(Photo by: Stefan Antoni Jensen)
By Danna Campos
Meet Torsten Mewes, Head of Artist & Label Services of Believe Digital, a worldwide digital music distributor that has been setting the reflectors on SPOT since its beginnings. With a relaxed and friendly vibe, Torsten told us about how he sees the Aarhusian festival, as well as giving us an insight on where the Danish and other Scandinavian music scenes stand inside the digital music industry.
Can you tell us a bit about Believe Digital?
Believe Digital, today just called Believe, is a music distribution company with a worldwide network. We have 35 international offices from all relevant markets, and we have more than 400 employees based all around the world. I am from the German entity in Hamburg, and from there, we have taken care of Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries, such as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
How many years have you been collaborating with SPOT festival?
I think we have been doing this for five years, but I have personally been attending SPOT for seven or eight years now.
Which changes have you seen at SPOT since its early beginnings until now?
I think it is getting more professional and more international. One thing that has remained the same is that it offers a very welcoming environment. In here, there is never stress or a hectic ambiance. All the people are very relaxed and friendly, and every year it is like reuniting with your family for a Christmas party. I am invited to many international showcases and festivals like Eurosonic in the Netherlands and SXSW in the US, and there is just one festival I always join every year and it is SPOT festival.
So, you have pretty much seen the changes of the music industry during its digital phase. How do you think this relates to SPOT festival?
I think nowadays there are more professionals and more musicians. Today, it is way easier for a musician to get into the market, since the ways to plunge into it are not as inaccessible as they were some years ago. A lot of people can make music, record it, and distribute it by themselves. This is especially easy and true for Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden, and of course, Denmark, which are more into digital music consumption.
From afar, countries like Denmark are an example for us, because the market in Germany is more analog. Looking to Scandinavian countries make us gaze into how things are going to change in the future.
I think it is the quality of the music from the bands of Denmark that’s much better than the same line of festivals in Germany or Switzerland. SPOT is a festival that sets the foundations of young musicians. Even if some of the bands are not my style of music, I can truly judge the quality, and in here it is always pretty high.
Any interesting music acts you have seen during this edition at SPOT?
Of course! There is Blondage, Velvet Volume, and D/troit. I’m a huge fan!