Industry Talk: Petter Wahlen

Meet Petter Wahlen from Nora Collective, a management company and record label that represents artists such as Arif, Loveless and Unge Ferrari.

Skrevet av Rebeca 25.10.2017

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Petter Wahlen started making music at 15, in a studio in his mom’s basement. In 2001 he gave out a mixtape called «Henda i været» with Norwegian talents like William Wiik Larsen (Will IDAP) and Chirag (Karpe Diem). After that he moved to Oslo where he after a while started a production trio called Tailors. Tailors produced songs for Lido, Lars Vaular, Arif and Kaveh before they separated in 2013, and Nora Collective established shortly after. Petter’s role as a producer in Nora turned into a managing director, working with some of the biggest talents in the Norwegian music industry.

What has been your focus lately?1000 small things, but there are also some bigger issues I’m working on with my team.

One of them is trying to combine Norway, Sweden and Denmark into one market, and getting artists, labels, booking agencies etc. to contribute. Another thing is to help young talents avoid making the same mistakes as we have, by giving them industry advice and looking over contracts. I want young talents to collaborate not only musically, but business wise as well. If we help each other out as a unit, it will position us much better in the music market than if we do it by ourselves. Over the last year I also shifted my focus from scouting only producers and artists, to just finding talent that could fit in the Nora team.

The most important piece of advice you have ever received?I remember when studying art, a teacher always talked about how things are connected to each other. How politics affects music, music affects fashion and so on. Maybe not an advice, but it made me strive to do things that doesn’t only get attention for what it actually is.

Your best industry-tip?If you’re a young industry guy, my best tip is to do a lot of different stuff in the music industry. It will earn you the understanding of different aspects, which is very needed in an industry where so many aspects are glued together. Eventually it will also help you figure out what your specialty is, and what part of the business that suits you best.

On that road make sure you always work hard, and treat people fair, and things will come your way. And if money is your biggest motivation, I think you should consider another business.

What’s your golden moment to share with the rest of us?I feel that it’s yet to come.

Why Norway, why now?There are so many different factors that I could start writing an essay about it. But let me pin-point 3 of them.

I think that the Norwegian economy is a big factor, because almost anyone can afford a setup to produce and record music. You also don’t have to worry much about the consequences of following your dream, because the way the Norwegian society is built, we are good almost no matter what happens. A privilege you don’t have in most other countries.

They way youth has embraced the internet. Connecting and building bonds with likeminded people all over the world, and keeping up on trends.

Musically, I think that many Norwegian artists and producers with success are aware that they have to offer something they don’t already have in the US or UK. They understand that they can’t walk the same path as the people before them.

Who in the Norwegian music industry deserves a high five?Adil Svendsen Laatyaoui. A very young and hard-working third world culture manager, who’s all about music. He and Hkeem made 2017 their year, and he has other artists in his roster capable of doing the same in 2018.