Who Chooses What Travelers Hear? Meet Rob Wood

Since the age of nine when he got his first record, Rob Wood has been a self-confessed music addict. Now, as founder of Music Concierge, the London-based music consultant designs soundtracks for some of the world’s hottest retail and hospitality brands, including Como, Espa, and Per Aquum. Here, he sounds off about his aural occupation.

All of our work is bespoke...to each brand. We think about interior design, acoustics, space size, and audience, but ultimately, we must translate each brand’s character into a musical DNA.

We design different concepts…for different parts of a hotel. Like DJs, we often create wow-factor playlists for bars and clubs, but we also have to
create a suitable soundtrack for that same hotel’s lobby at 7 a.m.

Sound affects our behavior…A boutique hotel shouldn’t be playing mainstream pop, and a more massmarket brand could alienate its audience with thought-provoking, aspirational music. But once the playlist and atmosphere is right,
people will enjoy themselves, spend more time and money there, and come back.

Music Concierge’s library...is one of the most detailed in the world, with more than 240 styles ranging from cult film soundtracks to Detroit techno to music from Bhutan. I even have a collection of records related to ping-pong, I kid you not.

I’d love to do work for…Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Space flight music—there’s a challenge! As told to Gabrielle Lipton

This article originally appeared in the April/May print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“All the Right Notes”)

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