Active Citizen #8 – Max Niepce
Active Citizens is a Journey City Guides series where we interview the people who participate in making their own city a vibrant and exciting place.
Our latest Paris interview is with Maximilien Niepce, founder of SPECTRE, a company at the forefront of music and sound design working for prestigious clients including Hotel Crillon in Paris, Experimental Group (hotels and restaurants in Paris, London, NYC, Ibiza) and SKP Beijing (luxury department store).
Aside from music, Maximilien is an avid fan of weekends spent in Normandy with his wife and two daughters while dreaming about a future life in New York City. Read on to discover what the future of retail music marketing looks like.
Hi Max, could you tell us more about yourself?
I’m a 37 years old proud husband and father of two amazing girls. Born and raised in Paris with some experience living in London and New York City. I have a big (too big?) passion in life which is music. More precisely I have a thing for building the perfect playlist… I found a way to live my passion and mix it together with another important interest of mine: technology. This is how SPECTRE was born.
What is SPECTRE, and what led you to start this adventure?
SPECTRE is a music service company which provides tailor-made music playlists that are broadcasted through a smart technological solution. Our clients are mainly luxury & boutique hotels, retail brands and spas. Basically any public space where music is important, from the independent chef-owned restaurant to the international retail group with hundreds of stores around the world.
When I graduated in 2003, I’ve worked a while as an assistant to music producer Arthur Baker. Check him out, his story is great! At that time music business was suffering hard from Napster and the other illegal P2P services, you did not really want to plan a carrier in that business.
So after some time working as a headhunter, I decided to create SPECTRE without really knowing what I wanted to do besides trying to sell my ability to select nice music. There was no business plan, which summarizes what passion can sometimes be: unreasonable. With time I managed to get more organized and now we are great team working with more than 150 clients.
What is next for you personally and professionally?
Growing my company and be able to combine that with good moments with my family and friends which is sometimes difficult.
Currently, we are opening our offices in NYC which is a great challenge! I finally have a great excuse to go there as it is my favourite city alongside Paris.
How long have you been living in Paris?
Paris is my hometown. I’ve lived there practically all my life.
Where do you live in Paris and what do you like about your neighborhood?
I don’t exactly live in Paris. I’ve been living in Neuilly Sur Seine for about a year now. It’s a comfortable residential suburb just West of Paris.
We needed some green spaces, less energy and a little less stress. I guess it’s what you look for when you have kids. I love food, they have amazing food shops there and a great market on Sundays.
Where do you go to escape the city for a weekend?
As many Parisians I love to go to Normandy. However I don’t really dig Deauville. Honfleur or the countryside around Beaumont en Auge are the perfect places to escape less than a 2 hours drive away from the capital.
What’s your favourite city to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
My favourite city is definitely New York City. I love its energy, anything is possible there. One day I’ll live there, in this life or another!
I travel quite a lot for my job as my clients are located all around the world. We are working with hotel openings in Geneva, opening our office in NYC and finishing a big project in China. I guess that’s where I’ll be travelling soon!
And go have a look at SPECTRE website for music inspiration.