Marius Lie is a partner in MADE management and the Managing Director of EDDA Music, a music rights group and production company based in Bergen, Norway. EDDA Music runs a label group, the recording studio Lydriket and a small publishing department entity, where they work with artists such as AURORA, Sigrid, Sondre Lerche, dePresno and Honningbarna to name a few.
What has been your focus lately?
I have just handed in my master thesis at the Norwegian school of business and economics about changes in the strategy and business models of Norwegian indie labels caused by the streaming revolution, so that has occupied most of my time lately. But there is a ton of other exciting things going on. Together with AKKS we have started a course series and internship program for young, female record producers in our studio. And as always I’m looking forward to the autumn with a bunch of new releases. Great News’ debut album, new album from Honningbarna and newcomers like 9 grader nord, Evigheten just to name a few.
The most important piece of advice you have ever received?
For my 18th birthday I got a card from by brother with this excerpt from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” It might seem a bit pompous, but when I’m second-guessing my choices, I often find comfort in Frost’s words.
Your best industry-tip?
Find your competitive advantage and combine it with your passion. Irrespective of industry experience and education level, most people in the Norwegian industry get by on sub-standard wages. Your workload and stress level is not likely to decrease by some miracle, and if you don’t care deeply about the music you are working with, it’s just a matter of time before you burn out. If you have any hope of getting out of the sub-standard wage ditch you find yourself in, it’s not going to happen through jumping on every passing bandwagon of trends and “must do’s” in fear of missing out. There needs to be some special combination of skills and resources, dedication and passion to create lasting value for both yourself and the music you work with.
What’s your golden moment to share with the rest of us?
Every time I see a live show with Honningbarna and they play their song “Fri Palestina” I’m on the verge of tears. To see 15-16 year olds in ecstasy brought on by a combination of musical fandom and political activism brings me back to when I was that age and had my political and intellectual awakening through punk rock. Being reminded that music and fandom can be a powerful source for social and political change in new generations, and something more than mere entertainment and self-indulgence, fills me with hope for the future.
Why Norway, why now?
From an industry perspective, due to the advanced state of the streaming market, we are in an advantageous position to develop new business models and constellations which exploit the potentials of the streaming economy. Combined with the unprecedented amount of strong material within a wide range of genres, I don’t think the Norwegian industry ever has been in a better competitive state. But the rest of the world is rapidly catching up with us, and our advantages are easy to imitate, so there’s no time to lose.
Who in the Norwegian music industry deserves a high five?
Ingebrigt Røyrane from Hester V75 and the Vibbefanger collective. I’ve been mentoring Ingebrigt this year, and I think I’ve learned just about as much from him as I’ve been able to teach him. He’s a guy who is constantly re-evaluating his business model, selecting and de-selecting activities in search for a set-up that suits Vibbefanger and their artists. To have a 20-year-old industry newcomer critically question every aspect of the industry and so-called industry standards, have been refreshing and have forced made me to look at established truths from different angles.