Industry talk: Tim Dunham

Management, label and distributor. Get to know half of U OK? and INgrooves Nordic

Skrevet av Rebeca 21.03.2015

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Tim runs the US distribution and technology company INgrooves in the Nordic region, with his partner Kristine Bjørnstad. INgrooves offers distribution, analytics and marketing solutions on a national and international level for record companies and artists. In addition they manage Gundelach and Nils Bech via their label and management U OK?.

What has been your focus lately?As INgrooves we are working on setting up some exciting international releases for artists like Siv Jakobsen, Kakkmaddafakka and Tuvaband as well as working on exploring different ways that data and analysis can inform and improve independent music. As U OK? we have Nils Bech and Gundelach both planning the release of new material. As a person, I am focussed on trying to celebrate what is good about myself and taking time to take care of myself. You know?

The most important piece of advice you have ever received?I don’t know what is most important because I don’t keep rankings of different advice I receive but I like this one bit lately. Sometimes it is better to stand in the problem for a while instead of trying to solve something immediately. A lot can happen if you wait for a little bit and think before taking action. Problem marination is a real skill.

Your best industry-tip?Work on things you care about. For most people that means this will be a really hard profession to actually get a foothold in so care about them a lot. Also, make sure to exercise. The “lifestyle” of the industry takes a toll on your body.

Whats your golden moment to share with the rest of us?One summer I dislocated my knee 4 times playing sports. Baseball, American football, Soccer, then floor hockey. Grand Slam. My knee was just shredded. I was on like 5 sports teams and spent all my time doing something sports related until I got hurt and decided instead of rehabbing my knee that I would just do something else. I started hanging out with my friends who were forming a band and then started putting on shows and eventually started a label. Putting on shows for $5 and driving around to other towns and meeting other kids with their own DIY scenes was really cool, there was a feeling of creating something, trying to make sense of the world and connecting with people. It was a kind of freedom that I didn’t get anywhere else.

Why Norway, why now?Why the music scene is so hot probably has to do with there being a lot of great talent that is able to find commercial momentum or its way to international audiences through some more democratic and open platforms like Spotify. I think Nordic labels and artists have the means to create really strong material and also the knowledge of how to market through streaming. That gives us an advantage at the moment. This is kind of like asking what caused World War 1 though, its got a lot more layers than some Archduke with bullet hole in him.

Who in the Norwegian music industry deserves a high five?Kristine Bjørnstad, my partner in crime. She is a bad-ass woman that has made a space in an industry that hasn’t made it easy for women to find a space like the one she has. She is a person who is trying to learn every day and to teach people around her what she knows without being arrogant or condescending. People like her is what will make the Norwegian music industry a stronger and more inclusive place.