Music Behind the Tech: Ana Leasman

Music and tech make a perfect pair — coding, troubleshooting and focusing on projects are often accompanied by a soundtrack for many in the IT industry. Whether it’s getting into that “flow state” or simply dialing in on a complex problem, listening to music seems to be the method of choice for IT employees looking to unlock creativity.

In this series, called Music Behind the Tech, we’ll help you get to know Rackspace employees, their stories and the relationship between the music they love and their work. We’ve even embedded their playlists at the bottom of each post. Rock on!

Most of us have experienced a case of mistaken identity at some point in our lives, and usually, it’s a humorous misunderstanding we simply brush off. For Rackspace Account Manager Ana Leasman however, mistaken identify has turned into a longer, deeper type of journey.

Ana is from Brazil, and while her native language is Portuguese, her accent is often mistaken for Russian (not an uncommon phenomenon). Rather than brush it off and move on, Ana has used the ongoing mistaken identity she experiences as a motivation to dive into Russian culture, including its language and music.

“I started looking into learning Russian because I think it’s a beautiful language,” Ana said. “And I wanted to know their culture. So, I started to listen to their music.”

In the process, she’s found a love for Russian rap. While most of the songs are not available on Spotify (so we won’t be able to append them at the end of this article), Ana has turned to YouTube to find a sound you’re not likely to hear over the airwaves on this side of the planet.

“It’s different than Brazilian rap, it’s different than American rap,” Ana told us. “It sounds aggressive and soft at the same time.”

That timbre of the music is often used by Ana when she’s trying to crank out work. She said whenever she has work tasks that just need to get done — whether it’s supporting her managed hosting customers or finishing an urgent task — she turns to Russian rap to get into a groove, and her song choices change dramatically as the work becomes less pressing.

“If I’m doing my reports or something not as urgent, I’ll listen to some Brazilian music because it reminds me of home,” Ana said. “Or, I’ll just put on some mellow Italian love songs.”

A Racker since 2012, Ana has worked as an account manager for enterprises in Latin America and now supports customers around the globe in our managed hosting business. In the middle of her tenure, she left for a different opportunity but was drawn back by the core mission of Rackspace.

“There’s no better place to be, there are great people here,” Ana said. “We do a lot — not only for our customers but for the community and people that work here.”

Ana’s Liner Notes

We end each of these profiles with some musical questions so you can get to know the Rackers a little bit better — here are Ana’s answers and her specialized playlist.

Over the ear headphones or earbuds? Earbuds

Spotify, Google Play or Pandora? YouTube

Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles

Miles Davis or Louis Armstrong? Louis Armstrong 

Song that is stuck in your head? Гамора – Ромашки 

Best concert you’ve ever attended? It was a Brazilian rock band [Raimundos] and I was quite young and it was my first concert. It was crazy, everybody jumping and screaming and I was in awe in getting outside of the house without my parents 

Editor’s Note: Spotify didn’t have many of the Russian Rap songs that Ana listens to, so unfortunately, we are not able to showcase that particular genre of music. Instead, Ana put together some of her favorites from growing up in Brazil.

Stay tuned for our next Music Behind the Tech profile and visit Rackspace to find out more about our experts and the ways they’re helping customers tackle their toughest IT challenges. And whether you like smooth jazz or hard rock, if you’re looking to start your own career at Rackspace, be sure to apply online today.

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