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35 songwriters at Arctic Island camp

By Edvard Olai Brekke Værland Posted: 07. Aug, 2019

Fartein Orestad, Ole-Bjørn Talstad and Ryan Kinder (photo: Hanna Berg Nilsen)

Arctic Rights host the songwriting camp Arctic Island as a prelude to the Øya Festival.

At Røverstaden, where the legendary Club 7 was situated, the company Arctic Rights Management hosts a songwriting camp named Arctic Island this week. They invited songwriters and artist from countries such as the UK, US, Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway. The 35 participants are gathered for 5 days writing music that one day hopefully will be a hit.

The camp is a collaboration with BMG, BMI, NOPA, the Øya Festival, Musikkforleggerne, 4Sound, and Music Norway. We had a chat with some of the people behind it all.

During a sit-down with Kai Robøle, Founder and Creative Director of Arctic Rights, and David Miller, Senior Director at BMG, the latter explained why they send top-tier songwriters to Norway.

– When I send people to camps i expect them to make hits, Miller states.

– Yes, we expect cuts from the camp, but we often see that the producers works on the songs after the camp and gets them right, and maybe the most important outcome of the camps is the long-lasting creative relationships they create.

–  This is really the core of modern A&R-ing. When I A&R my most important job is to connect people and coordinate their work, as opposed to the earlier model of A&R-ing where you actually sat in the studio with the artist taking part in the creative decision-making while making an individual song, Miller says.

Bård Bonsaksen, Ingrid Frøsland and Sivert Hagtvet (photo: Hanna Berg Nilsen)

The songwriters impression

We talked with Frida Amundsen (Arctic Rights Management) and Bård Bonsaksen (Stairs Music) about Arctic Island and songwriting camps in general.

– So what do you think of Arctic Island? 

There are a lot of great people here, with a lot of talent. We have created a lot of music over the last couple of days, and its inspiring to work with such competent people, says Amundsen.

– What is special about working in the camp format?

It really forces you to work with people that you necessarily wouldn´t have finished a song with in a regular session. That takes you out your comfort zone and can benefit the creative process and take you to new places musically. You have to just make it work, she continues.

– You are also an established songwriter and work with Ina Wroldsen. Why do you come to Arctic Island? 

I have worked with the people at Arctic Rights Management since before Waterfall Music merged into Arctic Rights Management. I meet a lot of great people here and have built a lot of productive relations over the years. We work hard in quite an intense setting, you really have to get into the other songwriters and producers heads to get to know their creative universe and tap into their vibe. There is also a lot of improvisation where we switch roles and get new angles during the creative stage that makes you grow and learn new ways to your trade, says Bonsaksen.

And there is great service here. Big thanks to the organizers at Arctic Rights Management.

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