About Nick Agha
Nick is a culture lover, eating up everything in music, film, fashion and art.

Growing up in the 80s he loved writing and drawing, collecting records and watching the latest movies.

Nick and his friends at the time lived in South London Croydon area where he spent most of his teenage days in London’s record shops, saving for new trainers and clothes and listening to dance music pirate radio stations.

His record and music obsession continued while working at HMV Croydon and attending university in London in the early 90s. With a pair of Technics 1210 turntables he spent hours, days and nights recording mixes onto C90 cassettes, DJing at local parties alongside going out to prolific UK clubs and raves.

Another obsession was graffiti and street art. He worked on creative art skills on walls in the neighbourhood and on paper designing DJ mixtape covers and flyers.

After living in France and then traveling round Europe for a year he never stopped the mixtapes and getting out DJing at house parties as much as possible.

Nick’s first career stepping stone was advertising sales at Dennis publishing gaining invaluable confidence in selling for a number of business to business and consumer magazines. More big clubbing days came alongside where he met promoters who went on to start iconic clubs.

After DJing at various clubs for promoter friends, Nick decided to organise his own dance events and after promoting clubnights mainly in Brixton South London he organised his first 1000 person rave in 1994 with pioneering acts of the time.

His biggest business venture was the formation with two local friends of what was to become a world famous youth marketing company and brand called Dont Panic. It was a brand built from a knowledge of underground music and art, industry contacts and a lot of ambition.
The brand was built from designing and printing flyers. This was the number one communication method of the youth going out to clubs and raves at the time. Of course things have changed now and a number of key events while running Dont Panic further shaped Nick’s future.
 

1. Non traditional and guerilla marketing

Anyone who leaves the house now is quite used to being bombarded with advertising messages whether billboards, flyposters, flyers or even on train tickets and pool cues. Back in the 90s this wasn’t the case. Flyer production and distribution was an underground youth movement and advertising only appeared in designated locations. As he grew Dont Panic as Head of Sales, Nick watched as Brand Managers scratched their heads over using free flyers and posters to advertise on the street to now working with dozens of dedicated ‘Out of Home’ and ‘Experiential’ agencies. He was responsible for the guerilla advertising success of the film Blair Witch Project.

2. Freemium publishing

There was a time in the 90s when the only magazines available were in newsagents with a cover charge. Brands offered customer magazines sent in the post or available in branches on the high street. Now at every bar and train station, you can either pick up or distribution staff will hand you a free magazine or flyer. Nick was the first to do this with his Don’t Panic Packs and brands such as BBC, Channel 4, O2, Universal and Pathe approached him for campaigns.
3. Digital Age
This is a big one and affects every part of our lives. When he started Dont Panic Nick was faxing distribution lists to brands and agencies. One fax would take all afternoon to get to only a hundred into people’s hands.
Now we send emails for sales but on the consumer side, emails are obscelete. Everything is shared on social media.
As a consumer Nick had the first Nokia mobile phone on the market, the first Apple Mac and in business he built the one of the first B2B websites and the first digital consumer lifestyle magazines.

4. Street Art

At Don’t Panic, Nick’s idea was to distribute free A2 posters by well know artists. With his passion for graffiti and street art he sourced artists from all around the world from Pete Fowler to Slinkachu.
In 200 Banksy visited his office and produced an original free poster to be distributed in the Don’t Panic Packs.
From then  he worked with Pure Evil, Eine, Shepard Fairy, C215, Blek le Rat, Blu and Roa. The posters are still being sold on eBay and shown in creative university seminars.
5. Franchising
Traveling has always been Nick’s passion. He has lived in Bordeaux, Paris and Ibiza as well as regularly visited Amsterdam, Rome and Athens. He has traveled across the West Coast of America, completed a 12 day trek of Macchu Pichu Inca Trail and Peru as well as explored the Amazon. He has stayed in Borneo and worked in New York, Malaysia and Thailand.

At Dont Panic he set up and directed franchise offices in 5 UK cities, Sydney, Melbourne. New York, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

8. Awards

In 2005 Nick made it personally onto the Mediaweek 30 under 30 and won Lovie Award Best Branded Content 2011 with his client ENO. In that year, the video produced gained a pioneering million views in one week. The film is still used in university and business tutorials.

Nick’s new partners at Dont Panic understandably wanted to build on the success of this video. The slapstick humour and political stance had always been a thread from the beginning especially from his partners but he wasn’t interested in these and decided to sell his share in the company and return to his music roots.

Nick has been producing electronic music for 10 years and in 2011 was signed to the respected Detroit underground house label Aesthetic Audio.

With the productions he took advantage of the opportunity to tour world famous clubs and festivals.

After a brief stint as Co-Director of Magic and Medicine and London agent for Kitsune Records Clubnights he became Marketing Manager for leading East London club promoters and record label Secretsundaze. At the same time he continued as consultant for the Don’t Panic digital magazine he set up and is now Managing Director of the creative agency Undercover Arts in Shoreditch.

To complete the circle, he is now also Commercial Director of Graffiti Kings with the Founder and his old friend Darren Cullen, the world famous,legendary UK graffiti artist.