Your Record Company, Your Neighbour, interview with Nicolaj Hyltén-Cavallius, DUP & Artiscope

Nicolaj Hyltén-Cavallius – chairman of DUP / Danish Independent Record Labels – is a man with a mission. He wants to modernize the record industry and kill off the myth that it is dominated by greedy, brain-dead speculators.

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“These days, record companies are very much populated by energetic enthusiasts, and we have to get that message across better. I hope we will be able to convince music consumers to think of record companies as a kind of neighbour – something close to their everyday lives – rather than as remote multinationals and  speculators who fritter away fortunes on the high life.” So says Nicolaj Hyltén-Cavallius, record company director – or, in his own words, “music company director”. His label, Artiscope Music, is small and the primary driving force is sheer enthusiasm. Artiscope is one of Denmark’s many indie companies, and Nicolaj also chairs DUP (Danske Uafhængige Pladeselskaber/Danish Independent Record Labels).

OLD MACDONALD’S RECORD COMPANY
Hyltén-Cavallius believes that the myth of the greedy and cynical record company is so tenacious that a lot of music fans download music illegally without any qualms. “But in reality that’s a bit like chancing upon a  roadside fruit stall on a drive in the countryside. You fancy some strawberries and a sign asks you to put money in a tin. Who’d take a couple of punnets and not pay?! Surely everybody agrees that it’d be dishonest, and definitely not cool. And yet a lot of people think they can cheat record companies by downloading illegally because they think labels are ‘cynical multinational companies’ run by greedy misers. It’s a load of rubbish, of course. It’s exactly the same as cheating the farmer – so many labels are run by enthusiasts, hard-working everyday folks with bills to pay. We need to change attitudes.”

SPOILED BY SUCCESS
Hyltén-Cavallius also has other ambitions in his role as chair of DUP. “We need a greater degree of professionalisation in the music industry. In the past, people who sold a lot of records had a tendency to be a little bit spoiled by their success. Many of the folk who worked in the industry didn’t have much specialist knowledge about what they were dealing with. These days, with CDs selling less well, we need more properly trained people in the industry. We need people who know about market mechanisms – law, money, marketing, human resources – before they throw themselves into publishing and promoting music. In the past, it was common for musicians to move from playing gigs to sitting on the other side of the record company desk – and some of them turned out to be extremely good at the business side. But I think it would be a positive thing if there were more properly qualified people in the industry, people who also have academic theory and practical tools from higher education to draw upon. It has already started to happen in Denmark.”

PARTNERSHIP IS THE KEY
“I think the music industry still has a long way to go,” says Hyltén-Cavallius. “If you compare it with agriculture, for example, they’ve got the Danish Agricultural Council to look after the interests of their industry and to lobby opinion formers, politicians and the public. The music industry should stand up for itself more, and work harder to find common ground. Those of us who work in publishing and promoting music are very different from each other, but deep down we want the same things. We want Danish music to be heard and sold, and we want exports  to increase. MXD [Music Export Denmark, ed.] is a good initiative that’s progressing positively and harmoniously. DUP also works closely with IFPI (the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), an organisation that we think understands our situation. We must focus more on overarching objectives, and not think in terms of narrow self-interest and our own names. It’s all about branding Danish music as a whole, and in that context I think that MXD’s ‘SPOT on Denmark’ campaign is really good. We should all support it and listen to our partners abroad – who do they think are exciting? Involving the French music industry, for example, in deciding which Danish acts they think that we should support makes for a pleasant change in strategy.”

From Boom Boom Magazine #03.

Text: Anders Houmøller Thomsen
Photography: RAW Format

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4 Responses to “Your Record Company, Your Neighbour, interview with Nicolaj Hyltén-Cavallius, DUP & Artiscope”

  1. […] Your Record Company, Your Neighbour […]

  2. […] Boom Boom Magazine — Blog The Sounds & Visions of Denmark « Your Record Company, Your Neighbour, interview with Nicolaj Hyltén-Cavallius, DUP & Artisc… […]

  3. […] DISCOUNT STORES Page Thirty THE TOP TEN Page Thirty Two AMONG ANGELS & HITMEN Page Thirty Three YOUR RECORD COMPANY, YOUR NEIGHBOUR Page Thirty Four BOOM BOOM SAMPLER #03 Page Thirty Five ALBUM RELEASES Page Forty CONTACTS Page […]

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