James Cooper

I've always had an interest in how things worked, how things were made and the thought process behind it all. Stereotypical "engineer" childhood memories of taking apart electronics with no hope of ever being able to put them back together again. I never really enjoyed school and must have been an annoying student, if I didn't see the real-world value of something I showed it no interest.

When I was 15 years old I landed a work experience placement with a PA hire company in Peckham and I found I loved it – all the cool equipment and exciting places, riding around in the passenger seat of a van all day setting up gigs. I found myself surrounded by knowledgeable, highly skilled people and quickly sapped as much knowledge and experience from them as I could. As soon as I finished my exams I was out and working and learning on the job.

After years of working in the industry as an engineer, warehouse manager, repair guy and venue manager I started to become disillusioned with it all. I didn't really like the attitude of companies I worked for and found myself becoming as jaded as many of my industry peers. Fast forward through some years doing all sorts of weird and wonderful jobs (I worked as a concrete sculptor, managed a coffee shop and did AV support for the Church of England to name but a few) I had pretty much given up on the sound industry.

Somewhere in 2012 I was introduced to Mikey, a few casual parties with his system quickly escalated and Flipside as a business was born. The journey flipside has been on since then feels like an extension of my personal journey... or maybe the other way around. Our course has shifted over the years as we grew but I still feel like the original passion we shared for the kit, the people and the sound is still very much alive and kicking. Hope it never ends.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with a cancer and that forced me to look at my motivations in life. I wasn't totally happy living how I had been living and doing what I had been doing. I guess I'd just like to know that for as long as possible my life will have been about making a positive difference to the world and the people in it. Business is fine, chasing glamorous high-profile work is fun while it lasts but on a day to day what gets me out of bed in the morning is the opportunity to grow and develop as a person and to nurture the same in my colleagues and clients.