What would you expect the owner of a record company to be like? If films are anything to go by, he'd have to be short, pushy and talk fast. (I don't think I've ever seen any reference to a female record head.) My experience meeting Jean-Francois Ponthieux from Cartell Music couldn't have been further from the stereotype. He's a French man living in Melbourne, to start off with. He's also married to fashion designer Yeojin Bae, who I interviewed here. Jean-Francois also takes a different approach to finding and promoting music too. (As you'll see from this and this.) When we met a little while back he had just worked with SBS to bring performances from So Frenchy So Chic to the small screen. The artists he represents - Nouvelle Vague, Melanie Pain, Berry - are some of my favourites.
Which five words best describe you? Curious, hyperactive, daydreamer, thinking, laughing.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started my career organically. After my business degree I experiment many jobs. I worked on a political campaign, radio, film festival, exported Pierre Cardin home perfume, marketed a travel guide, travelled around the world and landed in Australia. I found out what I wanted to do (music) at 29 and never looked back.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Trust your gut feeling and be patient.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Starting my own business, loving the freedom and the responsibilities.
What’s been your best decision? To make the first step. It's always the hardest with whatever we achieve. Once the step is made, the horizon opens up.
Who inspires you? My father.
What are you passionate about? Music, politics, history, geopolitics and people watching.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Continuing my path.
What are you reading? Mao - The unknown story.
images courtesy of cartell music