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Industry Insider: New Kicks’ Espen Mentzoni

By Tomas Lauvland Pettersen Posted: 23. Jan, 2015

Sea Change’s much-anticipated album ‘Breakage’ sees its international release next month. For this week’s Industry Insider feature we’ve talked to Sea Change manager Espen Mentzoni of New Kicks Booking who is playing a vital role in the rising act’s international campaign this winter and spring.

Ellen A. W. Sunde aka Sea Change is busy preparing for the February 23rd international release of her much anticipated album ‘Breakage’. A key Sea Change partner is her manager, New Kicks’ Espen Mentzoni, who is working closely with Sunde on the international launch campaign.

Fresh off a hectic stint at Groningen’s Eurosonic Noorderslag, New Kicks’ Espen Mentzoni talked to us earlier this week to bring us up to speed on what’s planned for Sea Change’s international career this winter and spring.

How has the international launch of Sea Change’s ‘Breakage’ been planned? What companies have been brought aboard when the album soon hits the shelves internationally?

– The world-wide launch of Sea Change’s ‘Breakage’ is just a few weeks away. We’ve just returned from Eurosonic, which was a blast. Festivals, record companies and agents alike gave us thumbs up after the concert. The album has proved to be a really challenging process – in a positive way, I might add. Ellen (Sea Change) and I are doing virtually all of the work by ourselves as we’re releasing the music by ourselves. Parallel to this, we’re investing heavily into PR, primarily in Norway, Denmark, Germany and the UK. We’re getting some solid backing from Stereo Sanctity, Nordic By Nature, Friendly and the other PR companies involved in the launch.

Sea Change at by:Larm 2014 (photo: Tomas Lauvland Pettersen)

Butterflies

How’s the gut feeling these days? How has the feedback from the companies involved in the launch been?

– Both me and Sea Change have plenty of butterflies in our stomachs these days. Over the last year, we’ve been treated to tremendously positive feedback on the singles we’ve released. With frequent touring and media backing from such outlets as The Guardian in the UK and Musikekspress in Germany, we’ve really got something to live up to.

Sea Change is heading out on a pretty extensive tour in support of ‘Breakage’. What are your own expectations for the tour? Have you managed to build a foundation through the gigs played over the last year?

– Yeah, it’s definitely extensive – so far we’ve only announced half of the gigs of the tour. Up until now, we’ve done what I like to call key concerts; the initial live performances in new territories, support gigs with solid potential for media exposure and lots of showcase festivals.

– In my view, we’ve managed to build an audience for Sea Change out there, what remains certain is that interest for her is mounting internationally. It’ll be really exciting to see how the tour’s main gigs will fare; Sea Change is set to play key concerts at the Sebright Arms in London, Stengade in Copenhagen, Ingensteds in Oslo, a yet-to-be disclosed venue in Paris and, last but not least, Lido in Berlin.

– We are managing sales of concert tickets ourselves, and can therefore clearly see that the audience is purchasing tickets across Europe.

Germany = loyalty

Any territories were Sea Change has managed to establish a following?

– Yeah, definitely. If you take a look at streams and digital downloads, the UK, France and the US are on top of the list. But Germany has the most eager and loyal fans – I’m really looking forward to the tour now, and then in particular the major gig at Lido.

What are your personal musical favourites these days? Any Norwegian acts that pop up on your own playlists?

– These days, I’m really into New World Vulture which is being released through (Norwegian independent label) Fysisk Format. Definitely Stockhaus too – I’ve just got to listen to the album ahead of its launch; it’s just amazing! I’ll also have to give a shout out to Tellef Raabe who’s working on his debut album right now.

Any upcoming gigs with Norwegian acts you’ll like to highlight?

– Trondheim Calling have come up with a really strong programme, I’m really looking forward to seeing Ludvig Moon again, not to mention Rytmeklubben at by:Larm. I bet Susanne Sundfør’s closing concert at the Øya Festival is going to be pretty magical.

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