Grant Hislop

Creative Patapatai

Bona fide music buff Grant Hislop wants to start a veggie garden and buy a hot air balloon. Count how many times Eggs Benedict is mentioned in this interview, and enjoy getting to know the CEO of Mood Media and Juice TV a little better.

Your occupation, job title, artistic discipline (or very brief description of what you do):

I am CEO of Mood Media, running Mood, Juice TV, The Station, Music for the People, The Vibe, and—and I am a bass player.

What cities/towns have you lived in (or spent more than a few months in) beginning with the place of your birth? 

Christchurch, Dannevirke, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Marton, Tauranga (three times), Dunedin, Alexandra, Wellington, Mangawhai, Auckland, Taupo, Rotorua, Napier, Waipukurau, and Paraparaumu.

What are the earliest stories you remember hearing? The ones that told you about the world?  

I remember war stories from my grandfather, and then flying and travel stories from my Dad—especially the one about the time when he landed his plane upside down.

What’s your favourite Bay of Plenty landscape, park, building, location, suburb, or side street? Why? 

I love 5th Avenue as I spent very happy teenage years there, and Elizabeth Street where my first radio station was based. The Village, where we’re now based, just cause it’s awesome!

What’s an average day in your life at present?   

Peeling potatoes, programming radio and television stations, writing for—and scheming for the future!

What music was present and still memorable from your youth/adolescence?  

Cold Chisel, Bowie, Led Zep, The Who, The Clash, DD Smash, Split Enz, The Mockers, Herbs, Knightshade, The Narcs

For you as a creative person, who are three influential artists or thinkers?   

David Bowie, John Lennon, Gary Vaynerchuk.

If you went away from the Bay of Plenty for a long time and then came back, what are the first three things you would do or visit?  

It would have to be a drive by of all the places I’ve lived (too many to mention), then an Eggs Benedict at Elizabeth Street Cafe, and a night stay at Trinity Wharf.

Looking back at your childhood self: what one sentence describes that person? 

On a mission to grow up!

If you had to eat the same meal every day, what would it be?   

Eggs Benedict with salmon and extra spinach.

What are you planning for 2021 that nobody knows about yet?   

To take a holiday and start a veggie garden and maybe buy a hot air balloon.

Who are your favourite or most admired figures from history? 

Tough question—I don’t know what version of history is to believed so feel ill-equipped to comment.

But people who I met come to mind: David Lange, my Nanas, and my Grandad.

If the Prime Minister asked you to make up a new policy or law for New Zealand, what would it be? 

Decide what we want to be as a country and then work backwards from there enforcing policies to achieve that goal.

In one sentence, can you define art? 

Something that transcends the present.

What is missing or lacking from your Bay of Plenty community or environment? 


Name a few films that you consider profound, moving or extraordinary?  

The Founder.

What was your first real job, second, third?  

Takeaway bar worker, radio announcer, creative director.

Where would you like to live, but have yet to? 


What word of advice would you offer an aspiring creative person?  

Define what success looks like to you.

What’s the biggest problem about life in New Zealand? How you would solve it? 

Realising we’ve already got it all.

What is your dream of happiness?  

Waking up in the morning with no anxiety.

What one question would you add to this interview?

What makes you happiest right now? Answer: my kids. I have an increasing sense of how blessed I am.

More about Grant

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