MERGE INSIGHT: Joseph Patterson

20 September 2013

Meet Joseph ‘JP’ Patterson. He is a writer and editor for a number of publications, hosts his own show on Amazing Radio, and consults for brands. What we read about today has a huge effect on who we are and what we do as a people, and getting to meet JP in the short interview that you’re about to read below, I feel really helps understand the true details and passion that goes into an editors script.

What made you want to pursue a career in all of these areas?

I started out by putting on a club night called ChockABlock. It was mainly a MC-led grime event, but I used to book dubstep and bassline/4x4 DJs to mix it up a bit. The first one was held in Northampton in April 2007, and I had Skepta, Tinchy Stryder, and a few others come down to perform. Soon after, I moved ChockABlock to EGG Nightclub in London, and we packed it out every month for three years. Those were good, good times. During that time, I decided to make a little blog site. It was just for me to share a few thoughts on clubland, initially. Man, my grammar was a shambles! [Laughs] I didn’t go to uni or college to study how to write, I literally taught myself from scratch. It was hard in the beginning, but God had a plan for me. I’ve since seen an Editor at MTV UK, a Contributing Music Editor for SUPERSUPER Magazine, and I’ve written for The Guardian, The Independent, NME, VOGUE, The Metro, and the list goes on. I feel blessed, man, but the grind never stops! You can always do better, and do more. Currently, I hold positions down at MTV IGGY, STARK Magazine, The GRAMMYs, and Amazing Radio, plus I regularly contribute to a few online and print publications, like Mixmag, RWD, VICE, etc.

What advice would you give people trying to do what you’re doing?

You have to be persistent, that’s for sure, but don’t be annoying with it (even I have to tell myself this, at times). Sometimes, you might not hear from an editor for weeks, but you just have to realise that they’re busy too. If your pitch is seriously strong, though, they’ll probably get back to you sooner rather than later. This business is very much dog-eat-dog. What makes your pitch unique? What makes it stand out from the rest? Why should the editor choose you to write about an artist who hundreds of others have already pitched to write about? Find your voice, make sure that know your subject inside out, stick to deadlines, and go! Another tip would be to be careful of who you keep close. I don’t have industry friends, but that’s out of choice. I’ve actually had people - who I thought I was cool with - badmouth me to one of my old bosses so that they could try and slither their way through and take my job. Didn't they think my boss was going to tell me? [Laughs] I’d rather be a loner/outsider and keep it moving, to be honest. Saying that, I’m very tight with Laura 'Hyperfrank' Brosnan. She’s also a writer, and I host a show alongside her on Amazing Radio. We annoy the hell out of each other but, having known her for going on six years now, she’s like my sister. She better appreciate that big up right there [laughs].

What do you most enjoy when it comes to writing?

I just love having a voice to promote the things I love. I started off writing about grime music, but I'm into different things now. It's all about broadening one's horizons [laughs]. Nowadays, you might catch me writing about tech house one day, UK rap the next, and the next big thing in British streetwear the following. 

How do you feel London competes with the street-wear style that’s out there today?

The UK has set style trends, since, well, forever! From London, it’s on to the States, and then other countries follow. Look at skinny jeans, for example; you would’ve been laughed out of the hood in Brooklyn if you wore them back in the day. Now, you’ve got your favourite street rapper rocking jeggings! [Laughs]. You catch my drift.

What are your plans for next year?

To find a ride or die wife, and have some youts! [Laughs] I can't be shuffling and raving for the rest of my life [laughs]. Nah, on a real, I want to build up mine and Hyperfrank's Amazing Radio show. I’ve always wanted to do radio, so I want to make it a big deal in times to come. I never thought I'd get paid to chat breeze on the radio but, again, God was at work there. Other than that, I just want to keep on pushing the things I love to the forefront. That’s the main thing for me. When I get bored of it all, everyone will know about it [laughs].

What would you say was your best moment in your career so far?

I’d probably say getting my first Editor role. Working for MTV UK (The Wrap Up) as an Editor has given me a great platform to do bigger and better things. Shouts to Akhil Suchak for the opportunity, because he really believed in me.

Where would you like to finish your career and doing what?

Probably in A&R. Finding new talent is what I’m about, and have always been about. Being able to sign and nurture artists and watch them go on to become a global stars would be a dream! If I don’t end up taking Darcus Beese’s job at Universal (he’s a boss! Google him), then I’d like to be Editor-In-Chief of the best publication in the world – whatever it might be at the time [laughs].

Catch The JP & Hyperfrank Show on Amazing Radio (DAB and online) on Thursdays, from 7pm – 9pm.