Interview: Jack Christie tells us how tinnitus led him to change careers
Jack Christie owns one of the smallest record stores in London - Container Records. But, as we all know, big things come in small packages! Established in 2015 following a change of careers, Jack won his pitch for the Pop Brixton new developments and subsequently set his store up inside a shipping container...
Jack's eclectic taste is evident in his store, stocking everything from Afrobeat to classic Hip Hop to IDM. His record label, THEM, pushes a powerful UK branch of techno that shakes dancefloors across the city.
Prior to opening Container, Jack worked as promotions manager in Camden and played in clubs around London. Although, unfortunately, in 2014 he acquired tinnitus as a result of prolonged exposure to loud systems within the London clubbing scene. His response to the condition has been both positive and negative, but ultimately it was one of the deciding factors in a career change. Here, Jack talks us through his experience.
How long have you had tinnitus?
I have had it since August 2014, so that's just over three years.
How has tinnitus impacted on your life?
It's affected me in good and bad ways. At first it was really hard to deal with, it made sleeping and concentrating difficult and made stress very hard to cope with. Ultimately it made me re-assess the amount of stress I was allowing myself to endure, which consequently made me leave my job.
However, it also means I now protect my hearing a lot more. Although on the whole it's a very unpleasant experience and I don't recommended it!
What are the problems you've encountered as a result?
One issue is spending a lot of money on top quality hearing protection. I tend to lose things all too often and I also like things to sound good, and the best, balanced earplugs are expensive.
So I lose them a lot and end up forking out a large amount each year on replacements. The other thing is explaining to people why I'm wearing earplugs, and that I'm not deaf etc.
Do you have any advice for people suffering from tinnitus?
Hang in there, if you have just noticed ringing, STOP listening to loud music for a month, buy earplugs immediately and use them. If you catch it early on the theory goes it may wear off, although if it doesn't, don't panic, book a GP appointment, let them know what's going on, keep using your plugs. Use a fan or a YouTube video of white noise to help you sleep, and spread the word about the dangers of not protecting your ears, like the good people at Watch The Hype are.