Revealing the secrets of the European music industry | EUNewsletter

Revealing the secrets of the European music industry

21 May 2015
11265627_846520425401888_3047356927169100088_n

The EU Delegation to Armenia has a history of inviting interesting guests to Armenia to give masterclasses in conjunction with Europe Day celebrations. This year was no exception, with a particular focus on music. All musicians, music producers or singers from Armenia had the opportunity to gain insight into the secrets of the European music industry and into how to cooperate with other European musicians through a masterclass given by the world-famous British music producer, Christian Ulf-Hansen.
10422114_846520318735232_8536478035303809859_nChristian Ulf-Hansen is the founder of the Plan C management company, as well as founder and co-owner of a TV and film production company. He started his career in the music business in London in 1981 at the age of 19, and you cannot imagine the route it took! In 1992, Ulf-Hansen was recruited by the US organisation BMI to take on a pan-European role, which he filled for 8 years. In 2002 he decided to branch out on his own into management/consultancy with his initial client, Teitur, and several writers and producers. He recently expanded his field of operation into film and television production with a well-known actor/producer, which currently co-produces animated TV series for children as well as films.
Ulf-Hansen started the masterclass with by describing his lengthy career path in the music industry. However, he also gave an interview to us, in which he spoke more on his knowledge of music, Armenian artists and also what he understood by Europe-Armenia cooperation.

What is the most important thing in your production that you usually share with your students?
Passion. Passion and honesty. I am an emotionally driven person, but I think all we are. I think everyone here will be driven by music in some moments of their life. You remember the song when you fall in love with someone; you remember the song when you kiss someone. Songs have a special role in everyone’s life. One, two, three thousand songs in our life and that’s the reason why the songs communicate. When you create and record a song you must think about that communication as well – that is what you are looking for. If you can take those little moments and replicate them in some way, that is actually what you need… It’s difficult to find, but it is all about the emotion, about the happiness and sadness, when you capture those moments and make them into song.
Can you tell a little bit about your cooperation with European musicians?
I’ve been in this business from a very young age. I started to work with a guy from Faroe islands and took him to America; he won a Grammy award and became popular. I am international [which has also contributed]: my father was half Danish and half Russian and was born in China; my mother was English; I used to work for an American company. Music is all about how you communicate with each other.
Do you know anything about Armenian music?
Very little, I only know Armenians who are in the music industry. Among them is Charles Aznavour, System of a Down, Cher… There was an Armenian rapper in London in the 1980s, his name was Blade. He is retired now but I helped him in his career many years ago. I didn’t do any research before coming here, I wanted to come and be surprised.
What is the most important thing for an artist you work with?
For the artist it is voice and song! You can find an artist with good voice and give them a good song. You can find an artist with a bad voice and give them a good song, but he still will be an artist with bad voice. The artist should also carry emotion, depth. When you hear the voice, you say “OMG”. Ultimately, a voice that “works”.
What advice you can give to Armenian songwriters who want to cooperate with European artists?
You have the power of the internet. If you are a songwriter, go on Google, find out who the manager or producer of the star you want to work with is. Send them your song, write them a letter. Or choose the right labels, they are looking for a good stuff. Remember, though, that they don’t like spam.
Do you imagine that you can cooperate with Armenians?
You know, all my colleagues and friends know that I am in Armenia. And if I find something and bring it with me to London, it will be amazing. I will go to my workplace and say, you know I brought a song from Armenia and all of them will say “wow”, because Armenia is very different for us, you are not similar to other countries. Your country is kind of exotic for others.
What is your motto in your working process?
If I fall in love with something, I will make others fall in love with it too.

Participants in the masterclass did not want to miss their chance to bring their songs with them and play them to Ulf-Hansen. The producer listened to all of them and gave advice. Who knows, perhaps this might have been the beginning of possible cooperation?

Revealing the secrets of the European music industry

The EU Delegation to Armenia has a history of inviting interesting guests to Armenia to give masterclasses in conjunction with Europe Day celebrations. This year was no exception, with a particular focus on music. All musicians, music producers or singers from Armenia had the opportunity to gain insight into the secrets of the European music industry and into how to cooperate with other European musicians through a masterclass given by the world-famous British music producer, Christian Ulf-Hansen. 10422114_846520318735232_8536478035303809859_nChristian Ulf-Hansen is the founder of the Plan C management company, as well as founder and co-owner of a TV and film production company. He started his career in the music business in London in 1981 at the age of 19, and you cannot imagine the route it took! In 1992, Ulf-Hansen was recruited by the US organisation BMI to take on a pan-European role, which he filled for 8 years. In 2002 he decided to branch out on his own into management/consultancy with his initial client, Teitur, and several writers and producers. He recently expanded his field of operation into film and television production with a well-known actor/producer, which currently co-produces animated TV series for children as well as films. Ulf-Hansen started the masterclass with by describing his lengthy career path in the music industry. However, he also gave an interview to us, in which he spoke more on his knowledge of music, Armenian artists and also what he understood by Europe-Armenia cooperation. What is the most important thing in your production that you usually share with your students? Passion. Passion and honesty. I am an emotionally driven person, but I think all we are. I think everyone here will be driven by music in some moments of their life. You remember the song when you fall in love with someone; you remember the song when you kiss someone. Songs have a special role in everyone’s life. One, two, three thousand songs in our life and that’s the reason why the songs communicate. When you create and record a song you must think about that communication as well – that is what you are looking for. If you can take those little moments and replicate them in some way, that is actually what you need… It’s difficult to find, but it is all about the emotion, about the happiness and sadness, when you capture those moments and make them into song. Can you tell a little bit about your cooperation with European musicians? I’ve been in this business from a very young age. I started to work with a guy from Faroe islands and took him to America; he won a Grammy award and became popular. I am international [which has also contributed]: my father was half Danish and half Russian and was born in China; my mother was English; I used to work for an American company. Music is all about how you communicate with each other. Do you know anything about Armenian music? Very little, I only know Armenians who are in the music industry. Among them is Charles Aznavour, System of a Down, Cher… There was an Armenian rapper in London in the 1980s, his name was Blade. He is retired now but I helped him in his career many years ago. I didn’t do any research before coming here, I wanted to come and be surprised. What is the most important thing for an artist you work with? For the artist it is voice and song! You can find an artist with good voice and give them a good song. You can find an artist with a bad voice and give them a good song, but he still will be an artist with bad voice. The artist should also carry emotion, depth. When you hear the voice, you say “OMG”. Ultimately, a voice that “works”. What advice you can give to Armenian songwriters who want to cooperate with European artists? You have the power of the internet. If you are a songwriter, go on Google, find out who the manager or producer of the star you want to work with is. Send them your song, write them a letter. Or choose the right labels, they are looking for a good stuff. Remember, though, that they don’t like spam. Do you imagine that you can cooperate with Armenians? You know, all my colleagues and friends know that I am in Armenia. And if I find something and bring it with me to London, it will be amazing. I will go to my workplace and say, you know I brought a song from Armenia and all of them will say “wow”, because Armenia is very different for us, you are not similar to other countries. Your country is kind of exotic for others. What is your motto in your working process? If I fall in love with something, I will make others fall in love with it too. Participants in the masterclass did not want to miss their chance to bring their songs with them and play them to Ulf-Hansen. The producer listened to all of them and gave advice. Who knows, perhaps this might have been the beginning of possible cooperation?