Le’s face it ….
IT’S A DIRTY JOB…BUT SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DO IT! 🙂
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an international PR at Armada Music? Who are the guys behind all your favorite artists? And what do they do exactly?
Well we had the pleasure to have a nice chat with two of the best PRs in the business, just to quench your thirst of curiosity and we’re ready to share the juicy details!
TBA: When did you start working at Armada music?
Lisanne: I started working at Armada Music on January 2, 2017. I finished law school, but felt I needed to have more creativity in my life. I love Law and will never regret choosing it as a study, but my creative / musical heart needed attention. I worked in the entertainment business on the TV side first, but soon discovered that there is only one place that will make me happy every day: the music business. So here we are!! And to be honest, I don’t think I will ever leave the music field.. 🙂
Justine: For me, it was early 2016. I was working in fashion, but needed a change of scenery. One day, I was at this Pablo Nouvelle concert in Paradiso in Amsterdam as a fan and got overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of a certain group of people dancing in front of me. They had a great influence on the overall vibe of the crowd that night and somehow really caught my attention. At a certain point, Pablo Nouvelle announced he recently signed with Armada Music and while saying that, he pointed towards this specific group of people standing up front. It turned out they were working at Armada Music and were there to support him. You could tell they were very proud of him and enjoyed working for him, which was why I told my friend ‘I want to work there as well!!’. The day after, I sent this exact story in an open application letter to Armada and the rest is history.
TBA: Can you describe us your job?
As you know, we both work for Armada Music – currently the biggest independent electronic dance music record label, founded by Armin van Buuren, Maykel Piron and David Lewis. At the label, we represent a wide range of acts (e.g. Armin van Buuren, ARTY, Andrew Rayel, Fedde Le Grand, GoldFish, Lost Frequencies, Loud Luxury, Morgan Page, Ørjan Nilsen and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano), as well as the label itself on a PR & Promotion level.
Together with the Product Managers, we try to create a hype around the tracks that get released via the label. It’s our responsibility to put the word out there, get the tracks known and streamed as soon as possible after release. Therefore, it’s our job to arrange promo tours, (online) interviews, radio/tv visits, social media take-overs, meet & greets, contest/giveaways etc. At the end of the day, we want our releases and artist roster to grow and become well known/more popular on a global scale.
TBA: What is the most challenging part of it?
Both: The most challenging part of music PR is to create the right PR angle/story to go with a release. For us, it’s important to build on a good story to make you stand out from the huge amount of music that is being released each day.
TBA: What is the funniest part of it?
Both: Creating that story/unique angle around a release can be quite fun sometimes.. We try to collect as much information as possible beforehand about a specific release and/or artist and sometimes you’ll find out about some funny, juicy details. Apart from that, promo days and festivals are definitely the most fun as we get to go out there and build on the relationship with the artists we represent.
TBA: How is it like to rub elbows with so many big DJs ? (And did you ever get use to have Armin around?)
Lisanne: I love to spend time with the artist, because I love music. To be around people who love the same thing as much as you is always great. That is in general the thing I love most about my job. Hahaha, yes I am used to having Armin around, but always love it when he is at the office because he is such a nice and funny guy.
Justine: It’s always a challenge of course with so many DJs and tracks being released every week. But I think the most important thing here is to actually believe in the music you represent and like Lisanne already mentioned; have a passion for music in general. Being passionate about what you do definitely makes your job a whole lot easier. I think Armin is one of the best examples of someone being really passionate about his career and having him around definitely has a positive, inspiring effect on the entire team here.
TBA: A day in the life of Lisanne and Justine …. let’s go wild and tell me everything:)
Lisanne: Well, most of the days aren’t as exciting as most people think, I guess.. I get up, walk to work (with Justine) and grab a cup of coffee. Then I try to get all my e-mails sorted before lunch and make sure I have a to-do list ready for the rest of the day. The music business is a fast-moving business and things don’t always go as expected, so we need to be able to respond to this fast. Having the inbox in order makes this easier. In the summer, we have a lot of festivals in the weekend and in October, we’re obviously really busy with ADE. But most of the days are spent at the office in Amsterdam. For me, that means liters of coffee and typing my ass off.
Justine: I think Lisanne’s description is quite accurate.. spending 24/7 on our phones and computer talking to media partners, artist management, event organizers, promoters etc. and setting up meetings to discuss strategies and promo plans. Definitely no 9-to-5 job as we work with a lot of different time zones. Besides that, Lisanne and I are having a lot of one-on-one sessions where we brainstorm and try to think of new ideas/ways of promoting releases and the label in general.
TBA: ADE has just been over, how was this edition for you?
Lisanne: This was my second ADE. I was better prepared for all things that were going to happen and knew better where I got myself into. ADE is hectic, but one of the best weeks of the year for us. During the day, we have loads of meetings and we schedule a lot of press moments with our artists. During the night, we try to attend the parties or events where our artists are playing or the ones that our partners are hosting. We don’t get much sleep done during this week, but because of all the things going on and the positive vibes all around, it makes it quite easy to keep going.
Justine: I couldn’t agree more. ADE is definitely the best week of the year for me! For us it’s the perfect opportunity to meet up with everyone that we’ve been working with all year (that aren’t exactly based ‘around the corner’) and to meet new people as well. Apart from the meetings/panel talks/events/parties we attend during that week, we also organize and host the ‘Armada Invites ADE marathon’ in our very own in-office club, which is very exciting to work on as well!
TBA: You have to deal with a lot of people, artists, managers, press and so on, it requires a lot of patience, positive attitude and energy I think…. how do you keep yourself going all the time ?
Both: It really helps that we are both extremely passionate about what we do; this definitely makes things easier. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re all trying to reach the same goals here and that it’s important for us to work together to be able to achieve these goals.
Teamwork is key, and this way, we try to keep inspiring and motiving each other on a daily basis.
TBA: ASOT900 is approaching, how much are you involved in that ? And what are you gonna do?
Lisanne: ASOT900 is the biggest indoor trance festival in the world and a proud project of Armin. Because I am responsible for the promotional side of not only Armin, but all the trance acts at Armada, I will be organizing and coordinating press opportunities for all of them during this night. With it being such a big event, loads of media partners from all around the world will attend, which gives me the opportunity to build on the relationship and create promo opportunities for our artists and the A State Of Trance label. I will probably ask Justine to help me out during this night, as this is always very hectic and it never ever goes according to plan.
Justine: Like she already explained, Lisanne is in charge of all the PR & Promo around this event but like every year, I will definitely be there as well to help her coordinate and assist where needed.
TBA:Lisanne, would you tell me a secret about Justine ?
Lisanne: Hahaha! Not going to spill the beans here, but Justine has a very easy way to go undercover and sometimes uses this when it’s Sunday and she doesn’t wants to be recognized.. 😉
Justine: Hahaha, so true!
TBA: Justine, would you tell me a secret about Lisanne?
Justine: Besides her passion for electronic music, Lisanne’s guilty pleasure is listening to Dutch Folk music.
She’s attending every show, standing front row, singing along to literally every song they play, haha!
Oh and 1 more things: if you ever meet Lisanne on the dance floor, make sure to ask her about ‘The Vacuum Cleaner’. Trust me; it will be a mind-blowing experience!
Photo courtesy of Floris Heuer and Bailey Frank Hyatt