For the last four years, the world’s 6th largest market for recorded music, The Nordics, has annually celebrated the 20 young forces driving the Nordic music industry forward through their award platform Nordic Music Biz Top 20 Under 30, an initiative set up by NOMEX (Nordic Music Export). From global superstars including Sigrid, Zara Larsson, Sigur Rós, Mø, Alma, and Kygo, to the most revered international hitmakers including Stargate, Max Martin, and Alan Walker, Nordic music continues to dominate the charts worldwide.
A vital part of the rise of Nordic pop culture and global influence are the teams behind the scenes, especially the young forces who bring new perspectives, ideas and business models to an ever-changing industry. In 2021, the revered judging panel spotlighted 20 Under 30 future business executives, with a ceremony at annual by:Larm Festival on Thursday 30 September 2021, and included five Danes working in various fields of the music industry including management, label, publishing, and A&R. Meet them all here.
What was different from the 2021 class, compared to their predecessors, was that at NOMEX we wanted to not only celebrate their talent, but also further it and inspire them during the course of their reign. To do this we set up a meeting in Stockholm in Spring 2022, where the 2021 winners had two days of networking, panels, talks and connections in the Swedish capital. Both with their colleagues and co-winners, but also with the local Swedish industry. To close with a golden brooch, the visit also included a reception and conversation with HH.RR.HH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and HH.RR.HH Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden.
We wanted to hear from our own winners what it has been like to be part of such a platform and recognition, to which Maria Borg (Digital Partners and Export Manager at Disco:Wax and No3) looking after acts like Martin Jensen, Phlake and The Minds of 99 explains “To be a part of Top 20 Under 30 has meant a lot for me – both personally and professionally. I feel I have been given a great pat on the back for my work and a confirmation that we, as the next generation in the music business, can make a difference. Next to that, my motivation to keep on developing my competencies and achieve higher goals, has only grown with this recognition.
The program has expanded my network both in the Nordics and internationally, and it is quite unique to have made acquaintances across territories like this. Especially when it is professionals who share the same drive to learn and exchange experiences, which has helped me to challenge myself and my own methods positively.
In my point of view, this program helps pave the way for young professionals in the music industry by recognising them for their work. That recognition makes a difference for the young generation and helps them believe that they can make a difference for the industry.”
Nikolaj Stavnstrup, Manager and A&R at indie staple ESCHO, reminded us of a total new perspective by stating “This recognition felt really great, especially after these last two years. Most of my work happens on the computer, but I’ve always felt the biggest joy of my work when the artists I work with are doing shows or in some other ways interacting with the world and their audience. For the longest time release-parties, shows or touring wasn’t possible and projects you’d worked on for a long time, even if they made an impact and people really liked them, it was hard to grasp, when there was nothing tangible to hold on to. Charts, playlists, data and numbers are all important and valuable but nothing beats seeing artists connect with people, eye to eye. This recognition brought back a little bit of that, with everyone being able to meet up, draw a sigh of relief that the world was opening back up and enjoying ourselves.
It also definitely added some extra confidence to my work. I really like working behind the scenes and “in the darkness” and would not want the spotlight that some artists get, but once in a while it’s fun to get some recognition – especially among your peers. And I did post it on my social media channels (even LinkedIn), so yeah, I am very proud and honoured to be included in such great company, and it motivated me a lot during a tough part of my life, to feel some kind of validation for what you spend most of your days doing.
It can be a bit difficult to explain what I do to friends and family so having something concrete to show to my Grandma felt cool. I’m super, super privileged to get to work with what I love and that’s really all the recognition I need, but it was cool to meet people you’ve worked with in some way or another, and bond over our common work, to be in a crowd where we all go through the same professional challenges and connect through that.”
Now we will soon start the process for selecting the class on 2022, and we are looking forward to getting to know more new professionals in the industry, and celebrating their incredibly achievements.
For more information on all the Nordic Music Bizz 20 Under 30 2021 class, please click here.
Program, Nordic Music Biz´Top 20 Under 30 Stockholm, 2 – 3 May 2022
Monday 2 May
18.00: Royal Reception dinner for the official Trade delegation
Tuesday 3 May
10.30: Welcome + Speeches
• Kathrine Synnes Finnskog, NOMEX and Music Norway Director
• Åsa Caap, VD SPACE
11.00: Company and project presentations from a selection of 2021 Top 20 Under 30 winners
• Johanna Alem, Head of Events – Universal Music (Norway)
Hannes Andresson, Creative Director – Mantik Music Group (Finland
• Maria Borg, Digital Partners & Export Manager – Discowax (Denmark)
• Saara Everi, Artists Relations & PR – PME Records (Finland)
– Nikolaj Stavnstrup, Manager / A&R – Escho (Denmark)
12.00: Presentations from previous Top 20 Under 30 Winners
• Ankit Desai, Snafu Records
• SLÄS Presenterer “She Writes for Him”
Therese Hädinggård Mona Aghai Berg Fumi Amao Atena Banisaid Olivia Hässel
13.30: The Avicii Experience
Lisa Halling- Aadland from Pophouse will talk about the thoughts behind the Avicii Experience and the work Tim B Foundation does to remove the stigma attached to mental health issues. This is followed by time to explore the exhibition experience.
15.00: Program SPACE Arena
• Welcome: Kathrine Synnes Finnskog, Music Norway
• Panel talk with Per Sundin – Pophouse, Erlend Buflaten – Propeller (no) og Amanda Kiflay – Sony Music Publishing (S)
• Q&A with Musti & Jelassi – Stronger together, Nordic collaborations.
• Panel talk with the future music industry: Timothy LePrince – Creed Media(S), Ankit Desai – Snafu Records (S), Johanna Alem – Universal Music Norway(NO).
This event will be attended by HH.RR.HH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and HH.RR.HH Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden
16.00 – 19.00: Afterwork Networking Meet Up, SPACE CLUB
We have invited Swedish and Nordic music industry for an afterwork network reception with drinks, finger food and music.
NOMEX was set up to facilitate growth and development in the Nordic music sector, and is a collaborative organisation set up by Export Music Sweden, Music Export Denmark, Music Finland, Iceland Music Export and Music Norway.