Marcus O’Dair is a writer, musician and academic. His most recent book, Distributed Creativity (Palgrave 2019), about the impact of blockchain technology on the creative economy, was written as researcher in residence at Digital Catapult. His previous book, Different Every Time: the Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt (Serpent’s Tail 2014), was shortlisted for the Penderyn book prize and named a Radio 4 book of the week.
Marcus is co-editor of Mute Records: Artists, Business, History (Bloomsbury 2019) and has published academic work, largely on entrepreneurship and innovation in the creative economy, in edited collections including Jazz and Totalitarianism (Routledge 2017), Punk Pedagogies (Routledge 2018), Business Transformation Through Blockchain (Palgrave 2019), Life Writing and Celebrity (Routledge 2019), The Canterbury Sound in Popular Music (Emerald 2021), Music by Numbers (Intellect 2021) and Pataphysics Unrolled (Penn State University Press, forthcoming). He has also published in peer-reviewed academic journals including Popular Communication, Strategic Change, Popular Music, IASPM@Journal, Life Writing, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Journal of Risk Finance. This is in addition to a number of reports, including Music on the Blockchain, published with the Featured Artists Coalition, and A Practical Toolkit for Cultural Governance, published with the British Council.
Marcus has contributed to the Guardian, Times, Financial Times, Independent and Irish Times and appeared on Radio 1, Radio 3, BBC 6 Music, the World Service and CNN. He has spoken at numerous academic conferences, including delivering keynotes at Falmouth University and the University of Manchester. He has also spoken at the Southbank Centre, the V&A, the Barbican and Edinburgh International Book Festival, as well as internationally from New York to Riyadh.
Marcus's work has been funded by Office for Students, Research England, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Enterprise Educators UK, the Blockchain Research Institute and the Institute of Coding. He has also led three projects for the British Council: Creative Leadership Programme, for Mexican cultural leaders; Multiplier Lab, for West African creative hub leaders; and Creative Entrepreneurship E-learning Platform, for users in Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.
As a musician, Marcus has released four acclaimed albums and toured Europe as one half of Grasscut, performing at venues including the Pompidou Centre and the Royal Albert Hall. He was formerly a session musician with Passenger. He has also delivered consultancy projects both in the UK and internationally , for clients including the Music Managers Forum. He is a Director of the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), a non-profit that supports, promotes and protects musicians, and a trustee of New Note, an award-winning charity that uses music to help sustain recovery from addiction.
Marcus is currently Associate Dean of Knowledge Exchange at University of the Arts London (UAL), the largest specialist art and design university in Europe and one of the top art and design universities in the world. He was previously Associate Professor in Music and Innovation at Middlesex University.