Mo’ Money Mo’ Payments: Kate Owen, Digital Element

Whether you’re trying to become the next Jay-Z, the next Katy Perry or you just pop the radio and singalong, music is undeniably a vital aspect to society – as are payments.

So we here at Payment Expert decided to reach out to industry figures to see what music means to them and hopefully help everyone “learn to treat life to the best, put stress to rest.”


This week Kate Owen (VP Northern Europe, Digital Element) recalls her music days in New Zealand including a very interesting story about a rendition of the House of the Rising Sun.

PE: You’re entering a packed arena, what song blasts out? 

KO: “Take a chance you stupid ho!”

I love this song, it’s always good to have a brazen reminder to just pull your finger out and get on with it!

PE: What one song gets you in the mood for a boogie? 

KO: It’s just an open invitation to turn up the music, sing along, pour a drink and get partying. Can’t stay still with this one! 

PE: What song would you consider a guilty pleasure?

KO: This NZ thrash metal band sings partly in English and partly in te reo Māori, which is stunningly effective – coming from a culture of warriors and fighters. 

The singer and drummer are brothers and I went to university with their parents, who now manage them on their world tours. 

They’re all still under 19, which is absolutely crazy,  and it’s not at all what I normally listen to, but I think these guys are incredible.

PE: What typifies your lazy Sunday? 

KO: The most luxurious way to spend a lazy Sunday is exactly that: sitting around wasting time. 

This is just so chilled and there’s not many better than Otis Redding (best with a glass of wine!

PE: What song reminds you of your childhood? 

KO: My dad loved Melanie and constantly played a cassette of her greatest hits. My mum hated her. I understood both of them. 

Melanie had a sort of penetrating voice that was incredibly annoying to listen to all day, and she sort of yelled rather than sang, but her words were sometimes really funny, especially this one, and in my head I was always the kid in the song.

PE: And finally, what’s your go to karaoke song?  Don’t worry… we won’t be asking for a recording! 

This one is embarrassing…

Back in New Zealand as a music student I was on a youth orchestra course, at which we basically rehearsed all day and then went out drinking all night, for a week, then played a concert with a hotshot conductor. It was amazing. 

My friends were all into weed, which didn’t agree with me, so they went out of the pub for a “walk round the block” while I filled my glass again and when they returned – much to their surprise – I was on stage with the band.

Basically in the time they’d gone, I had convinced the musicians I could sing this song. 

I most definitely could not, which became very clear to the band about three lines into the song, as soon as it was too late. It was mortifying. My friends all thought they were hallucinating!