SXSW kicks off this week. One of the Norwegian highlights of the program is ‘Sounds From Norway’, staged by Bergen’s artis management/PR company Brilliance in partnership with independent record label Jansen Plateproduksjon at Austin venue Icenhauer’s on Fri March 20.
We caught up with Brilliance’s Ruben Nesse shortly before he headed over the Atlantic to get an update on how the ‘Sounds from Norway’ event is progressing as well as his company’s 2015 plans:
Sounds From Norway
‘Sounds From Norway’ – what are the SXSW audience in for, Ruben? What can the avid fans look forward to taking in?
– We’ll be presenting five Norwegian acts that demonstrate the immense breadth and quality that the country has on offer. This year’s artists are Cold Mailman, Marit Larsen, Hanne Kolstø, Death By Unga Bunga and Haust.
There’s a myriad of events, day parties, receptions and what not at SXSW. How do you manage to break through the clutter and draw the right crowd to the ‘Sounds From Norway’ event?
– We’re working closely with Sneak Attack Media and Culture Collide – both are promoting the event and the featured artists. We’ve recruited a street team that’ll do poster and flyers this week. On top of that we’re hard at work, inviting music industry reps and media to the SXSW event.
Any other SXSW gigs you’re looking forward to?
– I’m really looking forward to seeing Amason and Laura Marling – both acts that I’m doing promo for in Norway. The Pitchfork day parties are usually also a pretty safe bet.
Intertwine + Kakkmaddafakka
Shifting focus back to your own company, Brilliance, what are your main international priorities in 2015?
– Intertwine will be a key international priority this year – they have their debut album coming up and have built up a good team with a solid record label and booking. Another main international priority for us will be a new band that we cannot disclose yet, but will remain high on our agenda for the rest of the year. Another priority will be to maintain strong ties to international record labels and festivals that are seeking promotion services in the Nordics.
As seen from our viewpoint, Kakkmaddafakka seems to have had a strong year with lots of touring abroad, lots of social media buzz and a growing fan-base. What are the main items on the Kakkmaddafakka itinerary for 2015? New releases, tours or activities in new territories coming up?
– Kakkmaddafakka have had a banner year – they are experiencing continuous growth and interest from new territories. They recently toured South America successfully, their European fan-base keeps growing and they are maintaining a strong position on the home market. I’ll be working solely with Nordic promo for the launch of their new album this autumn. Leading up to the launch, I’ve started introducing the band to Swedish, Danish and Finnish audiences as well as new listeners on the home market.
Any personal Norwegian favs you’d like to highlight? New albums that one ought to check out?
– Yes, Diamond Club present new and exciting music coming out of Norway – their playlists are really worth following.
The debut albums from Sea Change, Broen and Hjerteslag that were released earlier this year are also highly recommended.
How about upcoming concerts – any gigs marked with red in the calendar?
– Hjerteslag are destined to win hearts and minds in Bergen when they’re playing Bergenfest on my very own birthday, 13th of June. Definitely a gig I’m stoked to see.
Sounds from Norway @ Icenhauer’s on Friday, March 20. Adress: 83 Rainey Street.
8.00 Cold Mailman
9.10 Marit Larsen
10.20 Hanne Kolstø
11.30 Death By Unga Bunga