Birgitta Sunding Thorsen ~ Artista Group

Birgitta Sunding Thorsen

Birgitta Sunding Thorsen

I invited Birgitta Sunding Thorsen a.k.a. Queen Bee, CEO and Manager of the Artista Group, to give our fans insights into the music business. For those who aren’t familiar with the Artista Group, I asked Birgitta to tell us about her company: “We are a management company, which means we manage artists from around the world, mainly Europe and the United States.

What is artist management? Birgitta explained the business aspects first: “We look after the business side of the industry and product, to make sure everything is working for the artist from A to Z. We get a hold of record labels, companies to work with, artists to collaborate with and we do the booking to make sure they go on tour.”

In addition, artist management includes perfecting the artist’s image: “We look to see if the artist needs to change anything about their personality or anything about themselves as an artist, such as the genre they work in. We work on artist development, from where they start to where they want to end.”

Birgitta Sunding Thorsen has an interesting history. She’s from Denmark, and she started her artist management business while working as a trained chef: “After I finished working in the restaurant business, I got into catering. Every time I did catering for people, they would ask me to get the entertainment too.  As part of my service (I wouldn’t get paid for it), I would get whatever band or standup comedian or speaker they wanted. I did that for a very long time; and then it dawned on me, all these bookies and managers are earning money with the artists that I’m getting them jobs for. I had all these contacts. So, I decided the next time a client asked for one of my artists to come, I’m just going to call him or her myself. So I did.”

She was getting the artists so much work that one day, one of those artists called asked Birgitta to be their manager: “I thought, I’m doing food, can I do this? I thought, yes, let’s do this! I started with one artist. People kept calling and, all of a sudden, I had 11 people employed. This was about 15 years ago, and here I am.”

Birgitta Sunding Thorsen singingBirgitta shared what the music industry looks for in new recording artists: “The general business industry for music artists wants you to be under 25 when you start. They want you to have a model look. They want you to have an appealing personality, be bubbly and have total stage control. They want you to be totally hip. Nowadays, people are very, very visual.”

What attributes does Birgitta look for in an artist? “I think it’s more about the artist and what the artist does. It’s about their music. When I first start with a new artist, I look at whether or not they have a voice. Do they have something that you as an audience would love? Then we look at the artist as a whole package. In my world, artists don’t have to look like a model; but they have to have that ‘It Factor.’ I imagine them on a stage or on TV or in a music video. It all has to be appealing to the audience. As we work with the artist, we cut off the corners that don’t fit into the box. We look at the whole product rather than only the visual.”

That’s great news for talented recording artists over 25. “The Artista Group has become the one you can come to if you are over 25, even if you’re 40. We have quite a few artists who’ve been around for a while with airplay. Some have been touring. We have one artist who toured with his band for 25 years and who’s now going solo. Like Mother Teresa, we just want to give people a chance.”

I asked Queen Bee what questions an artist should ask himself or herself before deciding to seek out management representation in lieu of remaining independent. “Look in the mirror and ask, ‘Do I really have the quality to apply for management?’ You have to think you have the next it thing and that you are worth all the effort from a manager. Be honest with yourself. Are you the next White Snake or Michael Jackson? This may sound rude when I say that you may be good enough to play at somebody’s wedding or sixteenth birthday or pub crawling, but that doesn’t mean that you have recording quality or the quality to tour. And that’s OK.”

Birgitta Sunding Thorsen at MIM AwardsSo, if you honestly look into yourself and your music and you do think that you could be the next big thing, what do you do? “Call us or call another management company and see if you have the quality. Send your profile, EPK, music and pictures, anything that you can use as a pitch to management.”

I met Birgitta Sunding Thorsen on social media. Not all artists are active on social media, and I wanted her opinion about the importance of social media to an artist’s music career: “Social media has become a way to promote yourself and to connect with people. I ask all our artists to be on social media. I try to get them on all the social media sites that the Artista Group is on, because we can help them as an individual or band. The artist needs to get involved, because that’s what the fans want. People are happy when the artist is down to earth, acts like a normal person and answers questions. Fans feel that whatever money they spend on records and downloads and concert tickets and tee shirts is worth it when they get something personal back. It’s very, very, very important.”

If any Amused Now artists feel they are the next big thing, don’t hesitate to contact Queen Bee. She’s fantastic. Her contact information is below.

The Amused Now Featured Artist Series

Birgitta Sunding Thorsen Lets RockBirgitta Sunding Thorsen a.k.a Queen Bee of the Artista Group

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now