The first Ja Ja Ja Berlin in 2016 kicked off on 11th March with performances from Blaue Blume, Liss, DePresno (NO) and Tussilago (SWE). The Berlin Ja Ja Ja events were previously held at FluxBau but has now moved to a new location – although not far away from the old one – a venue called Musik & Frieden in Kreuzberg.
Music Export Denmark was on site for the shows, as well as the soup-and-drinks networking event taking place prior to the concert. The line-up and setting attracted a considerable amount of local industry, in addition to the packed venue and dedicated audience coming to see the bands. Among the names on the guest list were industry professionals from labels, blogs, agencies, promotors, managements and publishing houses, representing companies such as Berlin Music Week, Nothing But Hope And Passion, Motor Entertainment, Prime Tours, Landstreicher Booking, City Slang and many, many more.
We met up with a few of all the people at the event to find out what brought them down to the show, what they think of Ja Ja Ja and what their take on the German music market is. Keep your eyes peeled for more industry professional profiles on the site!
Christian Göbel – Label Manager, Motor Entertainment
Christian Göbel is label manager at Motor Entertainment, a German label service company with a foot inside the door on the publishing and management side.
What can Motor Entertainment offer bands – what are you extra good at?
‘We offer our services as an ex-major company working in the indie field with indie artists. Motor originally sprung out of what is now Universal, so we have a lot of leverage that we can use.’
What do you think of the Ja Ja Ja events?
‘They’re great! I think I’ve only missed one Ja Ja ja show since they started in Berlin. All the material you get ahead of the shows – on what the band’s set up looks like and everything – are really useful. Also, all the bands are export ready when they get here, which is reassuring.’
Vivien Mierzkalla – Humming Records, Head of Promotions?
Vivien Mierzkalla works for Humming Records and the music PR agency Verstärker. She considers Verstärker her day job, where she’s the Head of online PR. At Humming Records, she’s the Head of Promotions, which she considers a side job. Vivien runs Humming Records in collaboration with a group of six other people, which has also given rise to her bonus title ‘Mädchen für Alles’.
‘It gets really hectic at times, so when we start working with new artists we have to ask ourselves whether we really like them enough to spend our late nights and early mornings on them.’
But the love for music is what initially started the label.
‘The founders had friends in Australia who released some music, and they really thought it should also come out in Germany, so they set up a label just for that’.
And the future of the label?
‘That’s a hot question right now. I think we will have to maybe slow down a bit on the releases and focus on working with only a few artists but doing it really, really well.’
A Danish act on Humming Records roster is Sekuoia, whose EP ‘Reset Heart’ was released on the label. Vivien describes the work as a pleasant experience.
‘They’re really nice people to work with, which also makes the job for us more worthwhile. That’s something I’ve learned during the past years: it’s so much easier and more fun to deal with people if you’re open minded and the people you’re dealing with are too. That could be a great lesson for some of the indie kids out there – just go out and talk to people. What goes around comes around!’
So what brought you here today?
‘Today I’m actually just here to hang around and meet people, old and new friends. Unfortunately I won’t be around for the shows – I’ve got another show to go to.’