Christoffer, please tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get started in the music business and scouting for Spinnup?
My first steps in the music business was as a musician. I started out playing guitar, both live and in the studio. I love creating music but as I studied communication science at university, my old interest in being music journalist started to grow again and I began to write reviews and pieces on mostly rock and metal, and that is something I do regularly as a freelancer today. But I have always been fascinated by record labels and wanted to work with music regarding PR, Marketing and A&R. When I saw that Universal was looking for people for this new exciting project Spinnup, I was very eager to send in my application.
What do you look for in an artist?
I look for identity. We scouts get exposed to so much music that in order for something to look enticing, it needs a clear and strong character. A confidence that says “this is me, and I know what I am doing”. Along with that, a kind of self consciousness, often strong ambition and thirst for development comes naturally, which combined with musical abilities is a recipe for success.
How did you discover IRO?
IRO used Spinnup for his digital distribution and I was one of the scouts that he contacted. I then checked out his release and saw that the artwork and his photos was not only cool but also very interesting. From the moment I pushed play I instantly knew that this was something out of the ordinary. This guy knew who he was and what he wanted to do. You could hear it.
Do you still work/stay in touch with IRO after the signing?
Yes, we stay in touch. Even though he lives in New York and I live in Uppsala, Sweden, we’ve met while I was in New York on vacation. This story on how he, as an american artist, actually is signed to Universal in Sweden, by simply giving me a push on Spinnup is amazing. Who knows where it will take either of us? IRO has become a friend of mine and we will definitely meet up again.
What kind of relationship should there be between a scout and the artist?
The relationship is what you make it. Some artists are in need of help with a variety of things, while others just need some input on specific stuff. I see the Scout role as a person who simply cares about good music and because of that offer his or hers opinion on what it might need to take it to the next level. Being a Scout can involve anything from being a manager, producer, engineer, songwriter, PR-marketer or simply an honest helping friend.
What advice do you have for those who wish to be scouted?
In order to get scouted, you need to see it a bit as a sales pitch. If you are trying to create interest, you should not only have good music to showcase. You should also tell us what you have accomplished so far, where you are heading to and what you look for in becoming scouted. We scouts all have different networks and specializations, so try to find your own scouts and impress them both creatively as well as commercially.
Who is IRO?
IRO is an artist who possesses something unique in today’s music business. By combining deep lyrics, a passionate voice and a soulful mixture of pop, folk and electronics, he has managed to find an untapped source of strong melodies and intricate songs. On his self-titled EP he showcases several sides of his creative mind, music that ranges from sexy RnB to catchy Folk Pop. It was the single “Sun” that drew the attention of Universal Music, when Spinnup scout Christoffer Bertzell pitched the music to the label. The song spread instantly through the office corridors at Universal and after some talks over different timezones, a deal was inked and IRO was the first American artist to get signed to Universal through Spinnup.
Listen to “Sun” HERE.