Karen Pearson founded audio production company Folded Wing to follow her biggest passion, music.
Karen Pearson visited Leeds Trinity University as a part of their annual Journalism and Media Week and told students how she broke into the radio and podcasting industry. This included how she set up her multi award winning audio production company Folded Wing.
Founded in 2006 when podcasting first landed in the industry and now Europe’s best known audio production company. Karen’s love for music pushed her in the direction of founding Folded Wing, she said: “music is what I love, it always will be, it’s what I’m passionate about.”
The company collaborates with artists, producers, creators, and musicians to create audio content including podcasts and radio shows such as ‘The Jazz Show on BBC Radio 2 with Jamie Cullum’ and ‘For The Love of Hip Hop with Romesh Ranganathan’.
Karen lives and breathes music and her passion for radio and music was always there, mainly influenced by growing up in Southend on Sea. She said: “There was quite a big jazz scene when I was growing up and at the bottom of the road, I lived on there was a club called Saxs and they used to do some things during the day, there was a guy called Snow Boy and he used to do some jazz there.”
Folded Wing quickly became a pioneering force for the radio and podcast industry and became the first company to do branded podcasts, including producing content with organisations such as Nike, Red Bull and the National Portrait Gallery.
Karen’s achieved a lot in her musically inclined career, some of her proudest moments include helping to create Roundhouse Radio, a radio station that creates audio-content focusing on using the voices of underrepresented young people and is made up of emerging presenters and producers. As well as getting Hip Hop on Radio 2 with ‘Romesh Ranganathan’s For the Love of Hip Hop.’
Both Folded Wing and Karen have received several awards for their services to the radio industry. In 2023, Folded Wing received an ARIA award, an award that recognises the best in the UK radio industry, for their ‘For the Love of Hip Hop with Romesh Ranganathan’ BBC Radio 2. In 2022, Karen was appointed a Fellow of the Radio Academy, this is the highest honour that can be given by the Academy to a person within the sector.
Karen’s passion for music drives her everyday to continue creating the content she loves, and there’s still so much she wants to achieve. She said: ““I’ve always wanted to do something musically with David Attenborough.”
Her dream is to set up the Folded Wing School of Sound, to help shake up the industry and give opportunities to people from all backgrounds.
To check out Karen Pearson and Folded Wing’s amazing work: https://www.foldedwing.co.uk/about