Gen Sadakane is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of EyeEm, an image platform from Berlin that’s written quite a success story
Gen Sadakane sat next to me at that acclaimed dinner hosted by Google at the St. Agnes church a little while back. It was a win-win situation for me: Mustafah Abdulaziz was sitting to my other side and it took me less than a second to realize that both of them would be perfect candidates for our playlist section. After exchanging numbers, Gen and I also realized we had the same roots – we have mutual friends back in Düsseldorf, where we both were born. Funnily enough, we had never met before, which is something we’ve now happily changed.
He is always in the best mood whenever I run into him, introducing me to interesting people and sparking new ideas in my head. He’s also one of four co-founders – the others are Lorenz Aschoff, Florian Meissner, and Ramzi Rizk – behind Berlin-based image platform EyeEm, an online resource for creative agencies that’s already written quite a success story.
But let me pass over the microphone and allow him to explain his background and the motivation behind his playlist for us himself. Thank you, Gen! It was our pleasure.
I studied philosophy and visual communication, and then went on to work at TBWA, McCann, Jung von Matt, DDB, and Leo Burnett, grabbing a few Cannes Lions along the way for work I did with Volkswagen and Bosch. I also worked with Lufthansa, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Jeep, and some other nice brands before I started EyeEm 7 years ago. EyeEm is a creative resource for brands and agencies, a photography company and marketplace with over 20 million photographers where you can license images. Last year we also launched The Roll, an iOS app that analyzes your images, attaches keywords to them, and organizes your camera roll based on aesthetics. So, we create cutting edge technology everyone wants to have – or, at least I hope so.
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First of all, I want to thank hey woman! for asking for a playlist. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever created a music list for someone else. Even as a teenager I never created a cassette for anyone, and back in the day that’s what people did to show their love. Normally I use SoundCloud to listen to music. I rarely buy it, and I didn’t even have a Spotify account – I made the effort to sign up just to create this playlist for you.
The list contains a selection that represents my taste over the last few years. Maybe I’m strange, but I only listen to music at the office – not even on my commute or anything. But getting back to the playlist I created: I love Kitsuné. I’ve been listening to them for a really long time and follow them everywhere (Instagram, SoundCloud, and so on). I started even before they had their own fashion brand.
I was in Tokyo a couple of months ago and ran into their coffee shop, Café Kitsuné, to get a matcha iced tea for a ridiculous ¥650. It was delicious though, and then I had something to post on my private Instagram account. I’ve always admired how they created this brand and community based on music, and now they have an empire of good taste that’s even extended to matcha tea.
Then there is Metronomy. I love this band and we listened to them so much when we started EyeEm. We got a chance to see them in Paris at a private gig in André Saraiva’s cool Le Baron club after meeting the guys from Because Music at a party hosted by SoundCloud. Maybe that has something to do with why I feel more connected to SoundCloud.
Portrait: Maria Ninja
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.