Jo Jeffries is pursuing a vision to build on Birmingham’s reputation as a city of music.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m founder and ambassador for Birmingham Music Awards, set up to recognise, celebrate and shout about all the incredible music talent our city has to offer. I’ve worked in music, TV and radio up and down the country but Brum is my calling – I’m on a mission to bring together the local music community so our city gains the recognition it deserves. Our team has a big vision to help build the music business infrastructure Birmingham needs in order to retain its music talent and thrive as a music city.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
Usually on the train to Moor Street, my favourite station in the world. Enough of those huge, retail-driven super-stations – give me a gorgeous, little historic stop all day long. I feel like I’m in a scene from Brief Encounter every time I step off the train. Then it’s a quick jaunt (if I don’t get distracted by Cow Vintage) to the BMA’s new home in the Custard Factory.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
I barely notice it. I’m either e-mailing like mad or allowing myself some respite if I spot a Metro between the seats.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
Absolutely. It presents so many opportunities and I can feel a real hunger out there among the young creatives. They need businesses like ours and we want them to stay put so the city can benefit from their dreams, aspirations and energy.
When in Digbeth, it’s either Seven Sins or the Old Crown. In town, it’s tough to beat the allure of Yorks.
In Digbeth we tend to head to Kanteen (in my efforts to be ‘down with the kids’ and do the vegan thing which they seem to nail), or Baked in Brick, or Ghetto Golf – my guilty pleasure Friday super-treat.
Should I lie here and say I run the canals?
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
I’m a die-hard creative, so it’s a tough call between Digbeth and the JQ. I think the Custard Factory just has the edge for me at the minute – since the new owners moved in there is a superb buzz.
When I’m playing sophisticated grown-up, mine’s a French red in Pub du Vin but otherwise, the Ruin on Floodgate Street is quirky, comfy and friendly.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
It’s an exciting time to be in Birmingham – there is so much scope for positive change and we must all play our part. Collaboration, community and belief is key. Retaining the next generation of talent by giving our young people the right support and infrastructure for success is crucial.