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NORDIC MUSIC BIZ ANNOUNCES TOP 20 UNDER 30 WINNERS

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NORDIC MUSIC BIZ ANNOUNCES TOP 20 UNDER 30

WINNERS CEREMONY TO TAKE PLACE AT BY:LARM FESTIVAL ON 30 SEPTEMBER 2021

INITIATIVE SET UP BY NOMEX (NORDIC MUSIC EXPORT)  

The world’s 6th largest market for recorded music, The Nordics, officially announce the 20 young forces driving the Nordic music industry forward, for the fourth annual 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. 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.

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. This year, the revered judging panel shines a spotlight on 20 Under 30 future business executives, with a ceremony at annual by:Larm Festival on Thursday 30 September, the most important festival for the Nordic music industry and the best new music, taking place in the centre of Oslo, Norway.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that the recruitment of young people into the music industry is more important than ever. It’s crucial to show the new generation of managers, labels, agents, festivals etc. that it is a safe and rewarding industry to work in and choose as a career. It is also vital to make sure the artists have talented people to work with them and look out for their best interest in the future,” says Nina Finnerud, Head of UK at Music Norway.

A new report commissioned by collecting society grouping GESAC and produced by EY argues that Europe’s cultural and creative industries have been among the hardest hit by the COVID crisis but, at the same time, have a key role to play in the recovery of each European nation once the pandemic is over. The cultural and creative industries “as a whole experienced losses of over 30% of their turnover for 2020 – accumulated loss of 199 billion Euros – with the music and performing art sectors experiencing 75% and 90% losses respectively”. Download the full report here:https://www.rebuilding-europe.eu 

“Nordic Music Biz therefore believe that looking after and nurturing the new generation of music industry professionals is crucial and by lifting The Nordic Music Biz Top 20 Under 30, can build on the foundation of the successful award and create a platform where ideas and experiences are shared, connections are made and intra Nordic collaborations are created. These people are part of the future of our industry” – continues Nina Finnerud, Head of UK at Music Norway.

The winners of the Nordic Music Biz Top 20 Under 30 were chosen based on company growth, career path, recognition in the industry, influence in the industry in 2020, artistic development, innovation, concert revenues, sales, streaming, campaigns, radio and television publicity.

The Nordic judges for 2021: Annika Oksanen (Live Nation), Hildur Maral (Mercury KX (Decca/Universal Music Group), Loui Tornqvist (Edition Wilhelm Hansen (publisher), Diego Farias (Amuse), Amanuel Kidane (GR:OW), Nino Lintermo (Nordic Music Partners), Magnus Bjarni Grondal (Artist and independent PR consultant), Jesper Majdall (Bremen Teater and Hotel Cecil), Jennifer Gunn (MADE Management),  Petra Piiroinen (Meidän Festivaali), Anna Sjölund (Live Nation Sweden), Nikoo Sadr (The Orchard), Sandra Barilli (Independent project manager and producer), Katja Sønderhauge (Warner Music DK), Magdalena Kellman (NORA/Sony Music)

The list of Top 20 Under 20 Winners 2021: 

DENMARK

Nikolaj Stavnstrup, 27
Manager & A&R, Escho (Label/Management) 

With a professional history in record labels, concert/festival production and booking throughout Scandinavia (previously working as Assistant Producer at Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall, and interning at record label Posh Isolation), Nikolaj now focuses on artist management and releasing records that he loves as a project manager. Representing and releasing established and new artists alike at Escho in Copenhagen, he works as Assistant Manager for bands Iceage and Liss, and manager for emerging artist BishBusch. On the label side, Nikolaj works with artists like August Rosenbaum, First Hate, Baby In Vain, Ydegirl, Liss and Iceage. The latter’s latest record “Seek Shelter” released in May 2021 to international and critical acclaim, reaching #1 on the danish vinyl chart, #1 on the UK Rock Album Chart and debuted at #90 on the US Billboard Album chart. Outside of Escho, Nikolaj works with artist Gustav Berntsen (Pardans, Dirt Bike, Gusse B) and recently joined forces with artist Coco O. 

Thea Moe, 29
General Manager And Artist Manager, Glass Management 

Thea Moe is the General Manager and Artist Manager at the Copenhagen-based music publishing and management company, Glass Music Company, overseeing the company’s key clients and leading day to day and long term artist strategies. 

