We had a chat with Project Manager Hanna Berg-Nilsen at Artic Rights, to find out more about her experience in the industry.
“Tell us about yourself?”
I started my career in the music industry as an intern two years ago. After graduating from Høgskolen i Innlandet and exchanging to Middle Tennessee State University, I moved to Oslo and started working at Arctic Rights. It was a very exciting first job and I loved it so much that I kept working there. My assignments in the company has varied. Starting out as an intern and learning about music publishing has not been that easy. But working across various departments at Arctic Rights gave me a better grasp on how things work. I’m currently working as the project manager, which means I do a little bit of everything, but mostly focus on events and camps that Arctic Rights host.
“What has been on your to-do-list lately, and what takes most of your time?”
As a project manager my most time-consuming tasks are the songwriting camps we arrange all through the year. We just hosted our flagship camp Arctic Island in August, which took up a lot of my time. We’re now moving on to our next one, which is an exciting one we’re co-hosting with Sony Music. We organize around 6-7 camps throughout the year, each in different formats, and we really see the value of doing that for our songwriters. It’s a great way to get to know more people and expand your network.
We have a great variety of songwriters on our roster and most of them have different needs/projects in their careers. Therefore, I spend a lot of time being an appoint person to the songwriters and following up on projects they are working on. I think this is the most fun part of my job. Following the process of a song from its creation in our studios to its release and subsequently hearing it on the radio is super cool!
“The most important piece of advice you have ever received?”
Hard to answer anything that doesn’t sound cheesy and cliché. But this advice has helped me as a rookie in the music industry; Nothing is handed to you, so work hard for what you want. If that means asking to take on part of a new project at work, or to get more involved with an artist’s day-to-day, try to lean forward and talk to your superior about it. Do the extra work it takes for you to reach your goals and just ask to take part. Going to quote Ice Cube and say “You can do it put your back into it”.
And of course don’t forget to give yourself some creds from time to time!
“Any helpful tips and tricks for a way around the industry?”
Talk to people. Reach out to international delegates at festivals. I know that’s been a struggle for me not knowing anyone in the beginning, but starting conversation at industry events has helped. It’s important to follow up the day after over email, who knows what will turn out to be a future collaboration. This helps you create your own network that you can utilize down the road.
And as an artist don’t be scared of sharing your music and asking for feedback. If you don’t have a manager, be your own and try to go out of your comfort zone in terms of networking.
Last advice is don’t be scared of asking questions. You will feel much better in conversations understanding what’s being talked about than just standing there as a question mark.
“Why Norway, why now? Where are we going?”
I want to highlight Norwegian songwriters and producers. I think they are more talented than they have ever been. Happy to see so many succeed internationally and make great music. It takes a long time and A LOT of hard work. Of course, we have awesome pop hits coming out of Norway these days, but I’m especially stoked about the urban music scene today.
Now that new awesome talents are rising, the industry should follow. I think the Norwegian music industry are moving in a direction with much more competence and knowledge about other markets. But there’s still a way to go and we need to keep pushing.
“Who in the Norwegian music industry deserves a high five?”
Can I give two? I want to give Jennifer Gunn a high five, because she’s a hard-working manager and just bad ass. And Marthe Heggenhougen, I think it’s super inspiring what she has built with Vibe Agency!