May sees the return of The Great Escape festival – a jam-packed three days of new UK music – and we’ve once again invited a number of overseas music industry specialists to come and soak up the sounds on offer. Here are this year’s visitors ...
Amina Abodoma, Egypt
Artistic Director/Producer, El Wekala
Amina Abodoma (MA Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship) is an Egyptian cultural entrepreneur. She started her career at the Anna Lindh Foundation, where she developed large-scale projects across the Euro-Mediterranean region. Amina is currently the Artistic Director of the Backstreet Festival, produced by the International Association for Creation and Training (I-act). In 2012, Abodoma established the art space and social hub ‘Teatro Eskendria’ in Alexandria. In early 2015, Abodoma established her music production house and touring agency ‘El Wekala’ in the UK with the musician and creative entrepreneur Daniel Merrill and the media producer Ahmed Selim. El-Wekala-UK has two main objectives: the first is the promotion of innovative, genuine and original contemporary music and arts from the Middle East in the UK and wider Europe. The second objective is to create opportunities for networking and exchange between musicians from the Middle East and Europe as well as and bringing contemporary music from the UK and wider Europe to different countries in the Middle East.
Dionysios Tsonopoulos, Greece
Business Development & Licensing Director, D-Version Music Publishing Ltd.
Dionysis is a passionate and global focused music professional and college lecturer with Label, Publishing & Artist Management experience and a strong background in Digital Media and New Business models. He has about 25 years of music industry experience. For about 18 years, Dionysis worked as commercial, business development, new media and marketing manager at a number of record labels, including Warner Music Greece, BMG Greece, Heaven Music, FM Records and Velvet Music. In 2001, he served as Production Coordinator of 1st Womad festival in Athens while in 2005 he was promoted as Commercial Director of Music and Film Unit for the launching of the retail trade chain “Public”. Since 2007, Dionysis is handling the digital distribution for a number of Greek independent labels and self-released artist. In 2010 Dionysis joined the music publishing industry, holding the position of Business Development Manager in Media Men Group Hellas and D-Version Music Publishing Ltd; from 2011 until 2014, Dionysis served as VP Sales & Marketing in MMG HQ, a network of music publishing companies with offices in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Currently he is the Business Development & Licensing Director at D-Version Music Publishing Ltd, the leading indie music publisher in Greece, representing more than 60 prestigious international publishers and about 2 million works. Most recently he is serving as A&R / Artistic consultant at Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival. Since 2010 he is the head lecturer of the BA/BSc Hons Audio Production and Creative Industries & Music Business diploma at SAE Institute Athens.
Gustavo Garcia, Colombia
Artistic Director, Rock Al Parque
Chucky García, artistic director of “Rock al Parque” Festival (“Rock at the Park”, the largest free rock festival in Latin America). Chucky has been working in the music sector in Colombia for the last twenty years as a journalist, music promoter and concert curator. He has written several music articles for newspapers, magazines and websites in Colombia, Latin America and Spain. Since 2014, he is the Artistic Director of Rock al Parque Festival in Colombia, “one of the largest and most intense rock festivals in South America (and the world)”. The attendance is already around the 300,000 persons and the festival is financed by Bogota’s City Hall.
Travis Banko, Australia
Artist Manager, Lunatic Entertainment
Travis Banko splits his time in the music industry between booking / programming with St. Jerome's Laneway Festival and artist management at Lunatic Entertainment. Laneway travels around Australia, New Zealand and Singapore bringing what's fresh to unique settings across seven cities. On the artist management side, Travis manages emerging London based act DRELLER while also working across more established acts such as CHVRCHES, Gotye, The Temper Trap, Mansionair and D.D Dumbo. Travis holds a Bachelor of Business (Music Industry) from Victoria University.