Since 2017, Thea has worked her way to the top of the Danish music industry co-managing artists such as Malte Ebert/Gulddreng and Skinz, selling out arenas all over the country and being top of DK radio airplays and streaming. 

In 2019, Thea kick-started her international focus by joining up with the LA-based publishing and sync company 411 Music Group, which put Thea in charge of coordinating 65+ songwriter sessions for Glass’ music artists and writers. This involved collabs with companies such as Disney and Victoria Secrets PINK campaign featuring Glass’ upcoming artist RoseeLu, which currently has 9,6 billion views on TikTok, making RoseeLu the first artist in the Nordics to achieve such TikTok exposure. 

Today, Thea and her team at Glass are expanding the publishing department and pushing towards more opportunities on an international scale for their entire roster. Thea plays a key role in breaking both producers and artists abroad.  

Jakob Løkkegaard-Friese, 28
MD & Co- Founder, WAS Entertainment 

Jakob Løkkegaard-Friese is the co-founder and MD of the Danish music company W.A.S. Entertainment. A company handling artist-management, distribution, publishing and live activities. In spite of COVID-19, Jakob and his team has managed to expand business in 2020, and W.A.S. Entertainment has received widespread attention for its talented artists such as Rebecca Lou, Brimheim, GRETA and Reveal Party. 

Furthermore Jakob has used his position in the industry to be outspoken on gender misrepresentation in the Danish music industry. In fall 2020 W.A.S.

Entertainment managed to assemble the entire industry to discuss these issues, and how to prevent structural sexism in the Danish music industry. In Denmark, sexism in the music industry has been widely debated, and Jakob has been one of the largest contributors in the debate. His opinions on structural sexism and the effects of biased gate keepers in the industry have been brought in everything from live interviews on national radio to written interviews in large music magazines and newspapers, and the support artist all over the country has been overwhelming.

Maria Borg, 27
Digital Partners & Export Manager, Discowax 

Maria Borg is a 27-year-old music enthusiast from Copenhagen who has been working in the music industry since 2014. Her passion for music developed alongside her education in Musicology and Modern from Copenhagen University, where she specialized in female representation in culture. 

Concurrently with my studies, Maria started her career in the music business as a Scout and later as an A&R Coordinator. Her position developed in line with her competencies and in the last couple of years she has been working with digital partners and export at Sony Music, disco:wax, No3, and One Seven Music.

Maria is focusing on streaming and international marketing strategies, and has the overall responsibility for presenting and pitching music projects for internal and external partners with a focus on creating an increased common value through marketing and promotion. Her work includes Nordic music projects like Martin Jensen, Theresa Rex, Vera, Phlake, TooManyLeftHands, Tessa Odden, Calby, and international projects like Sam Feldt, Imanbek, Gia Koka, Afrojack, and many more.

Katarina Julie Madsen, 26
Creative Manager, Edition Wilhelm Hansen 

Katarina is 26 years old and has been working in the role of Creative Manager at the music publisher Edition Wilhelm Hansen since 2019. Her main work areas are synchronization, music supervision and composer relations. 

Katarina pitches and licenses the companyæs catalog for synch across commercials, tv and film and also works as a music supervisor, collaborating with film directors, producers, editors etc to find the right music for a scene and then license the rights. Recent music supervision projects include Vores Mand I Amerika, Marco Effekten and the upcoming Ole Bornedal film ‘Skyggen i mit øje’. 

Katarina is also the day-to-day contact for several of our more recent major songwriter signings in the pop/hip-hop area; Lars Ankerstjerne, Lasse ‘Pilfinger’ Kramhøft, Brandon Beal and Shaka Loveless, as well as having the responsibility for registration of all new works, sample clearances and applications for funding for projects of particular personal importance to these writers. In addition to this, she built and maintains Wilhelm Hansen’s presence on Instagram and LinkedIn. 

She is passionate about the issue of female representation in the music industry and has recently taken the first steps in creating a workshop of 4-5 modules for female producers in collaboration with DPA. The first event was a masterclass earlier this month with Dutch producer Roselilah and Pilfinger. 

Before starting in publishing, she worked with music marketing as Communications Assistant in the PR department of music venue VEGA in Copenhagen. While finishing her master’s degree in English & Cultural Communications, she also spent 3 years working as a radio host and editor at Copenhagen University Radio ‘Uniradioen’, where she hosted live radio and covered festivals for podcast.

