Ivar Laanen hopped on board the WUA-train last October. He describes himself as a hybrid ‘Dutch-American,’ and is more than pleased to be working for a Dutch company in the American market. Let’s get to know one the newest members of the expanding global WUA-team.
How did you wind up at WUA and what will be your role within the company?
“Well my dear brother Bo-Peter is starting up the WUA-business in the USA and with that comes a whole lot of content that needs to be written. Fortunately for Bo, there’s a writer in the family—me. I came into WUA last October to meet with Bo and Matthijs so that they could explain what the company’s all about and the type of content they wanted me to write. My professional background is in journalism, so this was a bit of a different playing field. But now we’re nearly a half year later and I’ve become familiar with data analysis and all the markets we’re measuring. It’s been a rapid learning process, but to work with my brother and the rest of this amazing team has really been a pleasure.”
You’ve been working at WUA for 6 months now. What do you like most about your experience?
“The people. It’s a good feeling when you walk into the WUA HQ and see familiar faces that you’re actually happy to work with. They’re my colleagues, but also my friends. There’s a sense of ease here, and when I need some help there’s always someone to lend a hand.”
What is your previous work experience?
“Since I was 14 I’ve been working as a writer for various publications. It’s something I still do. Amongst the different magazines I’ve written for are The Optimist, a magazine based out of California, and Erasmus Magazine based out of Rotterdam. Not to be forgotten, I also was a lifeguard and swim teacher giving lessons under the sun. That kind of work teaches you how to be patient.”
Which book would we find sitting on top of your bedside table?
“Minima Moralia by Theodor Adorno. That’s some heavy stuff.”
What do you read if you need inspiration?
“Two books come to mind. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is the first as it’s about a journalist who gets back in touch with his old mentor. Together they simply chat about life with such wisdom and simplicity. The scenario feels very relatable. The other book would be Resurrection by Tolstoy. There is a quote that always stood out to me from that book. It goes like this: ‘Things may be treated without love; one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love, but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.”
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
“I’ve always thought that no matter what job I work or where I live, as long I can come home to my music I’ll be OK. That may sound dramatic, but I think it says a lot about how much I love/need that audio goodness.”
Ok…. So what’s your favorite music, then?
“It varies. It’s a mixed bag of jazz, punk, electro and ambient. But also, classic rock. Ok, you want some favorite artists? Paul Desmond, King Krule, HOMESHAKE, Oscar Peterson and, when I need some tender love in my music: Barry White.”