Reaching listeners across the globe is many artists’ primary goal. From touring, to album sales, to streaming, and sync placements, breaking past Canadian borders can seem like an impossible task. There are showcasing opportunities that put artists in front of international industry professionals but what does it take to be considered "export-ready"? Find out at our upcoming DIY Series: Becoming Export Ready on October 9, when we'll be covering topics like what pieces should be in place, the numbers that should be reached, and the targets that should be met. Join the conversation with Heartstop Music's Alastair Burns, Clarion Call Media's Caroline Borolla, Bird On The Wire's Clémence Godard, Grand Hotel Van Cleef's Danny Simons, and songwriter Mark Weld to learn about how to ready your music for export.
Alastair Burns is the director of Heartstop Music, a Melbourne-based artist management company that represents Marlon Williams, Julia Jacklin, The Weather Station, and Phantastic Ferniture. Burns began his career promoting shows, and releasing local singer/songwriter compilations while studying law at the University of Otago, funding these endeavours by performing popular songs at the university bars. Moving to Melbourne in 2009, he founded BalconyTV Melbourne and The Melbourne Folk Club, and gradually shifted focus to artist management, setting up Heartstop Music in 2012 as a boutique company that focuses on building long term, global touring and recording careers.
Originally from Philadelphia but based in Los Angeles, veteran publicist Caroline Borolla joined the Clarion Call Media team in May 2016. Borolla has worked with talent such as Alice Ivy, Aloha, Casket Girls, Dan Deacon, Dear Boy, Exitmusic, The Faint, Haley Bonar, Orenda Fink, Matt Pond PA, Thao & Mirah, Wax Idols, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Wire, and many more. Over her 13+ year career, she has worked at other esteemed companies such as Motormouth Media, Big Hassle, and Riot Act Media, handling releases on virtually every great label in indie rock, including Domino, Merge, Kill Rock Stars, Temporary Residence, Saddle Creek, FatCat, and many more.
Bird On The Wire was conceived by Clémence Godard and Tim Palmer, two friends with a passion for music, in early 2009 and instantly brought to life with a three-day mini festival in a sweltering basement in Dalston, London. BOTW quickly turned into a fully running independent concert promotions company hosting events all over town including some of London’s most prestigious and unique venues. They have looked after an ever-growing number of artists including The War On Drugs, Mac DeMarco, Nils Frahm, The Tallest Man On Earth, Angel Olsen, Young Fathers, Kings Of Convenience, Big Thief, Alex Cameron, Blanck Mass, to name a few, and co-founded multi-venue summer festival Visions. They have also presented art exhibitions including the first ever Joan Cornellà solo show in London last year.
Danny Simons started working in the music industry in 1994 the age of 18 and did all jobs from stagehand, local promoter, guitar tech to road manager. In 2002 he co-founded the artitst management company Liftboy Management where he takes care of german Top Ten Artists Kettcar, Tomte & Thees Uhlmann until now. He became Head of Booking for Grand Hotel Van Cleef Musik GmbH in 2005. Here he acts as the european agent for Canadian artists like The Lytics, John K. Samson, Imaginary Cities, Federal Lights, and more.
After training as an actor at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Paris, Mark Weld had a successful career as a dancer for popular French and international artists (Dany Brillant, Yannick, Ishtar, Garou…). He then dedicated five years to Euro Disney as an MC/singer/dancer in the ‘Disney Junior’ show. In 2016, he decided to devote himself exclusively to his career as a singer/songwriter and signed an editorial contract with publishing labels Tick Tone Music and Bukowski publishing. Over the last two years, he has been working closely with record companies’ artistic directors, producers, singers, and directors and has been able to sign several hits on the albums of various French performers (Ben l’Oncle Soul, Elisa Tovati, Vincent Niclo, Claude Capéo, Hoshi…)
Get to know them more with our little Q+A...
Who/what are your three go-to artists or records right now?
Alastair: I am currently loving Brendan Welch’s self-titled album, which is about a million times better than his Spotify stats suggest. My artist Julia Jacklin is inspiring me in a big way with both her amazing band Phantastic Ferniture and her new single Body. At home I’ve been playing John Fullbright’s Songs album on vinyl all the time too, because I own almost no vinyl, and just love that album.
Caroline: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Dude York, Exitmusic
Clémence: Black Midi, Amen Dunes, Tierra Whack
Danny: The Lytics, Sleaford Mods, Kettcar
Mark: Christine and the Queens, a French artist with her new album Chris. Lady Gaga for her whole career and her incredible performance in A Star is Born as an actress. Hoshi, a young French artist for whom I wrote and composed several songs on her first album, Il suffit d'y croire.
What item, that you don't have already, would you most like to own?
Alastair: I would like to own a house!
Clémence: One of those machines that you can make homemade pasta with.
Danny: Gretsch Country Gentleman
Mark: I am not very attached to material things but I would say... a grand piano! For the beauty of the object and for the sound.
What is one piece of advice you can give to someone pursuing a career in music?
Alastair: My advice is to try and appreciate from the beginning, that the best thing about working in music will be your relationships with all the people you work with. Enjoy and value the people around you, and make sure you work with people that and respect you.
Caroline: If you are considering a career in the music industry be sure to love music and surround yourself with people that have the same values and goals. Always be kind and respectful of people's time and put your best foot forward because you never know where people will end up in the industry.
Clémence: Trust your intuition when it comes to people you meet, don’t just work with anyone to find a way in, target labels or promoters who really fit your tastes and values.
Danny: Always be nice to people; as you meet everyone twice in the business.
Mark: First and foremost, I think it's important to question the "why" we want to do this job. There are millions reasons which lead us one day to tell ourselves "Oh my... I'm an artist, that's what I deeply want and have to do." But I guess there are few good and bad reasons. According to me, pursuing a dream of fame, celebrity, and wealth is not the best way to flourish as an artist. But I'm convinced that one must follow one's inner voice and listen to one another. If we feel hopelessly inhabited by this vocation and feel we can share our talent with the universe, then we must go on and kill it! Since we know precisely why we want to do this job, there are no other barriers than the ones we put ourselves.
- Meet the MusicWorks Panelists Export-Ready Export-Readiness BreakOut West Pre-BreakOut West MusicWorks Alastair Burns Caroline Borolla Clemence Godard Mark Weld Heartstop Music Clarion Call Media Bird on the Wire