SWEDEN

Creed Media
Co-Founders & Co-CEO, Timothy Collins & Hugo LePrince

Despite their young ages of 25 and 22, Timothy Collins and Hugo LePrince have already been placed on Forbes prestigious “30 under 30” list. In less than two years, the two have founded Creed Media and taken the company from a small basement, to a crew of 40 employees. The company have been widely mentioned in leading international medias, such as Billboard, Rolling Stone, Business Insider and Music Week, for their unique ability to help artists market themselves digitally towards “generation Z”. Creed Media are the brains behind the TikTok success of hits like Surf Mesas “ily (I Love You Baby)”, Topics “Breaking Me” and Trevor Daniel’s “Falling”, which has been praised as a global TikTok sensation with over 1 billion streams. Among Creed Media’s customers today are the world’s leading record companies, such as Sony Music, Universal Music, Atlantic and Capitol Records.

Lina Pettersson, 29
Head of Agency, Live Nation 

28 year old Lina Pettersson, originally from Skinnskatteberg, was, in the fall of 2020, promoted to Head of Agency at Live Nation Sweden.

Lina leads the local artist division of Live Nation Sweden and is the youngest member of the managing team. She has extensive experience as an agent and head of the booking team, and has in her five years at Live Nation made an incredible career journey. She started as a booking assistant, and then became the agent for acts like Sandro Cavazza and Mares while heading up the booking team and then moving on to lead the entire agency division, who represents acts like Zara Larsson, Peter Jöback, Victor Leksell, and Benjamin Ingrosso to name a few.

Lina stands for a strong and inclusive leadership, relationship-building, strategic growth and a fierce creativity. As a leader of the agency division she is continuing to give Sweden’s most interesting artists the best platform to build their live careers on and we can’t wait to see what she will accomplish.

Anton Madock, 30
A&R and Marketing Manager,Amuse 

Anton Maddock works as an A&R and Marketing Manager at Amuse.io, a company he joined in 2019 after four years of managing DSP relations at Sony Music Sweden. Anton has helped cement Amuse´s position as a leader in Swedish Hip-Hop and RnB, ending 2020 with Grammy nominations for both Mapei and Yasin. During 2020 Anton transitioned from having a Nordic focus to working on global projects. Anton’s big international signing Serhat Durmus had a fantastic year, racking up over 250M streams across streaming platforms and averaging 100 million daily views across Youtube.

Sara Faraj, 26
Label Manager, Asylum/Warner Music Sweden AB

Six months before graduating from Linneaus University studying Music & Event management, Sara (26) started working at Warner Music Sweden in early 2019 as a project manager for Asylum with their local Hip-hop/RnB roster. Working along with artists like Aden x Asme, Cherrie, Ricky Rich, Stormzy, K27, 1.Cuz, A36 and many more. With the mindset of working more creatively and with an independent spirit with artists and within management – Asylum is today a playful, creative and artist friendly label that not only works traditionally with releasing music, but within the whole artist career to build something bigger for the artists future. 

Amanda Kiflay, 25
A&R, Sony Music Publishing Scandinavia

Amanda Kiflay started her career in music when she joined Sony Music Publishing in 2018 after studying Music & Event Management at Linneaus University.

Now, only 2,5 years later, Amanda is scouting, signing and developing songwriters, producers and artists from Scandinavia, and has signed names such as Benjamin Lasnier (Megan Thee Stallion, YG, YoungBoy NBA) and Patrick Piscot (Lil Mosey, Rod Wave). With a primary focus on hip-hop/R&B music, the 25-year-old Stockholm native continues to aim high and develop the next generation of Nordic talents. In addition to this, she is a strong advocate for a more diverse and inclusive industry and to increase the number of female and non-binary producers. Amanda is working towards pursuing a successful international career in music publishing.

NORWAY

Erlend Buflaten, 29
CEO and co-founder Propeller Management

Erlend Buflaten is CEO and co-founder of Propeller Management which has offices in Oslo and London. Based out of Oslo, Erlend manages Grammy-nominated and multi-billion streaming artist Seeb, producer SIVV and multi-platinum producer/writer Thomas Kongshavn. During his time at Propeller, Erlend has developed a number of successful concepts, strategies and campaigns for artists like Seeb, Shaun Ross, BlimE!, LOVA.

After a communications degree, Erlend started interning at Music Norway. Through his 4 years at the company, Erlend went on to develop their International PR and Marketing department, working closely with festivals and industry partners globally to create and lead long standing projects, as well as securing A-level media coverage for a number of Norwegian artists. 

