Like most people who work in the music industry, I have written feverish fan fiction regarding the movements at major corporations – crazy ‘what-if’ tales about the CEO of Sony Music suddenly moving into a CFO role at Universal Music only to enter into a JV with Deezer! I’m only human, after all.

A simple search this morning for a photo of Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek resulted in our eyes being pried open by a reality in which people around the world really enjoy drawing him. An abnormal amount of Ek drawings exist online, considering he is only really a public figure to those who read Tech Crunch, download TED talks, or subscribe to The Industry Observer newsletter.

To celebrate this new art movement setting the net afire, we’ve scooped up our 14 favourite pieces of Daniel Ek fan-art. It was hard to keep the list to just 14, so apologies if we missed any of your faves. Let us know in the comments section!


This seems reverse-engineered to be Ek, like someone walked past the artist’s desk and was all “Crazy Ek pic, dude. Nailed it!”, and the artist went, “Totally. Ek. Totally.” Source.


From the colouring book ‘Spotify: Colour Your World’ (Imagined title and product only) Source.


It’s hard to tell whether this is an actual quote from Ek – at first it seems mildly insulting, but it also mirrors some of that business advice that says it’s best to fail quickly, re-calibrate, and try again, so maybe this is a pro-Ek piece featuring an actual quote. The superimposed photo of a felt-tip pen is misleading, as those speech-bubble lines are far too thick to have been drawn by that pen. Disqualified! Source


Another one which is insulting or empowering depending on how you view the world, the world of streaming, and one-octave keyboards. Source.


A nice Paranoid Android-style rendering of Ek, although this doesn’t capture either his jawline or love of Bieber accurately. Source.


Daniel Ek didn’t scrap his way to the top of the pile only to be drawn wearing a nondescript tee with an acoustic guitar on it. This does capture his practice of answering questions, though. Source.


From the gripping fan fiction series: Spotify Opens Offices In Kansas. Source.


You can tell this was traced from a photo. Disqualified. Source.


From the fan fiction: Daniel Ek Gets Caught In The Dot Matrix. Source.


The Spotify logo in place of the lightbulb is meant to represent an idea that you can’t be bothered to download but will totally stream for a few seconds to see if it’s any good. Source.


This is closer to Cabbage Patch Trevor Noah than Daniel Ek, but it’s a nice drawing. Source.


An interesting but ultimately anachronistic choice in depicting the iPod classic rather than the mobile photos on which Spotify is mostly streamed. Good neck-shading, also. Source.


The Best Of Blur meets Waking Life. Lost points for not matching Ek’s eye-colour with the Spotify green. Source.


If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture
Or just let it slip?