Part 3 of our video series “The Power of Networking”
The music industry is, like all creative industries, the prime example of the relevance of networking. Especially in this area, creative processes and services and the emotional involvement with the own work and person have a significant impact and are important. tamanguu executes interviews with several selected interesting personalities of the music industries about their experiences, knowledge and opinions regarding networking and relationship management.
This time, we have interviewed the young artist manager Asli Kaymaz, who has gained experience in two interesting roles in the music business. She worked for Universal Music Germany, mainly as talent scout for their discovery and distribution platform Spinnup. Since 2015, she works as assistant for the head of the artist agency Chimperator Live GmbH, who are in charge for some Top10 charting artists from Germany like CRO, Bausa or Namika.
This interview is held in German language. Therefore, we prepared the videos with subtitles which you can enable in the YouTube player. Additionally to the subtitles, you can read the full transcript of the interview below.
Hello Asli, thank you for being here today and finding time for us. Please introduce yourself briefly to our viewers.
I am Asli, I am 24 years old. I am currently studying the Master in “Music and Creative Industries” in Mannheim at the Popakademie. Before that I did my bachelor’s degree in Stuttgart - that’s where I come from - at the Hochschule für Medien in Medienwirtschaft. In this context I did an internship at Universal in the A&R area. There I got stuck, extended my internship and slipped into the digital sector. I sort of slipped from one to the other. That’s how I came to Spinnup, a distribution platform for unsigned artists, where I’ve been a talent scout for two years. After my extended internship I returned to Stuttgart and worked for two years at Chimperator Live as booking assistant and management assistant. At the same time, I completed my Bachelor’s degree and immediately afterwards, in 2017, I started my Master’s degree.
1. Can you describe one of your core networking moments?
For me, how I got my job at Chimperator was actually a core moment - that came through Spinnup. We had a talent scout meeting where I met a lot of people I had never heard of or seen before. It was all so exciting. There I met a guy who comes from Tübingen and who is in good contact with the Chimperator boys. I told him that I was going back to Stuttgart to see where I could find shelter and what I could do. I came in through this conversation at Chimperator. He connected me with the guys, I applied and got a job! That was definitely a core moment for me.
2. Why do you think networking in the music industry is so important?
Why networking is still important, especially in the music industry… There are actually few people who combine all competences, e.g. to make a signing, to bring out an album with video, promo and marketing - everything you need in the context of music releases. Also booking and publishing and such things… You simply have few people who can do everything. If one at all! And that’s why you need networking. You have to get to know the people, you have to be able to put together a team, you have to be able to make the right decisions. Artists may not match the people they’re supposed to work with, but they do match the people you met at the Reeperbahn Festival or at the Pop Academy. There are many different options and you need the right people for the different options. That’s why networking is so important.
3. Have you ever encountered challenges or obstacles while networking?
In any case, there are challenges or obstacles to networking. That’s a totally personal thing for now. For me personally, the mood has to be right first. If I come to an event in a shitty mood or if I am somewhere where people are not so interesting, then it can get in my way if the mood doesn’t fit or you don’t feel like it… Even if the conversation doesn’t get off to a good start and you don’t really get along with the person but would actually like to work with them…What helps is if you go to an event together with other people and thus move in a looser round. What could be a problem, however, is if you stay too much in your comfort zone and then certainly don’t go out. That’s a very narrow degree - you should take it easy but not too easy. Then you would be unnecessarily on the network event if you weren’t networked at all.
4. Do you think networking takes place “online” more often than “offline”?
Well, not on me. Sure, you make contact with people online. Whether you know them or not. But networking mainly takes place at events like the Reeperbahn Festival, Future Music Camp, even parties and things like that… They are much more useful than just writing to people. I’d rather meet people than just write to them. Mimic and gestures are also important to me, this getting to know each other. You have to take care of both, but personal contact comes first.
5. Do you have tips on how to overcome your inhibitions to networking?
I think you can practice breaking down inhibitions. If you really prepare for the events. You usually know in advance who will be there. One can inform oneself about the persons, one can inform oneself about projects, which run there up-to-date, and prepare oneself simply for it: Who am I talking to? Do I know people who have talked to this person before? You can also practice getting into a conversation - even if it sounds disgusting - you can formulate who you are and what you can, people don’t listen to you all the time. You actually have a maximum of 20-30 seconds to convince a person of yourself, that’s the first impression. And you can practice that.
6. The boundaries between work and private life on all platforms and social media channels are becoming increasingly blurred in times of digitalization. Do you find the separation of professional and private difficult? And in your opinion, is it even possible to separate this in the music industry?
I find the separation between private and professional contacts in social media..mh..I don’t know if I find it really difficult or not. It’s an active decision how close you let people get to you. When you get to know people professionally who are friends on Facebook..or following Instagram and things like that..you get to know so many personal things there that it feels like a private contact. Then you just have to be aware that maybe it’s not like you can’t just write to the person: “Yo, what’s up?” You have to stay a little more formal. I think one should be able to separate this, but yes, the borders are completely blurred in any case. You usually don’t even remember where you met people who show up in your feed. But you just have to try to keep the overview yourself.
7. How do you take care of your contacts? Do you have any system or tool to organize your contacts?
I don’t have such a tool, but it would actually be quite good. Otherwise I am very much on the go on social media and almost always get to know who is doing what where and how he is involved. If that interests me or if I have something interesting for the person or the other way around - if there somehow a bond comes about, then I just contact about it or even by telephone or email, if available. This is of course ´ne great opportunity, if you can write to people online already. Contact maintenance? Rarely. When I think of people, when there are personal stories at all, when I simply met people at an event without actually exchanging personal stories, then it is difficult to maintain this contact. Then it’s more like staying tuned when you see each other again.
8. Do you have any tips for our viewers on the subject of networking?
A tip is when you have events in front of you, where there is someone you want to meet, but you realize that you are simply not capable - see the inhibitions, as I just mentioned - then it’s not bad. The person comes back or is otherwise available. You shouldn’t think so hard, not think so much about it. Authenticity and honesty always comes first for me and if someone comes to me who is also simply open and doesn’t play anything for me, then I prefer to talk to the person and I see it the other way around. I would never go to a human and tell him something faked or something. Be honest in any case! Be as you are and be prepared for everything. And as I said, practice. And smile!
All information about our blog series “The Power of Networking”:
Introductional article about our series “The Power of Networking”
Interview with Leandra Preissler - Artist Manager (Mine, Novaa)
Interview with Eva Ries - Artist Manager (RZA, Wu-Tang Clan)
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