Interview time with Sean Treadway

Interview time with Sean Treadway


We’ve got something special for you this week, as you’ll get to know the new recruit at the SoundCloud HQ, programmer-extraordinaire Sean Treadway.

Born in Johannesburg, but raised in Seattle, Sean moved to Northern Europe about 8 years ago where he has been offering his programming skills to various media and web companies. He has joined the Cloud since the beginning of this year and we’re all looking forward to a fruitful relationship! Let’s now learn a bit more about Sean the don:

  • Welcome Sean! We’re really glad that you’re now part of the SC crew! First of all, could you tell us why you’ve decided to work as a programmer?

When I was about 10 years old, my teacher had an old Apple ][ computer in the back of the class. I was kind of curious about the thing, and one day he taught me how to type and run the following:

10 print “magic ”
20 goto 10

The green screen lit up in pages and pages of scrolling text. Pure magic. That little program turned into more lines that eventually drew things onto the screen, then that program turned into things that drew things over a network and now to playing sound over the internet.

I love programming and love to see people benefit from using computers and the programs that run on them. It’s still magic.

  • And how did you end up living in Berlin and working for the best music site ever?

About 8 years ago I took a little break from work that led me to meeting a Danish girl at the Burning Man festival. We fell for each other then, and her 3 month stay in the states was too short to find out if we were meant to share our lives together. I traded my job for a ticket to Denmark.

Over those years in Copenhagen, I established my own life as an expat, worked closely with the artists Superflex and found a taste for culture, streaming media and the internet. But the city began to feel a bit small, and I was considering New York or Berlin. About the same time, Plazes, a Berlin based web company called to ask if I was available. For the last year and a half, I helped Plazes develop its web site.

Through friends of friends, I met and got to know Eric, Alex and Hannes. Great guys with a solid sense of choosing the ‘simplest things to be effective’. I really liked the value, potential, and design of SoundCloud, so I approached Eric to see if they wanted extra help.

I’m now living in Friedrichshain with my lovely girlfriend and I’m very happy here at SoundCloud. We’re laughing at least 6.28 times a day.

  • So what was the actual motivation to work at SoundCloud? (apart from fame, fortune, women and a free wifi connection)

I want to help SoundCloud make people drool. I want people to think “oh, wow, can it really be THAT easy to share my music with the world?”. The technical, social, and design problems that SoundCloud must overcome are also interesting for me. The self-awareness of the creative process, the practical considerations of ownership, and the benefits of mass publishing are all new grounds which are currently shaping our reflection of culture and the music market. And SoundCloud is in a great position to offer a valuable alternative to all the makeshift methods that people use to do what they love – make music.

  • On that note, what sort of music do you like the most? Who are your favourite artists?

I love beats. Overlapping, rich, psychotic, chill, syncopated beats. Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, Mouse on Mars, etc… I like to be surprised by music so it’s not just limited to the electronic sphere, it’s anything that is playful, moving or multilayered.

  • Sounds like our type of ish aswell! Have you already discovered some interesting new artists via SoundCloud?

I mostly play the hotlist and I like what I’m hearing. You’re all making great music!

  • I’m sure all the Clouders will appreciate that! So, one last thing that the SC crew is dying to know about: where did you get these great pair of glasses?

There’s a little optician on Værnedamsvej in Copenhagen called “Optikken” (or something like that).  They have a great selection of all kinds of crazy frames.

We use cookies for various purposes including analytics and personalized marketing. By continuing to use the service, you agree to our use of cookies as described in the Cookie Policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.