Month: September 2014

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast launches with The Griswolds!

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Boom! Here ’tis!

This past hour on the walk home from work and as I arrive back at my Melbourne apartment to watch the last snatches of sunlight hit the horizon, I take some time out to myself to soak up the excitement of this snapshot in time. I’ve worked on some fuckin’ cool projects in my life, but I’m truly not sure that I have ever felt like this. Exalted, ecstatic… soaring!

This is probably the first time in my life that I’ve ever launched a piece of creative work that is 100% me. Not catering to anyone else’s needs, not trying to impress anyone… just me working hard to produce a work of passion.. open and honest with who and what I am. Me.

I have been planning, dreaming and talking about this podcast for at least 5-6 months now and finally I can say that the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast is live! And I’m pumped that the boys from The Griswolds could join me for the launch!

Download the podcast here

Part 1: The Podcast:

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast where we interview inspiring people and entrepreneurs from around the world across a range of industries including music, film & tv, fashion, comedy, travel and lots lots more for your listening pleasure.

In my time I’ve been fortunate enough to live around the world in the Middle East, Italy, Indonesia and all over this beautiful brown land we called Australia. I’ve studied biochemistry, entrepreneurship & innovation, worked the vampire shift at Crown Casino from Thursday – Sunday, jet-setted the globe living in Dubai for 6.5 years as an Emirates Airline flight attendant and returned to Australia in 2006 with plans to be a rockstar within 6 months.. we can all see how that’s panned out so far ;).

Like all of us in life, I have had my own fair share of personal challenges along the way including 3 brain tumours, which have left me deaf in one ear and having to learn how to walk again after the 1st operation, a little facial paralysis after the second, but one of the things that my blessed life, challenging experiences and travels have taught me is a happy balance between living each moment in the now and fueling the fire of my ambition, by doing something each and every day to feel like I’m moving forward.

My passion for music, photography and fascination for psychology has lead me to so many amazing roles and a career in digital/social media, writing my own personal/business blog, weekly photographic travel series and now this podcast. My experiences working with and managing people from over a 100 different countries and a diverse range of cultures constantly leave me perplexed at how supposedly one of the most “advanced species on the planet” is still so primitive. Every day all around me (including close family and friends) I see people complaining about the most inane shit and we as a species constantly demonstrate our capacity for a lack of understanding or empathy for our fellow man.

Ironically given my chosen career path, I loathe the whole idol culture that our species seem to subsist on, which is part of why I decided to create the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast. The premise of the podcast is to tap into the energy and tales of successful, but humble people to demonstrate for anyone who has ever harboured a burning fire inside them for success, that anything’s possible and break down this fallacy of “us and them”. Presidents, movie stars, rockstars.. we’re all judgemental, human and flesh & blood. One day each of us will be dust in the ground same as everyone else, so we should truly never be afraid to take the plunge… there is no fear that should cripple you, as we all start from scratch and there’s nothing worse than feeling that you should have given it a go. There is no time to start like now.

The Griswolds rock The Corner Hotel. "BE IMPRESSIVE" Album Tour. Photo Credit: Dan Wilkinson https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

Part II: Podcast #1 – The Griswolds:

Today we catch-up Aussie indie rock band, The Griswolds. I’ve known the boys for a few years now and apart from wicked tunes, what’s struck me about The Griswolds is that they’re just 4 dudes with amazing energy who love life, the banter and who still manage to remain humble and true to who they are as people, despite rising international success signed to an American label slash and spending 9 out of the past 12 months on tour in the USA.

How we met is a bit of a longer tale, but a massive part of the past 8 years of my life has been working in the Australian music industry. Since 2006, I’ve been part of running music festivals & events around Australia, put a 900 square metre ice-rink on the sands of Bondi Beach, managed artists/bands, created a role as music supervisor on Ballistyx Snowboard Show on Channel GO!, shot photography for triple j, shot photography/written for Broadsheet and the list goes on.

Working in the music industry is fuckin’ amazing! For me, my foray started with my return to Australia with dreams of cities paved with gold and entertaining packed stadiums with people singing along to songs that I wrote (that hasn’t dulled :D), but the harsh reality is that within Australia the majority of artists don’t draw large crowds/make the Benjamins and generally survive on passion and juggling what little $$$ we do have coming in. The tight-knit Australian music community is made up of amazing individuals that bandy together to keep the independent Australian music scene churning.

And that, my friends, is how I met a few of the boys from The Griswolds… in 2011 I worked at Splendour In The Grass (Woodford) and then again in 2012 at Byron Byron and became buddies with a dude called Andy B, also working at the festival, who plays keys for Brisbane-based party dance crew The Belligerents.