Through his career Erlend has had several different roles in music, working with brand building, project management, events, booking, A&R, journalism, marketing and PR, but he has yet to learn to play an instrument.

Ziwer Teli, 23
Artist Manager,GR:OW

Ziwer has been instrumental in Amanda Delara’s breakthrough in the GSA area. With over 50 million streams in total and top lists in several countries, he has marked himself as a young industry star to follow. He is among the new generation who are good at making new contacts at home and abroad.

It was intended for Delara do an extensive tour after the successful Norwegian EP, but the world situation put an end to it. Ziwer was solution-oriented in developing other ways to elevate Delara’s career. Which resulted in a collaborative project with Germany’s largest management Two Sides and their artist Loredana and their song “Checka” charted at #2 in Germany. Delara will be part of the sold-out arena tour to Loredana, which was postponed until next year.

Recently, he was also involved in the launch of Delara’s EP “TIMEPIECE”, which has already received several major international press reviews, most recently in Complex magazine in the UK. 

Johanna Alem, 29
Head of Event & Promotion, Universal Music Norway 

Johanna Alem, Head of Event & Promotion at Universal Music Norway, has worked in music and entertainment for more than 10 years and has gained a wide range of industry experience. She has been working at the record label the past three years, where her initial area of responsibility was working with PR for international artists. She currently leads the PR team with a main area of focus within strategy and communication, representing some of Norway’s biggest artists such as Astrid S and TIX as well as international artists such as The Weeknd, Billie Eilish and many more. 

This past year she initiated and executively produced the TV show “Hev Stemmen” (Raise Your Voice) against racism at NRK, which is the largest media organisation in Norway (government-owned). The show focuses on increasing diversity and inclusion with over 30 contributing Norwegian artists and profiles. She’s also one of Music Norway’s change agents, which is a council for greater multicultural diversity in the Norwegian music industry. This council was put together in December 2019. 

Throughout the years, Johanna Alem has gained a broad international network within music and entertainment.

Julie Rogstad Sandberg, 28
A&R, Sony Music Norway

Julie joined Sony Music 6 years ago after finishing her studies in Music Management at Rena. Whilst studying, she established “Northwind Management” with a fellow student. They worked with several EDM acts, among them was K-391 and Tungevaag, to name a few. Tungevaag’s track “Samsara” received huge success, and ended up on the Global Top 100 Chart on Spotify. “Samsara” was also #1 in Norway without any label involved, and has to this day amassed over 160.000.000 million streams on Spotify alone. 

In her last 6 years as an A&R in Sony she has excelled both internally and externally. She’s working with acts such as Staysman, Jesper Jenset, Morgan Sulele, Adelén, Rat City, and SJUR. Rat City were nominated for “Song of the year” on the Norwegian Grammy’s, and hit both Spotify top 50 and the radio chart in Poland. 

SJUR has streamed well over 200 million streams, and has charted in both Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Belgium, and can also boast a recently growing audience in China. Jesper Jenset has amassed over 150 million streams, charted on Spotify top 50 in several territories, collaborated with different international acts and has built a solid fanbase in Poland especially.  

In 2020 she was part of the success of the song “FREDAG” with Staysman & Lazz and Ringnes-Ronny, which has rocked up 16 million streams in the last year. She also works with the band Halva Priset who have multiple chart positions, including a #1 in Norway and has streamed over 30 million in less than a year. Morgan Sulele has had 4 x top 50 hits the last year, and has streamed well over 50 million over the last couple of years. 

She is fearless, ambitious, sees opportunities and goes for what she believes in.

Renate Eggan, 29
Project and Communication manager, TEMPO 

Renate Eggan started working in the music business back in 2010, and has since then had several roles, both in organizations and festivals. She now works at Byscenen, at Eventselskapet (mainly with the festival Festningen), and as a Project and Communications Manager at Tempo. At Tempo she works with counselling, courses and seminars for the music industry in Midt-Norge, in addition to bigger projects such as Trondheim Song:Expo, one of the biggest songwriting camps in the world. Renate has been involved with Song:Expo since 2013, and took over as the Project Manager in 2020.  

FINLAND

Teea Kasurinen
Marketing Manager International, Universal Music Finland 

Teea Kasurinen has grown into a successful artist marketing professional in a short period of time and during her six-year career at Universal, she has shown exceptional creativity in marketing several international A-list artists. 

