honestly, I think I share most of my thoughts and dreams with people around me – I'm an open book.

Are you happy with your work/ life balance? It's been hard during the lockdowns because we don't have a lot of options other than work to keep our minds occupied, but I have really tried hard in my career to move away from what I believe to be a dangerous hustle/ burn-out culture.

I am accountable to the artists, managers and people I work with, as well as myself, so I always get my work done, but I don't believe in answering emails on Sundays or prioritising work over important personal time with family. I do like the flexibility that I think COVID and lockdowns have given us – being able to go for a jog in the middle of the day for example is great.

I have worked in a global setting for close to ten years now, so a part of that is sometimes late-night calls. I am flexible with that kind of thing, so I also need to give myself a break if I need one. Ditto has actually given the global team five weeks off per year, which is huge for some countries like the US that usually only get two weeks; I really loved that development and I have a fair bit of leave stored up.

How do you define success? Feeling proud of your contribution to the world.

What's your spirit animal? Probably a golden retriever. Something happy.

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