Interview with Sylvia Bell – Artist Manager (Lenny Kravitz, Rolling Stones, George Michael)
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I started my career with working in Press and Promotion at Warner Music and Sony. After that I was given the great chance to set up Virgin Hamburg in the 80’s and ran it for 11 years. I emigrated to New Zealand where I lived and work in the music and film industry for 15 years. I have been working in the industry for more than 20 years now looking after artists such as Lenny Kravitz, The Rolling Stones, George Michael, Iggy Pop, Janet Jackson, Genesis, Simple Minds and many more. I was in charge of artist promotion as well as PR for the individual artists upon their trips to Hamburg. After leaving the German music industry behind I set up my own music management company mentoring and helping young bands with a kick start.
Have you licensed your music / signed your artists internationally? Which country do you think is the best to license music to? Why?
Since my return from overseas the music industry has changed and it has become harder to sign bands. I think it depends on language and/or genre what bands have to offer so pointing out a particular country is hard to do. My preference though has always been the UK and Germany simply because they are both very professional and down to earth in their approach to music and artists.
If you were to partner with someone to license his music / sign up his artists for your region, what sort of music are you looking out for? Why?
Pop, Rock, R&B. It is the music I most understand about.
Notable projects you have completed
Setting up Virgin Records in Hamburg, working with major artists in New Zealand and set them up ready to go.
Your artists are….
Sonicfleet (Sweden), Candy Robbers (Belgium), Johnny Hates Jazz (UK)
Upcoming projects / tours?
Releasing album and prepare live shows in Europe
What do you think is the single largest problem faced by the music industry today? How do you think it can be resolved?
Downloading music for free and not paying the artist enough money for synching/downloading. I find it hard to cope with the attitude of some companies who – in my eyes – do not respect the hard work of every single artist. I don’t think that there is an easy solution on hand now as long as companies paying pennies to artists will carry on doing so.
Your plans for 2015?
Setting up my bands for live shows and finding partners to help.
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