Italians in London | Italians in London Jgor Ognibeni
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#2 Jgor Ognibeni

Tell me about yourself, about your life. Where were you born? Where did you live before you moved to London? What did you do before you came to London? What are you passionate and interested about?
I’m born in Trento, a small city in the North East of Italy but I lived most of my childhood in a small village, on a highland east from the city. A nice place, tucked between two valleys and a lake.
Every step I did in my life, I chose to move to a bigger city. I started school in my little, tiny, village. I moved to a near village, a bit bigger, to attend middle school, than I went to high school in Trento and finally the University in Milan, where in roughly 10 years I studied Law, got my degree, did my traineeship and started working as a lawyer.
I soon got stressed and bored from the city and from the life behind the desk.
Moving to London was then just a natural step after Milan. I wanted to improve, both in my life and career and, you see, it’s always hard to break an habit.
So here I am. Working with music as I always dreamed of.
Not only a passion but a profession, music here in the UK is respected and has developed in a very competitive but stimulating and enriching market. My enthusiasm for it is never ending!
What do you do in your life in London?
My work in London is split between different roles, one full time and a side project. In fact, I’m working as an agent for an important Music Collecting company based here but operating in Italy and Spain. My side project is related to music too. I take care of the interests of several artists as artist manager and music consultant. I’m also a musician myself, playing drums in a rock band with some very close friends.
What is the reason to leave Italy and come to London?
I decide to leave Italy for two reasons: first of all, I felt I was stucked in a situation that didn’t allow me neither to grow as a person nor in my career.
Wasting my energy on a road with a dead end seemed just stupid to me, so I decided to quit my previous job in a law firm and look for something different.
The second reason was a business related one. I wanted to find a job in the music business, so I was taking a closer look to a lot of information about it. After some researches, I found out that the Italian music market is 10 times smaller than the one in UK. This means 10 less chances and opportunities out there. That was more than enough to make up your mind. I started packing up shortly after that.
What were your best and worst experiences in London.
I’d start from the bad experience: as many people did before me, before my new job was kicking in, I’ve did some barman/cafè part time job, just to keep my counts afloat.
Everything was working fine, till one day when we found the Cafè closed. The owner decided to sell the shop from one day to another, not a single line was sent to the staff to explain or just communicate the decision.
There were some full time people who got their life thrown away in a blink.
I do remember this girl, she was with me when we found out about the shop. She started crying in front of me, she needed the money to pay her rent, and I didn’t know what to do to help her. It was just dramatic.
Best experience is pretty hard to find. I’ve had too many good experiences in London. the last one was about the event I’m organizing with some friends, called Folked Up! Night. In less than a year we turned a little event in an established monthly festival, in one of the best venues in London, with the first night of the new season sold out. Seeing such a result in such a little amount of time, it’s pure joy!
I asked you to choose a place in London that you like or you are tied to, what was your choice and why you made it?
I found Stoke Newington when I was walking around Dalston Kingsland.
Just fell in love with the place, it reminds me of my little village on the Italian Alps.
Small houses, a beautiful park, some old churches, good venues for music and a young population attracted me. But It was all about the romance of seeing a sunset reflected on the Stokey church bell tower that convinced me to move here. It’s was living in a painting of Turner or some romantic painter of the 18th century.
During your early times in London, did you have any problem?
I wouldn’t say I had any major issue at the time, just some trouble with my previous flatmates (dirty dirty dirty people, if you know what I mean).
What do you think about this project?
I think is such an important project. Taking a picture is much more than just creating a good image; it’s more like capturing the memory and the story of a certain day. Something you can turn back to, years from now, to remember about it.
How do you think you could support and promote Italian culture? 
Helping and supporting this project is obviously a good start!