Maximiliano Manzano Wenzel, Venezuela
Journalist / Festival Director, Nuevas Bandas
Max Manzano is a Venezuelan music promotor, bachelor of Journalism, with a Diploma in Music Business and Masters Degree in Cultural Journalism from IDEC Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain). He has been working within the Venezuelan music scene since 2002. Actually, he is the Director of Nuevas Bandas Foundation & Festival, the most important music organisation in Venezuela. Nuevas Bandas Festival is the main platform in the country for new talents. It has the purpose of supporting and spreading the work of the new generations of musicians who work in the area of urban music, specifically in pop rock, as well as promotion national and international artists, conferences and other activities. As member of this organisation, since 2003 he has developed a wide range of activities related to media management, production of live shows, international artist’s promotion, production of music events and supporting emerging talents. As Radio DJ and producer, he is part of LaMega107, the most popular Pop/Rock FM circuit radio in Venezuela, in podcasts realisation, as production coordinator, and actually as radio host in Fabricado Aca, a podcast specialized in music history. He also develop an important role as international music correspondent, making cover of festivals, artists and music reviews. In the core of his work is the mission of developing the Venezuelan music industry, by making connections with the music scene worldwide and sharing his knowledge and information with the Venezuelan audience.
Nafis Ahmed, Bangladesh
Founder, Live Square Entertainment
Nafis founded LiveSquare as a passion project when he was a sophomore at college, spurred on by nothing but an idealistic desire to bring forth new ideas to a largely stagnant music scene. A decade later, LiveSquare Entertainment stands on the bleeding edge of aggressive progress in the culture and entertainment scene. His personal experiences with the global music industry, combined with my extensive network of musicians, festivals, sponsors, cultural organisations and government entities has enabled LiveSquare to take the music scene in the region by storm, forging alliances across the globe with a vast host of musical movers and shakers. LiveSquare has gone from a niche underground brand to a name that is as revered by its fans as a household name across borders, and is held in high regard by its stakeholders. He has represented Bangladesh and the region of South Asia as a delegate in several conferences, workshops and festivals across the world. Over the years, he has amassed a global network that spreads across the world, especially in Europe and South Asia. He is always on the lookout for high-impact scopes of collaboration, and actively seeking partners and patrons around the world who share a similar vision to work with innovative ideas, in a wide range of capacities and disciplines.
Rachid Briki, Algeria
Head of Department, AARC
Rachid Briki is, at the age of 37, an influential member of the Cultural sector in Algeria. As the head of the AARC's Department of Music and Live Performance, he is constantly aware of developments in the national, regional and international music scene. He regularly participates in major industry events such as visa for music, babel med, FMA of Montreal, and thus remains permanently and dynamically in touch with the operators and the trends of the moment. His current position is international promoter and local broadcaster, he owes this to his career at the Office riadh el feth (Oref), a structure which in itself is a training space for all the professions of the Stage and performance. He served from 2008 to 2012 as a manager, animator and mission manager. He joined the AARC in 2013, initially in charge of program coordination and then heading the emblematic music and live entertainment department. His fierce determination to maintain the course of quality and innovation in spite of contrary "winds" attests to his great artistic integrity. Rachid Briki, who also holds an MBA in Cultural Project Management and is a frequent participant in various courses and seminars related to cultural management, is recognized for his methodology, whose precision is equaled only by efficiency.
Madrim Djody, Indonesia
Founder / Community Lead, Studiorama
Madrim Djody is the founder of Studiorama, an audiovisual collective based on Jakarta, Indonesia that works across multiple disciplines of arts. Studiorama is well known for their music-focused events (that also incorporate other form of visual and performance arts) that are populated with highly-curated talents. Along the way, Studiorama has also hosted several international sidestream acts with cult following in Jakarta. As one of the main people behind Studiorama, Madrim is well known for her contribution in connecting different people to collaborate within the sidestream music and visual arts sector, more so as a tastemaker of Indonesian sidestream music scene, through Studiorama.
Rizka Maulita, Indonesia
Senior Sponsorship Relation Officer, ISMAYA
Rizka Maulita's passion in networking brought her to her current position of Senior Sponsorship Relation Officer of Indonesia's leading lifestyle company, Ismaya Group. Her curiosity towards the team behind the majorly successful Djakarta Warehouse Project back in 2012 has turned her into the go-to person of the company when it comes to building a solid relationship with various brands that she finds exhilarating. To Rizka, it's not just about making deals and making sure brands are onboard to sponsor Ismaya Live's events, it's also about being familiar with the brand she's approaching by learning the needs and the objectives they want to achieve. Rizka feels that it's important to put herself in the shoes of the brands she approaches to find a common ground where both parties can benefit from the partnership. As a fan of the Japanese animation studio Ghibli that puts fantasy into the main theme of their movies, Rizka believes that fantasies can turn into realities which she proved herself four years ago when her then-fascination of working for Ismaya turned into a reality.
