From Professional Drumming to INSEAD

When I look back on my adult life so far, there is one moment that marks the beginning of a journey that brought me to INSEAD.

I was 24 years old and working as a professional musician; drumming in a band I loved, performing to people who appreciated music as much as I did, using my hobby for work. It was a dream come true. This particular evening we had just finished our set on stage. We had played well, to a good turnout, and the crowd was having a great time. After the cheering died down we got ready to leave the stage.

I suddenly looked out and was hit by the thought: Is this it? However much I loved, and needed, music in my life, I knew after that show that being a career musician wasn’t my calling.

I had no idea what I was going to do next. Professional drumming had been my only goal for almost 10 years: I was devoted to my practice, improving my technique and immersing myself in music.

Image
danny

In the absence of a clear path, I chose to get excited and curious about everything I could. 

I studied Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology. I worked with startups and in a social impact company, I volunteered and kept playing the drums for pleasure. I was not only searching for my true passion, but also a way to apply myself to it professionally and productively.

After a few years exploring what clicked for me and what didn’t, I found myself ready to start my own company. My love of music had never waned, but now my interest was broader, more encompassing and involved wanting to help others with their passion. And so I launched Synthesizer, a business accelerator for independent musicians.

My inspiration to start Synthesizer came from a confidence in Tel Aviv’s vibrant startup ecosystem and my own experience as a professional musician.

The company works with early-stage musicians to support the growth of their music in a business-led landscape: we teach them about the industry as well as provide them with mentorship, workshops and a rich, varied network. Through every programme cycle we produce and promote an album for each cohort. You can see more details about Synthesizer here.

After founding Synthesizer, I realised two things. The first is that I love entrepreneurship. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from creating projects, piece by piece, and building teams from scratch. The second is that I love being challenged.

After a number of years successfully running Synthesizer, my next challenge was to internationalise my career.

I had a new business idea in my mind, also in the music space, but this idea was bigger, more sophisticated and focussed in technology. I began to look for a place that could equip me with the tools I would need to start and run an international business. In starting this search, I also realised that I wanted to meet the smartest and most creative people I could; to have these people as colleagues, mentors and friends.

Coming from a non-traditional business background, I looked for a place that celebrates diversity of all kinds, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.

I found everything I was looking for in my background reading on INSEAD. I applied as soon as I could and was fortunate enough not only to be accepted, but awarded the Indeed Scholarship for students with atypical business backgrounds with an entrepreneurial talent. It felt like an easy choice for all these reasons.

Now I am here, in P2, meeting amazing people; connecting with supportive alumni; benefitting from the limitless and diverse resources that INSEAD has to offer and growing in confidence that my business idea has great potential for success,.

Plus, the other students don’t mind how loud I play my drums.