"I assume we're going to be talking about the place of government in the industry that we know and love so much."
Organisation and Position: Split United, China, Managing director. Festival owner, promoter, brand consultant, talent agent, media owner. All China focused.
How did you first become involved in the music business? Promoting DJs at university and trying ridiculously hard to become a DJ myself.
What's your area of expertise and what experience do you have? I've been running music festivals for nearly 20 years and I was one of the first people to bring brands into the festival space (for better or for worse) back in the late 1990s. When I came to China I was one of the first promoters to set up shop here, before there were even venues. I set up one of the first festivals in 2007 and since then, I've set up Asia's first dedicated talent booking agency and China's first music e-zine's. As the region matures, it's amazing to see so much development and so many opportunities for artists to make new careers for themselves.
What topics will you be mostly talking about at WAM? I'm on an intriguing panel called the State Vs Music. I don't have much information on it currently, but I assume we're going to be talking about the place of government in the industry that we know and love so much. Having worked in China for over a decade, I have experience in both working with export offices and embassies of countries that have generous and supportive systems for the arts (France, Canada, Scandinavia) and also working in a country that has an extremely top down (and restrictive) approach to supporting creative industries. I hope this contribute to an interesting discussion.
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What do you hope to personally take away from the WA Music Conference and WAM Festival events? I always enjoy the chance to hang and talk with the wider industry. At the end of the day, we are so very lucky to work at something that we all love so very much. I always learn from the other panels and talks and I always find something great to bring back to China from the showcases. Western Australia (and Australia at large) has such an exciting music scene at the moment - so many of my favorite bands at the moment are Australian (Royal Headache, Flume, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett, DZ Deathrays, Violent Soho, Kirin J Callinan, the Smith Street Band, Luca Brasi) - I can't wait to hear from people what's making it so and to discover some of the next generation.
What's one question about the music industry you'd love to have the answer to? How to balance art and commerce perfectly. It's the perennial problem, but a fun one to strive for.
One piece of advice to make it in the music biz? Follow your heart - if you believe something is great, then you will always find other people that think the same.