About me

Hello my name is James, I started Pretend as a show on Leeds Student Radio in February 2018 and built this website as I looked to extend the brand after graduating from university. I have since gone on to work with the likes of Love Supreme Jazz Festival (marketing), Jayda G, BICEP and RA (photography) and promoted the work of musicians in the UK through this “Pretend” platform.

This page details the events I have worked on and gives links to some of my radio, photography and video portfolio. All work displayed on this page is my own unless stated otherwise.

I have a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Leeds, where I wrote my dissertation on the economic value of music among young people in Leeds. This is available upon request.

Please see below for an idea of what we do at Pretend. Edited by Jacob Whiting with footage from myself and Rebecca Cribb (2019).

Interviews & Press Clippings

An interview with Rotterdam based blog, Every Day Is Friday – February 2021

Feedback from the Student Radio Association on Pretend as it was on student radio

“The strategic/music expertise and commitment on display here from a single producer is remarkable with some of the output on par with some of the national music stations”
“Impressive attention to detail”
“Pretend operates a strategy similar to those used in the industry often with a team behind them… to be able to replicate that level of output without those resources is a fantastic achievement”

Event Production Roles (Starting with the most recent)

Love Supreme, Nocturne Live and KITE Festivals (2020 to Present) – Marketing and programming manager at Neapolitan Music working across their entire portfolio of events and other projects incluidng the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, “Love You Live” Podcast (launched at 3 in spotify podcast charts), Nocturne Live, KITE Festival and other small venue shows under the Supreme Standards Banner.

Pretend: Joshua Zero (February 2020) – Hosted Joshua Zero for the first night of his UK tour with Soybomb and Hether supporting at the Cavendish Arms. Promoted in colloboration with TC Presents.

Pretend: Ife Ogunjobi (December 2019) – Working with Sun Street Collective we put on Ife Ogunjobi, the Trumpet player for Ezra Collective, Solange and others at Off The Cuff in Herne Hill. We also had Mamilah, Pleasure Barge and Monzanto Sound performing on the evening with DJs in the bar area of the venue until 3am. The event was a sell out.

No Bounds (October 2019) – Venue managing at the Kelham Island Museum venue for the 500 capacity opening party with Lanax Artifacts, Caterina Barbieri and Ed Gamble. Looking after a team of stage managers and stewards while ensuring that artists got on and off site in an efficient manner.

Pretend: Tugboat Captain (March, 2019) – An indie gig at the Hyde Park Book Club with Tugboat Captain, Joshua Zero and Bull all compared by the Alternative Comedy, It’s Downstairs!

Pretend: Monster Florence (March, 2019) – A live music focused club night at HiFi (Leeds) with rising hip-hop sensation Monster Florence and Osquello.

Pretend: Loop x Dance Disease (Feb, 2019) – A Boileroom style event held to help promote the resident DJs of start up nights in Leeds.

Pretend Launch Night (Nov, 2018) – Handled all areas of the gig from marketing to financing to programming a night mixing live and dance music. Organised and created marketing content. Distributed print across Leeds independent venues, conducted targeted exit flyering of events where Pretend media side had been making content.

Stretchy Dance Supply (Ongoing) – Acting marketing consultant and production assistant to DIY multi-genre bassline night. Assisting with video, copy writing, print distribution and event logistics.

Natural Selection (2018) – Production assistant on an ad-hoc basis assisting with basic set up and door duties.

Camp Wildfire (2018) – Marketing assistant to the festival as a whole writing social media copy, newsletters, making basic design assets at the direction of the creative director, sourcing and engaging a team of on site volunteers or “camp leaders” who formed the core of marketing assets to be made at the festival and made various promotional videos. The festival’s marketing campaign was shortlisted for “Marketing Campaign of the Year” at the UK Festival Awards 2018. I also completed 20 hours of programming across main and second stage, including film, music and spoken word acts. I was the sole artist liaison on site: from accreditation to artist care and rider provision. Below is a video of Heir, one of the acts I booked for the festival having a great time.

Flux summer events (2018) – Working in a marketing capacity with Flux, a Leeds based House, Techno and Disco promoter, record label and blog. Acted as artist liaison and production assistant across Farr Festival and the brands London and Leeds summer parties. Video below taken at Farr Festival where flux were hosting the main stage.

Neverworld (2018) – Marketing and production assistant, working with the marketing team in the two months leading to the festival and on site during the Festival. Role mirrored what was done for Camp Wildfire as the two festivals are run by the same independent company.

The Transmission (Feb, 2018) – Sold out event at The Brudenell Social Club (400 cap) with a line up of artists based in Leeds raising £800 for MAP Charity. The event was nominated for an “I love Student Radio Award” (2018). We broadcast the whole thing live using wire-cast with presenters recording as-live features to go out in between the live acts in order to showcase the amazing work done by Leeds Student Radio’s music team in the first semester of broadcasting. Working with Zoe Pettavel (co-head of Music) I programmed, advanced and distributed promotional material across Leeds. Specifically, I took a lead working out the logistics of the broadcast from programming. Broadcast stream available upon request.

UK General Election Coverage (June, 2017) – As Head of News on Leeds Student Radio I worked with Leeds Student Television leading an online live broadcast of the 2017 UK General Election. I personally conducted interviews with Alex Sobel (now Labour MP for Leeds North-West), George Hartshorn (a promoter who was running a “Vote to Party” event  in Leeds just before the election) and various students who were campaigning with the Conservative Party. I organised interviews with every candidate running in a student area, dealt with some aggressive political press relations workers and programmed lighter pre-records such as comedy sketches to fill the inevitable dead time within the broadcast. On the night I edited, presented and cycled down to the town-hall to swap memory cards with our reporters there on multiple occasions as they did not have an internet connection.

Leeds Ball (June, 2017) – Helped design and program a stage at Leeds Ball promoting talent from Leeds Student Radio and local community projects such as MAP. Pictures below

PIG: Pretend It’s Glastonbury (May, 2017) – A gig celebrating a year on Leeds Student Radio’s “Live and Local” radio show. Programmed, advanced and promoted by myself. Booking Howl, Heir, Kata Rayna and Joseph Moore, we sold out the space raising £250 for WaterAid. We also had T-Shirts made by local art collective Beefy Squarms and food provided by Honest Edibles.

US Election Night Coverage (November, 2016) – 10 hour long outside broadcast from Leeds University Union’s Old Bar attracting over 1,000 attendees. Organised content programming and promotion for the event alongside Lauren Ellis, with an event reach of 80,000 on Facebook event. Presented on the night of the event and edited content going out.

Radio and DJ

Currently host of monthly show on Threads Radio alongside Maddi Fearn. Started on Leeds Student Radio and featured on Radio Nova in 2018, moved to MCR Live September 2018 until the station stopped broadcasting in April 2019.


Video and Live Streams

Some coverage of the 2017 general election, leading a collaboration between Leeds Student Radio and Leeds Student Television

A live stream from a Leeds living room using a 1970s BBC vision mixer going out originally on Facebook Live for Kmah radio

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