Teguh Wicaksono, Indonesia
Co-founder, Sounds from the Corner
Teguh Wicaksono is the co-founder of Sounds from the Corner (SFTC). Started in 2012, SFTC is arguably the most important exposure/publicity platform for Indonesian musician, and has also evolved into some sort of a verification tool for musicians to get affirmation from digital audience that they’re playing good, ‘serious’ music. SFTC periodically films highly-curated musicians in a live environment and upload it across multiple internet channels. It is a response to fight back Indonesian lip-synced morning show music performance culture, that is often deemed senseless by musicians and audiences alike. Besides Teguh’s role in SFTC, Teguh is also the Communication and Partnerships Manager at Twitter Indonesia.
Sarah Deshita Affandi, Indonesia
Assistant Brand Manager, Ismaya Live
Sarah Deshita started her career in music as a radio announcer in Oz Radio Jakarta in 2007, and by 2010 led as the Music Director in Oz Radio. Currently Sarah is still hosting radio shows with Oz Radio, however in 2013 she joined Ismaya Group as their Assistant Brand Manager, managing Ismaya Live’s flagship festivals; Djakarta Warehouse Project, Sunny Side Up Festival, Ultra Bali and We The Fest, as well as concerts by international artists and bands. Her main role is to market and highlight the Ismaya Live brand, the festivals and artists that they have to their public audience. However, due to Sarah’s background and music career, she has also taken on another role as the co-music curator of Ismaya Live’s festivals alongside Christian. Besides her work with Ismaya Live, Sarah is also a tastemaker in the music industry in Indonesia, being involved in the development of music projects and band management.
Felix Dass, Indonesia
Music Journalist, Band Manager & Founder of Cikini Folk Festival
Felix Dass was originally working at Air Asia as the Editor for the ThreeSixty Inflight Magazine, however he would always find time to write and contribute articles on music for a number of other publications, including The Jakarta Post and Rolling Stone magazine. Recently he had decided to focus on music full time, taking up numerous music projects alongside his writing. In 2015 he started to manage Ari Reda, one of Indonesia’s leading folk duos, where he led them on a nation-wide tour. Felix is also heavily involved in Ruang Rupa, the art collective group based in Jakarta, and especially in their music leg; Ruru Radio and RRRECFest alongside Indra Ameng . In 2016, he launched the Cikini Folk Festival, a one-day music event featuring twelve local musicians and is one of the first folk genre events in Indonesia. Felix continues to write for music publications as well as his own website, felixdass.com.
Nguyen Quoc Trung, Vietnam
Producer, Thanh Viet Production
Quoc Trung has been one of the most influential music producer/composer for the past 25 years in Vietnam. He has produced a number of projects working with the top 5 singers in Vietnam and created the world-music project: The Road To Infinity, which was inspired by traditional Vietnamese music. In 2011, Quoc Trung has founded Thanh Viet Production - a record label and stage production company that has produced since then world-class concerts and music projects with various international artists. He is also the founder of the first international multi-genre music festival in Vietnam, Monsoon Music Festival, which has attracted audiences of around 30,000 since it began in 2014 and is growing stronger every year.
Hind El Ouradi, Morocco
Cultural Manager, Foundation Hiba
A graduate of the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin en Yvelines in France, Hind has been on the organizing team behind several music festivals, including the Mawazine, Casablanca, and Awtar festivals. As a member of the Hiba Foundation team, she is responsible for Cinema Renaissance, a movie theatre and a concert hall connected to a cultural café that hosts a wide range of artistic programming. Additionally, she’s involved in a variety of other projects such as Visa For Music - a music conference for African and Middle Eastern artists, of which she’s the project manager in charge of partnerships and development, and Studio HIBA, a recording studio that encourages young talents and artists by hosting workshops and providing professional coaching. Hind has attended various festivals and conferences around the world such as Babel Med Music, WOMEX, Porto Musical, Atlantic Music Expo, MASA, Roskilde Festival and the Sziget Festival.