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0 Comments The Galen Hossack interview

Article written by the brilliant Sean Lloyd on the 31 Mar 2008


Most of you will remember Galen Hossack from his surfing days in South Africa and that’s where I first came across Galen. Then you lose touch for a while and the next thing you know Galen seems to be doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that! So I decided to catch up with Galen a week or three ago to see what he is currently involved in. Here we go.

Sean Lloyd: Galen, everyone probably remembers you as a surfer and now you have moved into music, can you just give us a quick re-cap on your main surfing achievements?

Galen Hossack: I won SA Champs U/16, won the Billabong Junior Pro twice, made the SA team twice, came 5th in World Games and 7th in World Champs, both U/19. In the World Champs I beat Mick Fanning in the quarters.

SL: You are also involved in a website called loadtheshow (Click for link) Could you briefly describe this concept and tell us how you came up with the concept of free downloads and paid artists?

GH: You have websites with pirated music on them and they are making tons of cash off advertising. We just gave the advertising money to artists, made it legal through asking artists to load their own stuff up and the more they market the site, the more cash we can give back to them. I think it’s a pretty simple concept really. I don’t know why it wasn’t done before. Fear and greed probably.

SL: And is loadtheshow proving to be a sustainable business model?

GH: Like all internet businesses the margins are very small because the barriers to entry are virtually zero. So it’s all about volume and unfortunately we’re hindered in that department at the moment because of high internet costs. However, the site is growing, we’re creating an awesome brand and creating awareness, so that when SA internet catches a wake up, we can offer as much as possible.

SL: Galen you seem to be involved in all sorts of things, including having your own band, The LP Show. In addition, you have a recording studio. What sorts of bands is your studio geared towards?

GH: We focus on experimenting, song writing, and having the best instruments and textures for the song rather than long hours of trying to get the right take. We’ve developed pretty efficient ways of getting round the problem of not having enough time and so we put the added hours saved into really creating an awesome song.

SL: Surfers are generally seen as laid back, do you still live the laid back surf lifestyle even though you are involved in more “normal” stuff right now?

GH: I don’t think I’ve ever conformed to the so called ‘laid back’ surfer attitude- if there is such a thing. I’ve always been exceptionally excited about life and all it has to offer. So I’ve always done a lot of other things than surf, for example I won art awards at school, did Add. maths until Matric, played guitar throughout my life etc, so perhaps my surfing is just what caught people’s attention.

So I don’t think I’ve really changed much as far as lifestyle goes. I still walk into work and check the surf report and call mates to plan surf trips. Probably too often. It’s just that other parts of my life are starting to come to the surface now. It’s been quite a drawn out difficult process, I must admit, but that’s life, that’s a challenge and that’s why you got to love it.

SL: Galen you’re living in Cape Town, what would be your favourite place where you are most likely to hang out, be it a club, restaurant or anywhere else?

GH: Hang out…I don’t really hang out too much. I kind of go somewhere, do something and get out…but if I had to commit to something, I’d say the UCT pub. It’s got cheap cold drafts, cool old school music, a lot of old friends and interesting conversation. I’m there about once a week. Maybe after a game of squash or the driving range.

Finally Galen, what do you see for the future of all your business interests and what would your dreams for them be?

GH: Before we get into the last question I’d like to drop in that I’ve got a new branch…I just recently started working for a hedge fund as an equity analyst. It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I think my friends and family are sick of hearing about it. It’s incredible how everything, and I mean everything that happens comes out in the stock prices of companies. From snow storms in China to, to an unforeseen granite ridge under the ground in a coal mine.


I’d like to consolidate all my business ideas and interests into one one incredible being. I say ‘being’ because I want it to be so adaptable that it never runs out of ideas, never stands still and never gets caught out. I want to work with the smartest, fastest and most innovative minds across all fields and have them know that what they put in, is what they’ll get out. Nothing should be an obstacle and everything should be inspiring. I’m not sure exactly how it’s all going to fit together, but I believe I’ll find a way.

Anyway…market update…My Standard Bank short is burning me, but my Exxaro and BHP Billitons are pumping. Surf is going to be sick on Sunday and I’m meeting Bean, Jem and Birdo for some beers at the UCT pub at 6:30…

And then Galen was off. Galen would seem to be doing a little bit of everything but rather than spreading himself thin, he has an intense focus and hold on everything he does. From offering free music online, to having his own band, to having a recording studio, to being a top class surfer to working as an equity analyst, it’s hard to pin Galen down.

And so we wait to see where next Galen’s name will be seen on the business radar…

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Sean Lloyd