I’d come across The Griswolds tunes through triple j unearthed and had initiated banter with the lads via the social medias, so when it turned out The Belligerents and The Griswolds lads were sharing a bill at The Workers Club in Melbourne one night, I decided to cruise down, sink a few beers, shoot a few pics and catch-up with the lads. We didn’t really hang out that night and I wouldn’t say that we really knew each other, but having worked with and around people for many years, I’m a person that survives and thrives on instinct. Give me 5 minutes with someone and I’ll quickly gauge who I think they are and what drives them; I love a dad joke, good people and the banter, and man, these boys have that in spades, so when I found out they were back in Melbourne this month to kick-off their debut album“Be Impressive”, I jumped at the opportunity to interview them for the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast and return the favour in kind by shooting a shitloads of cool pics for them and use the opportunity to plug The Griswolds – “Be Impressive” national Australian album launch tour, presented by triple j, the Harbour Agency and Chugg Entertainment.

The Mile Guy Club, LA studio shenanigans recording a dream debut with producer Tony Hoffa, drowning as kids,jack-hammering concrete for a living, aeroplane mazz-es.. it’s all here 😀 Truly a pleasure hanging out these lovely, talented guys who are working their arses off in the pursuit of their dreams.

Thanks for listening and joining us for what’s become a life-changing experience for me.

I hope you enjoy this podcast series as much as I love creating it for you.

Listen to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet with The Griswolds here.

Special thanks go out to Alister Robbie of The Post Project production company. Your friendship over the past 4 years has been one of my favourites. I love how we’ve both been each other’s sounding board and shared the excitement, frustration and struggles of building what we have right now at this point in time. The effort you’ve made to help me bring this project to life just warms my heart. Shout-outs to Al’s wife Krystal Gregory who has now joined Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet as show producer and I’m excited about working on some magic together (keep it clean peeps, this is one of my best mates’ wife we’re talkin’ about here 😀 ). To Wil Anderson (TOFOP), Dave Anthony (Walking The Room, The Dollop) and Greg Behrendt (Walking The Room) – thank you all. Your podcasts were amongst my first to download, are still my top 3 favourites and you three all have been a significant source of inspiration that you can either claim or ignore depending on how this goes :p. Much love to my sis and all my closest friends who have always been there for me, especially those who have stepped up in the darkest moments. Last, but not least much love to my folks who are both the most amazing & resilient people I know. Thank you for your unconditional love, always believing in me (even when you disagreed 😉 ) and putting up with all my bullshit over the years. I’m so proud that you’re each other’s best friend and still together. You are both such a massive part of who I am today. I love you.

The Griswolds – “BE IMPRESSIVE” Australian Tour Dates:

The Griswolds "BE IMPRESSIVE" Australia album tour launch

 

Listen to The Griswolds debut album “BE IMPRESSIVE” and follow them on social media here

Drop us any constructive feedback via email at info@hotndelicious.com and follow us on the socials here:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

 

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Minibike Madness. Paris, France. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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It doesn't have to be big to be cool. Paris, France. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
It doesn’t have to be big to be cool. Paris, France. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

 

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

It doesn’t have to be big to be cool. Paris, France. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

I seriously lost my shit when I stumbled across this pimped-out dude lazing, arms draped on the tiniest of mini-bikes at the traffic lights like it was an old school chopper.

A few years back on a work trip to France, I caught up with 2 of my close friends over a few cheeky wheat beers at a cafe on Paris’ backstreets on a balmy, summer’s eve.

Next morning we woke up with dusty heads and wandered down to the local boulangerie to pick-up a clichéd bag of croissants for breakfast to be enjoyed with a kick-ass bowl of café au lait.

Upon leaving my friend’s apartment en route back to the airport I came across this guy chillin’, waiting for the lights to change and chuckled as I raised the SLR to my face. I wear a cheeky smile on my face every time I flash back to this scene and it just makes me happy 🙂

This 24 hours in Paris still brings tingles of joy and these kinds of trips were truly one of the perks of being able to travel to all my favourite destinations around the world for a living.

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring exciting, faraway places with disposable income, staying in 5-star hotels and you’re not a model, rockstar or travel blogger.. then I can highly recommend working as cabin crew for an international airline.

The world is your oyster. Go do it!

DW

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Hansel & Gretel. Castro, Chile. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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Hansel & Gretel. Chiloé Island, Southern Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

Hansel & Gretel. Chiloé Island, Southern Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). Chile Part II.

Following on from last week’s Blind old guitarist. Pucón, Chile post, after leaving Pucón, I trekked further south with two Canadians to the little town of Castro (via Valdivia and Puerto Montt).

