Meet the Music Directors

Up Close Meet the Music Directors

We all need a music guru, someone who’s got their finger on the pulse and their ear to the ground. They give us new songs to play on repeat, cool musicians to follow before they go viral, and new bands to see front row. The W Music Directors are just the people to keep you tapped into the scene. Find out their personal picks of who to watch, the first albums they owned, and who would be in the concert of their dreams.

Paul Blair

Paul Blair

Music Director of North America

Twitter: @DJWS

 

Professionally known as DJ White Shadow, Paul Blair is a staple of the music scene. Nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2012 for Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way, Paul has also done extensive work on her album ARTPOP, put together a number of high-profile remixes, and worked on his own eclectic original releases. As music director to W’s North America locations, Paul brings you artists that are just about to break.

 

The first album he owned:
Mr. Magic’s Rap Attack.

 

Things he looks for when seeing an artist play live:

  1. That they are not lip syncing.
  2. For a place closest to the front.
  3. The bar and bathroom.

A song that’s stuck in his head these days:
I always sing songs but make up my own words. Like if I get a bad coffee from Starbucks in the morning, I might sing the words “tainted coffee” to the tune of “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell.  Then, unfortunately, that gets stuck in my head until the next one comes up.

 

His favorite city for music:
Detroit.

 

The concert of his wildest dreams:
Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, Lenny Williams, the Everly Brothers, the Notorious B.I.G., TOOL, Lynyrd Skynyrd, N.W.A. and the Wu Tang Clan.

 

Paul’s Insider Tip of who to listen to:
MNEK, Jon Bellion, Eryn Allen Kane. There are others but they are my secrets.

Becky Tong

Becky Tong

Music Director of Europe, Africa and the Middle East

Twitter: @BeckyTong

 

An A&R scout for Virgin Records when she was just 18, Becky has had an eye for finding new and emerging talent from a young age, seamlessly combining her passion for music and fashion. She has worked on artist campaigns that have topped UK charts such as Chris Malinchak, DJ’ed at the British Fashion Awards, and is the daughter of famed DJ Pete Tong. As music director of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Becky is all about bringing the next big thing to the forefront of the scene.

The first album she owned:
Spice Girls – Spiceworld.

 

What she looks for when seeing an artist play live:

  1. Engaging with the audience.
  2. Makes you dance in some way.
  3. Makes you want to go home and listen to it straight away.

A song that’s stuck in her head these days:
“Work” by Rihanna.

 

Her favorite city for music:
London of course!

 

The concert of her wildest dreams would include:
Vegan food, my best girl friends, frozen margaritas, and millions of crazy balloons.

 

Becky’s Insider Tip on who to listen to:
Ray Blk, SG Lewis, and Fono.

Cesar Castro

Cesar Castro

Music Director Latin America

Instagram: @czsarfoe

 

As the head of The International Repertoire for Sony Music for the past two years, Cesar Castro knows the music industry from the inside out. Beyond starting Rounds, Sony Mexico’s one-take analog recording sessions, Cesar has worked with global superstars such as One Direction and Miley Cyrus and legends such as Santana and Pink Floyd, using his all-star connections to bring the best talent to W hotels across Latin America.

His first album:
The Cure – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.

 

What he looks for when seeing an artist play live:
Passion, execution, and confidence.

 

A song he has stuck in his head these days:
“Lazarus” by David Bowie.

 

His favorite city for music:
LA and Mexico City.

 

The concert of his wildest dreams:

A collaboration:

 

In music: Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Smith, Martin Gore, PJ Harvey, Billy Corgan, David Bowie, Donovan, Simon Gallup, Abe Cunningham.

 

In visuals: Anton Corbjin, David Lynch and Floria Sigismondi and it has to be in a small venue, maybe a theatre for 1,000 or 2,000 people.

 

Cesar’s Insider Tip on who to listen to:
MNKYBSNSS (Colombia), Hinds (Spain), Bob Moses (UK), Lost Frequencies (Belgium), Sotomayor (Mexico), John Grant (US), MO (Denmark), Chairlift (US).

Mr. Has

Mr. Has

Music Director of Asia Pacific

Twitter: @TrustMrHas

 

An integral sonic force in Singapore’s thriving music scene, DJ and producer Mr. Has has been key to establishing the music identity of W Hotels in Asia Pacific and expanding the music scene worldwide. He’s worked with DJ/producer Mark Ronson, brought together international music luminaries at the inaugural IMS Asia Pacific 2014, and helped local debuts of names such as Mayer Hawthorne and Holy Ghost! Mr.Has’ influence has been paramount as he continues to change the music scene, bring out new talent and support artists as they climb the charts.

His first album:
Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks.

 

What he looks for when seeing an artist play live:
Style, flow, and presence.

 

A song he has stuck in his head these days:
“Wild Is The Wind” by David Bowie.

 

His favorite city for music:
London.

 

The concert of his wildest dreams:
Fela Kuti, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, J Dilla, Stevie Wonder, and Thom Yorke on the line up.

 

Mr. Has’ Insider Tip on who to listen to:
Check out the Black Madonna! Super cool DJ who has been around for a long time but is now making international noise.