Norwich bank boss who is also an internationally famous DJ - how did that happen?
PUBLISHED: 17:14 08 November 2019
Barclays Bank boss Richard Pearce and internationally renowned DJ Harry Pearce are the same person. A strange combination? But why limit yourself, says Gina Long MBE
Richard Pearce from Norwich couldn't have a more contrasting life, from being Barclays Premier Business Development Director to being globally renowned DJ, Harry Pearce. Over the last 20 years he has DJ'd all over the UK and internationally, whilst always keeping his feet deeply rooted in the community of Norwich, through his roles at Barclays and the Sundown Festival. He successfully connects business, music, sport and food, all of which he is hugely passionate about. He is a husband to Elizabeth and father of two. He talks to Gina Long
What is your connection to East Anglia?
I moved to North Norfolk from London aged 14, when my parents decided London was no longer for them. It was a huge wrench at the time, for the first 3 years all I wanted to do was move back. Fast forward a couple of decades, what a privilege it is to be part of this region and all that it offers. Now in my current role for Barclays, I am getting to see so much more of beautiful East Anglia.
What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?
Such a tough question but if pushed, firstly I have to say the people make it the wonderful, vibrant and encompassing place it is. On the flip side of that, I love the solitude of the open spaces, nature at its best and what the many coastlines offer.
What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?
3G and Wi-Fi! There are still plenty of blackspots throughout East Anglia and beyond.
Favourite East Anglian restaurant?
I am going to be in big trouble here, as there are so many great restaurants and I know so many of the owners, all of whom are so passionate about their business and use of local produce. Hickman's, Bishops, Haggle and No1 Cromer all need a mention, but to save face I am going to have to go for Prime at The Edith Cavell in Norwich. Mainly because my wife loves it there, and if we go it's normally just us on a date night which are few and far between these days.
What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?
Walking or running with my Labrador Henry, in one of the many spaces we are lucky enough to have here. Just me and him. No phones, music or distractions. Great thinking time.
Favourite East Anglian landmark?
I love Ely Cathedral, with the sun going down behind it. It's almost haunting in the right light. Often on the train back from Manchester, you can get great views of this and it's a signal that I have made it back to East Anglia.
What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
This is very personal to me but I absolutely have to say Sundown Festival. This year was the ninth Festival and I have been involved since the second. Over that time, I have tried super hard to involve as many local artists, acts, DJs and traders as possible to keep the local footprint, while the Festival has grown to a national audience. Sunsets at Sundown are something else. I love DJing at Sundown, I feel blessed to be able to connect so many people, and parts of Norfolk because of it.
What's your specialist Mastermind subject?
Dr Who. Although to be fair I lost my way with it a bit after Matt Smith. You really wouldn't want to turn a corner late at night to be met by a Dalek!
What is always in your fridge?
Cheese. Proper strong vintage Cheddar.
What's your simple philosophy of life?
Pay it Forward. You can't do everything, but you can do something. Remind yourself of three things each day you are grateful for, but also something you would like to change. It's the best start to the day.
What's your favourite film?
Bill and Ted's Excellent adventure. The part where they go to the future and they find out that the planets have aligned and poverty, war and famine have all been resolved through their music still inspires me today.
What was your first job?
Growing up in London was tough and I wasn't fortunate enough to get any pocket money. My grandad had a stroke when I was 10, which meant I had to step up and help him with his greengrocer shop. Setting up, packing in, going to the wholesale market at Covent Garden. It gave me an income at a young age and set me on the path to employment and buying my first house at 20.
What is your most treasured possession?
My memories of my mum. She died eight years ago and it had such an impact on my life. She gave me everything, as she did to many others that she met.
Who do you admire most?
Pastor John Norman. Over the last few years I have grown to be part of the Soul Church community, which does amazing things for the people of Norwich. John's energy, desire, and commitment to improving the lives of everyone he comes into contact with is really infectious and he is absolutely changing lives.
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What is your biggest indulgence?
Holidays. For years, nearly every summer was spent in Ibiza Dj-ing. However, now with a young family, a busy lifestyle and travel that goes with it, time with my family is the greatest luxury.
What do you like about yourself most?
My ambition. I strive every day to make a positive influence to those that I know. I absolutely believe that the journey I have been on can help so many others. In its truest form, banking helps connect. The term ' Building Society's' really resonates with me; it drives me to bring about positive change.
What's your worst character trait?
My passion. I have come to learn that strengths done to excess, often become a weakness. Sometimes I just have to get something done my way. Everyone has things to offer, so it's best to listen and learn sometimes.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Dubai. The first time you arrive there it feels almost like it's on some faraway planet in Star Wars. Once you get your head around it and start to embrace it, it takes it to another level. Again, much like my Norfolk home, the people really have a massive part to play in that.
Best day of your life?
Surely I have to say my wedding day, at least the luckiest anyway. Maybe a close second to closing the Sundown opening party for the first time in 2014 to 9,000 people. I remember I played Chase and Status ' Alive' and the whole crowd were signing it back. Such an amazing feeling in your home town.
What's your favourite breakfast?
Full English… extra fried bread.
What's your favourite tipple?
What's your hidden talent?
I can make my ears squeak to the tune of Happy Birthday.
When were you most embarrassed?
Coming third on Come Dine with Me… don't believe everything you see on TV.
What's your earliest memory?
Three year old me, hiding my one-year-old sister under the bed.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Solu Music - Fade. One for those that know.
Tell us something people don't know about you?
I have broken nine different bones in my body… all playing football. My wife calls me Mr Glass.
What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?
You will never be successful (potentially the best too ).
Tell us why you live here?
I absolutely couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I love being an active part of the Norwich Ecosystem, seeing the city grow and connect and knowing I am playing a part in that.
What would you like to tell our readers about most?
I would like to encourage them to try something new, something you might not naturally think to do on a Sunday. Do consider visiting SOUL Church UK. They are based on Mason Road in Norwich. I went there for the first time 18 months ago and was so positively surprised about the venue, the people, the coffee, the music and the overall experience.
SOUL Church has a slogan 'Come As You Are' and I really feel they live and breathe this. The church is buzzing with people from all different backgrounds on a Sunday and I can honestly say this had made a huge impact on the way I and my family live our day to day life.
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