Arjun Chadha Interview
Arjun Chadha is the founder and editor-in-chief of Get Familiar Magazine, which is one of the best hip-hop magazines in Europe. As Arjun puts it, “I simply married my love for hip-hop culture with my love for long-form and thought-provoking journalism. I regularly tried to imagine what the New Yorker or Economist of hip-hop culture would look like.”
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I got to where I am today (founder, journalist, editor, and publisher of Get Familiar Magazine) by following my curiosity. I’m a strategic economist by education, so I can’t really speak of any formal training that landed me in this position. Time-line wise, it might be helpful to realise that there’s a big gap—of approximately 10 years—between me graduating and me doing what I do now. Those 10 years were littered with different corporate jobs that allowed me to travel and live in different places around the world (i.e. Hong Kong, Spain, and Ireland). Varying tremendously in industry—from waste-management/recycling to augmented reality and big tech—my final two years of employment were spent working at Facebook & Instagram, where I strategically advised brands on how to best spend their marketing budgets. And yes, that’s as horrible as it sounds, because how much can you really care about company Y selling X% more of product Z?
Before quitting my job at Facebook, I started an online video project, called whatsgood, with two friends. The goal of the project was to film, document and tell the stories of cultural-creatives throughout Europe. We recorded short video mini-series and interviews for fun, with the intention of speaking to some of the musicians, artists, and clothing brands that we most liked. And that’s where I learned that I had a knack for interviewing people—interviewees would often tell me that the questions were really refreshing and interesting. Often prepared by me, those portrait interviews required well-researched questions, because I deeply cared about facilitating the discovery of ‘new’ information for both ourselves and our audience—I was vigilant about not repeating questions that had already been posed in other interviews.