Dan Bergman is an artist manager who has worked many years in the Australian music scene. One of his most recent projects is representing Sydney’s emerging artist Spaces. If you haven’t heard Spaces or seen the masked man play, then you need to ASAP. From promoting to generally being the life of the party, we chat with Dan about how it all came together.
Tell us what you’ve been up to lately.
Dan Bergman: I just got back from travelling around Europe, for both work and for leisure. I got the chance go back to some of my favourite locations, including Hungary, Ibiza, Berlin and Madrid to name a few. I have been working for a few people over the past 10 months. I was working for a music + art management agency called Fostered, worked for Mixmag [Lab Sydney] and focused on my own company DVVN Management.
How long have you been working for now?
DB: I have been working in the music industry for 4+ years now.
Where did it all begin for you?
DB: It all began for me when I was 16. I would hire light, sound and smoke equipment and would put on events in my home for family and friends. I would always be on the look out for music and artists through websites to find out what’s new and next. I would partake in many music events at school and also picked up a subject called ‘Entertainment’ for my final studies. Post school I went travelling to Europe for 6 months and took a particular interest in all types of music festivals, events and clubs and how people do it over there.
What was the biggest challenge of making it in the music industry?
DB: I think the biggest challenge was figuring out what avenue I wanted to follow. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I finished a Bachelor’s degree of Interior Architecture and even after 3 years of that I had no idea what pathway I wanted to go down. I knew I wanted to be involved with the music industry. It took years of dipping and dabbing into different roles to finally come to terms with what I really enjoy. I think figuring out how it all works comes with time. If your patient and proactive, then those little challenges along the way become minor.
What artists do you work with?
DB: Spaces + more to come.
How have the lockout laws impacted yours and their success?
DB: I think the lockout laws have made attending more than one event per night harder for obvious reasons, thus causing restrictions and limitations. So far it hasn’t impacted my career nor any of my artist’s careers dramatically, but the way things are turning out with our laws I fear for the future of our music industry/scene.
Who inspires you in your career and life?
DB: This might sound a bit left wing, but my artist inspires me! His dedication and passion pushes me further than I push myself. I like to surround myself with friends and colleagues who share the same interest(s) as me. I feel that I draw creative ideas and inspiration from those who are constantly around me. I am always meeting new people and everyone has a new story to share, that’s how I learn and grow too.
Are there any misconceptions people have about working in artist management?
DB: I don’t think many people really understand what an artist manager actually does for and artist. As an artist manager we are responsible for guiding and attending one’s career and growth. Some of the main tasks that I deal with on a daily basis is helping my artist promote his music through online magazines/blogs, digital distribution and interviews. I handle PR work, booking gigs, strategic promotional development, generating creative brand content and more.
Do you have any quotes that you live by?
DB: “Great things come to those who don’t wait.”
What advice would you give to other people trying to make it in music or artist management?
DB: I think its really important to be out and about, go to music festivals, events and clubs. Socialise and meet people, put yourself out there. The more contacts you make the easier it will be for you to enter the industry. That being said, you will learn more about others and yourself. Understanding all the different roles and avenues that you can go down, will make you have a clearer understanding of the path that you may want to follow. I think it’s really important to stay humble and motivated, there will be people who may knock you down but don’t let it get to you. Maintain, strengthen and grow those connections.
Where to now for Dan Bergman?
DB: I am taking my career over to the UK next week for an indefinite period of time. I plan to expand my network and grow to make a name for myself. There are some many ideas and plans that I have been working on, which are yet to be put in to play. I think moving over to the UK/Europe is most definitely an important move for me right now.