Dice HQ

Meet Namju Yoon, DICE’s Corporate Strategist who DJs by night

Photos by Will Grady

The music aficionado on finding the freedom to express himself, the club scene in Amsterdam and bonding with his colleagues through football

When Corporate Strategist Namju Yoon breezes through DICE’s London offices in a casual T-shirt and trousers, it’s difficult to picture him at the very start of his career. Working in Mergers and Acquisitions at an investment bank, he clocked in to work each day in a suit and tie. “Everyone wore a uniform in a way, and kind of acted the same, and had the same interests and hobbies,” he says. “I was always the ugly duckling – I was the only one who was going out to gigs every weekend.”

At DICE, however, Namju says he’s found a place where people are “free to express themselves the way they want to”, which sets them up to perform the best they can. Here, he opens up about taking charge of his career, moonlighting as a DJ, and playing for DICE FC.

On being a music geek

Music has been an overarching theme of my life and my identity. When I was young, my mum encouraged me to play piano, and I took drum lessons for four or five years, but I definitely enjoyed listening to music and learning about it rather than playing it myself. When I was a kid watching TV, it would always be music channels; and once I found out that I could use the internet to find music, I’d be on there constantly collecting songs. Any sort of allowance that I was given by my parents, I saved up to buy music. 

At one point, I just fell into a hip-hop obsession where I had to know every song from the late ’70s on – I needed to know all the credits front to back, and the backstories behind albums. I DJ now, too, so I’m always on the lookout for new music to play – I stay up-to-date with the latest album drops, I read about music and I watch music documentaries. 

On taking control of his career

After high school, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do. One of my teachers said, “Your best grades are in maths. Why don’t you pursue that?” So I studied statistics at uni. But the whole time, I questioned if it was something I was really passionate about. After uni, a lot of people from my year went into finance, so I just ended up there, too. It was a very corporate environment, and I knew quite early on that it wasn’t really for me – I wasn’t comfortable wearing a suit and tie every day and dealing with people that are just in it for the money. 

Going into finance certainly wasn’t a well-thought-out choice for me – it was more like, ‘What’s the most logical step after this, and after this, and after this?’ That’s why I’m so happy I found DICE, because that was definitely one of the first times that I really asked myself, ‘What am I passionate about, and what do I want in life?’ Somehow all the elements just came together. 


On his DJing friend group

I was born and raised in Amsterdam, where there are a lot of DJs and producers pushing boundaries. It’s a very small city, so it’s easy to meet people in the music industry, and I was lucky that a few of my close friends, like FS Green, JAEL and Jarreau Vandal, are basically pioneers in that space.

I started DJing as an outlet to share songs that I liked with my friends, and as an excuse to throw events with them and have a good time. We actually have a crew called SCAMsterdam – we’ve done a few parties in Amsterdam, Seoul and London, and we’ve got our own stage at Swara Mantra Festival in Bali in September. A lot of them are living off of DJing, and are in a different country almost every day, but sometimes we just want to get together and do something among friends. 

On his DICE social life

I always played football growing up, but when I moved to London five years ago and started working in finance, I had to stop. My hours back then were just kind of crazy, so I was never really able to commit to a team. When I joined DICE, they were just starting a football team that played in a weekly league, so for the first time in five years I thought, ‘OK, let me try again.’ It’s been really fun – I try to join every week. 

DICE employees have actually organised a lot of things that happen outside of work. There’s a chess club going on, DJing lessons, a climbing group, and probably loads of things that I don’t even know about. They’re a way to get closer to your colleagues, especially people in the business that you normally wouldn’t work with.

On staying motivated in a fast-moving company 

At DICE, you’re surrounded by people who share the same passion for music, whether they’re in Finance, Legal, Accounting, Product or wherever; and it’s really motivating to know you’re part of a team building a cool product that people love.

Because DICE is part of the music business, people assume we’re really laid-back, and on the one hand, that’s definitely true, but it’s also very hard work – there are always a lot of things to do, and there are a lot of ideas floating around. I think that’s the good thing about working at a fast-growing company though: it keeps things exciting. 


On the clubbing scene in Amsterdam and London

Amsterdam is fairly small, so the music community is quite tight. As a hip-hop DJ, you will know the house DJs, you will know the techno DJs, and everyone is supportive of one another. But in London, because it’s so huge, and there are so many promoters and venues, there are a lot of different scenes; and they’re all separated from each other and stick to their own thing.

I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing – it’s just different. In Amsterdam, I know the people I’m going to meet, so there’s definitely a feeling of home. But if I’m there for too long, then it can also get repetitive. At some point it’s like, ‘OK, I want something new now.’ In London, though, there’s so much going on that you can run into different people, see different DJs, and support different performers every time you go out, which I think is the best thing about it. There’s just so much going on. 

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