She has become a well-known face within the industry, and has fostered close relationships especially in radio, Spotify and live fields. She creates and constantly develops new methods to market music and artists in an innovative way, and has extensive knowledge of the backgrounds and statistics of her artists and phenomena in the music industry. 

Teea has an ability to identify those new international artists who would have the best chance of breaking through in the Finnish market. Good examples of such artists are, for example, Lewis Capaldi, Alvaro Soler, Billie Eilish, Mabel, J Balvin, BLACKPINK and Halsey, for whom Teea began to do extra work for long before their big breakthroughs in Finland. 

The international artists supported by Teea are now a significant part of Universal’s future catalog. During Teea’s Universal career, Universal Music Finland has become the market leader in Finland for the first time, the company’s market share has risen by a staggering 6.7%.

Hannes Andersson 
Creative Director, Mantik Music Group & CMO,oeksound Ltd

Hannes Andersson is the co-founder of Mantik Music Group (a publishing company) and Chief Marketing Officer of oeksound (one of the industry’s leading audio plug-in companies). 

Mantik Music Group started with Hannes’ idea in discussion with Danish co-writing partner and co-founder Jakob Wredstrøm. In under two years, the company has grown into a nine person team operating in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stavanger, Oslo and Los Angeles. Mantik Music Group has enabled hundreds of opportunities for songwriters regardless of their location, background or nationality. The fast adaptation to the co-writing opportunities created by the pandemic has led to Mantik Music Group’s roster’s fast growth.  

The founder of oeksound, developer of one of the world’s most popular audio plug-in soothe, hired Hannes four months after the release of their first product. He was later taken in as partner, as Hannes built the company’s marketing strategy and brand from the ground up and helped oeksound become one of the biggest success stories in the global plug-in market. oeksound has now grown from zero into a multi-million company in their four years of operation. 

Hannes’ ability to understand the minds of creative people, strong background in music technology and a constant curiosity to learn have been the elements to his success as a key person within these two music companies on the rise.

Saara Everi 
Head of Marketing & Artist manager, PME Records

Saara Everi is the head of marketing and artist manager at PME Records – a privately owned, Helsinki-based indie record label. Saara started at PME Records in 2018 in the role of artist promotion with six artists. In three years she has progressed to take on full responsibility for the organisation’s marketing and promotion (more than 15 artists, including one of Finland’s biggest rap acts, Gettomasa) as well as operating as an artist manager. As the number of artists increased, new team members have been recruited to PME’s promotion team, which also has made Saara a team leader. As a supervisor, Saara is responsible not only for leading the team, but also for the overall management of artist projects, marketing planning and implantation, scheduling, budgeting and monitoring. 

Saara has personally been nominated twice for the Music & Media Industry Awards; in 2018 in the Future Leader category and in 2020 in the PR & Marketing Person of the Year category.

ICELAND

Ægir Sindri Bjarnason
Founder of R6013 venue in Reykjavik and ´Why Not?´ Records

Ægir Sindri Bjarnason is the founder of the R6013 venue in Reykjavik and ‘Why not? records’. Bjarnason, now 28, has been present in the Reykjavik music scene since the age of 14. He started as a drummer and then started releasing the music of the bands in the local scene which led him to launch an official label. 

In 2017 he started R6013, out of a dire need for smaller music spaces that are open to all ages. It’s operated out of the basement of his home and has hosted well over 100 shows since it was established. It provides an invaluable platform for emerging artists and the underground scene as a whole. 

It is a space that strives to make music accessible to most people, no matter their age or income bracket. The space also doubles as a recording and rehearsal space, where the same rules apply, giving artists with less to spend access to space and equipment for professional studio recordings.

Bergþór Másson, 26 

The 26 year old Bergþór Másson has been working in the Icelandic music industry since becoming manager of electro-pop duo ClubDub in 2018, one of Iceland most popular acts. A key element in their success was a clever release strategy that built interest and audience for the band. In early 2020 Masson added Iceland’s top rapper Birnir to his roster, serving also as record label and publisher for both artists. Masson also took a job as an A&R consultant for Sony Music Denmark’s operation in Iceland. Further he hosts two popular podcasts in Iceland, Skoðanabræður and Kraftbirtingarhljómur guðdómsins where he has interviewed more than 50 Icelandic rappers.