Situated at the top of Patagonia in Southern Chile, Castro is a small, isolated community on the island of Chiloé, however after the hustle and bustle of jet-setting the globe with Emirates, I found this place and it’s surrounds to be a photographer’s paradise – populated by warm, proud people more than happy to take the time to pose for a photo and wait patiently as a snap-happy, Aussie back-packer struggled with his limited Spanish and green, pocket-sized phrasebook.

On one foray I stumbled across this little old lady chopping wood outside the quaintest of dusty, old houses in the countryside, that set mind alight like the scene out of a long-forgotten fairytale. My eyes shot the image before my Nikon F60 SLR did and if you look closer you can spy a little boy peeking out the window of the tiny house in curiosity. My recall of this split-second moment shot approximately 13 years ago today just makes my face and mind smile 🙂 

DW

Castro, Chile (on the island of Chiloé).
Castro, Chile (on the island of Chiloé).

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group

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Blind old guitarist. Pucón, Chile. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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Blind old guitarist. Pucon, Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
Blind old guitarist. Pucon, Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

Blind old guitarist. Pucón, Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). Chile Part I

Years back I jetted off from my Dubai base for a 2-3 week escape to South America… no internet, no phone, no plan… just me, my backpack, journal and an SLR. After almost 24 hours on aeroplanes, I landed into Santiago with no idea what I was going to see in Chile or where I was going to go. Daunting yes, but mannnn.. have you ever done it? So empowering! My dream is actually to rock-up to Melbourne International Airport armed with nothing but a passport, laptop, DSLR and carry-on luggage. The world’s your oyster!

Anyway, so after settling into a hostel (accom I may struggle with these days :p ), I contacted the half sister of a family friend of my family, Picque, and organized to meet her for a drink to tap into her thoughts. This blessed soul had never met me, but welcomed me into her family home, cooked me delicious meal and cracked open a fine bottle of Chilean red.

Now some may find this experience of catching up with someone you’ve never met a little strange, but who I am is completely open and passionate as a person and this openness has lead me to some wonderfully, amazing people, which the old me (shy introvert) would never have had done. This personal attitude has had a profound impact on my life and lead me to all the amazing career opportunities I’ve had so far. Sure, some people find this attitude to be a little intimidating and mistake my intensity for appearing needy, but invariably those quick-to-judge fall swiftly by the way-side and I’m left with beautiful new friends across the planet and experiences of a lifetime.

Anyway, after chatting with Picque at length about travelling north to the desert region of Arica versus south towards Patagonia, I settled on south as I was already living in the deserts of the Middle East. I thoroughly enjoyed my chats and the rest of my meal with Picque, then trotted back to the hostel to collapse in exhaustion.

Next day, I enjoyed a few vinos at world-renowned Concha Y Toro winery and explored Santiago, before prepping for the journey down south.

My train journey down south to Pucón, was broken up with a brief stop in Temuco for a traditional Chilean lunch with Picque’s sister who again, despite having never met or heard of me, picked me up from the local train station and took me back to the family home where her kids and myself enjoyed Chilean fare of whole artichokes individually plucked and then dipped in aioli. Delicious!

After the short ride on to Pucón, I checked into the hostel and strolled towards the supermarket alongs the streets of this tiny ski village situated at the base of active volcano, Villarrica. I was struck by the beauty of this desolate place and in awe of a town that could be so swiftly swept aside at any time with just one volcanic eruption. Whilst soaking up these emotions, I stumbled across this old, blind Chilean guitarist singing for his supper outside the local supermarket that I’d stopped by for supplies and captivated as if it were a pinnacle moment in time, I was compelled to capture it immediately.

DW

This snapshot of my life and image have stuck in my mind for the past 13 years. I’ll write another piece about my trek up the volcano, the people I met and my experience of Chile as a whole, but have already gone longer than what I’d like in this piece. Want to keep the stories in this series short, sharp and digestible. 

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Santiago to Pucon
Santiago to Pucon

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group

 

5 month old female lion cub. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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5 month old lion cub. Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

5 month old female lion cub. Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

One of the most wonderful things about working for Emirates Airline as cabin crew was that even on short trips we had the opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences that most people could only dream of.

On such one trip to South Africa, I ventured to renowned Lion Park situated just outside of Johannesburg in Gauteng Province.

This 5 month old female lion cub was a little grumpy that morning and it was truly wonderful to be so up close & personal. At that age, she is pretty much the oldest where park rangers will allow tourists  one-on-one interactions with these kings and queens of the African continent.

Testament to this is the Japanese tourist attacked and devoured at the Lion Park in 1993 after leaving the safety of the car whilst trying to capture pictures of a pride of lions inside one of the park’s fenced-in enclosures. Say inside the vehicle peeps!

Man was she beautiful and I still get tingles every time I see this image of her chewing on the boot of the park ranger. Once in a lifetime! ❤

DW

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.