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Industry Talk: Sverre Vik

By Johanna Alem Posted: 09. Nov, 2017

Photo by: Tora Sanden Døskeland

Meet Sverre Vik from Tik Records, a record label that works with artists such as Hvitmalt Gjerde, Elida Høgalmen, Johannes Holtmon and Marinius.

Sverre Vik runs the record label Tik Records working with bands such as Hvitmalt Gjerde, Elida Høgalmen, Johannes Holtmon and Marinius. He is also part of the booking agency Agenturet working with six other passionates and a bunch of artists. Over the last two years he has been a producer at Landmark, a unique event space at Bergen Kunsthall, and on top of this he is a student. He also works for the rock club Hulen, where he’s one of several bookers.

What has been your focus lately?
My focus has always been to combine tasks. Trying to run a record label, being a booking agent, running a venue and booking for another one while studying seemed like a great idea at some point. It sure is fun when I can make it work, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Label wise, it’s been kind of a relaxing semester. We’re releasing a couple singles before Christmas, preparing for a busy 2018! I’m really looking forward to it, it will double my catalog in a couple months time.

The most important piece of advice you have ever received?
A very nice guy once told me to never quit doing what I do, just keep things a float for as long as I can. It sounds cliché, but when thinking about it, it’s really just about showing your face over time in this business, and doing stuff in your own tempo. My first year and a half of running a label was busy, and I might just slow down a bit, but I’ll never quit! Tik Records is two years in February, and may there be many more to come.

Your best industry-tip?
Do your own thing! It’s great to look at what others do and learn from it, in many cases you depend on it. But at the same time I think it’s important to distinguish what you do yourself and find your own special way. There is always good advice and a certain path to follow, but it’s fun to try to do the exact opposite every once in a while. As long as it feels right (and as long as it’s not about spending a lot of money) you should be good!

What’s your golden moment to share with the rest of us?
The first vinyl record put out by Tik Records! I attended Spot festival in Aarhus, Denmark, for the first time in 2016. Strolling the delegate area, I got a sudden text from someone who wanted to introduce me to their brand new vinyl pressing plant i Copenhagen. I met up with a very nice guy and we agreed to keep in touch. A couple months later I visited their place, which was only an empty hall at the time. But they put a glass of whisky in my hand and said that “in a couple weeks, this room will be filled with machines, a stage for live music, and lots of fresh vinyl records”. We made a deal to press some vinyl, and to set up a showcase with some bands from Bergen at their place. It all turned out great! One or two months after my first visit, four of my bands were playing at “Nordsø Records” as a kind of pre-opening party. Approximately one year ago I made my third visit, I got to observe the pressing of my very own vinyl, and brought it back home with me. Coolest thing I ever did. I love these guys.

Why Norway, why now?
People around me have been in this business a lot longer than I have, but I really feel like I have got to experience the growing wave that is the Norwegian music industry these days too. I picked the right time to establish a record label. The support has been massive. I have been lucky enough to have supporters encouraging me from day one, and making me believe that there is a serious future in what I do. I’ll have to throw my thanks towards the great people at Brak and the environment of Bergen in general. It’s boiling over here, always something happening! Norway is great, Bergen is great, and I feel very lucky.

Who in the Norwegian music industry deserves a high five?
The startups, the volunteers! A lot of people work for free, for the fun of it. Student venues, indie-labels, small charming institutions all over the country and not to mention a bunch of musicians! I say keep it up, the industry would not exist without you!

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