For the first time ever, we had someone joining the team with a background in the hotel industry. Hotel school student Rutger Maas turned out to be an enthusiastic music lover who fit in perfectly with the Gigstarter team. We asked him about the expansion of Gigstarter in the UK, tips for artists and whether or not he will remain active in the music industry!
What was your role at Gigstarter in recent months?
'I was the Community Manager of the UK for the past six months. I interviewed artists, wrote articles and helped artists with their Gigstarter profiles. In addition, I was constantly looking for possible new partners, which is how I met a lot of great people. I also worked on behalf of Gigstarter for the local Red Light Jazz Festival in Amsterdam, which was a weekend filled with live jazz music. I had a blast!'
Rutger Maas at the Gigstarter office
You study at the Hotel school in Maastricht, a completely different field. Why the interest in the music industry?
'That's right! It really is a totally different sector. I am a musician myself and have performed a lot during my studies, which sparked my interest for the music industry. Lugging around speakers, dealing with all the stress and the adrenaline - I live for that stuff. I wanted to dive into the industry to learn more about what happens behind the scenes and in what way I could be a part of that. Gigstarter helped me a lot; there was a huge world behind the artists that I didn't know about.'
What differences do you notice between the hotel world and the music industry?
'The biggest difference is the background of the people. In the hotel industry you find a lot of people from all kinds of Hotel schools, while people in the music industry all have different backgrounds. This means that everyone you meet has a completely different background, but has the same passion for making music. Everyone seems to find their own way of doing so. The similarity between the two fields is that everyone in both industries is willing to work hard for their passion.'
In recent months you focused on the expansion of Gigstarter in the UK. Can you tell us more about that?
'The expansion was one of the main focus points of my internship. I was hard at work to get in touch with British radio stations, artists and all other players in the industry. As a result, I have managed to build up a good network of people with whom I will continue to keep in touch after my internship. I also wrote a few articles about artists who had interesting stories to tell.'
Nashville Across Borders
What was a highlight for you during your internship?
'That's the Nashville Across Borders event, without a doubt. Three American singer-songwriters (and one Dutch one) were flown in to talk about the music they had written for great American country artists. I organised the event together with Dean of Amsterdam Music Project and together we put together a really cool evening. Since I also have a weakness for American country music, I had an amazing time.'
You have helped many artists over the past six months. What important tip would you like to give Gigstarter artists?
'Pay a lot of attention to your introduction text. Make sure you talk about what kind of music you make and what kind of events you have already performed at. A programmer once told me how she would go crazy whenever she read about a band who introduced themselves by saying 'how all the band members had been friends since high school.' Be professional and to the point.'
Which artist on Gigstarter would you like to highlight?
'That would be VELVELA. They describe themselves as 'a lean mean rock machine with a barbaric fuzz rock vision powered by animalistic, howling vocals and menacing riffs.' I wouldn't be able to say it any better. Check out their single PROWL below - it's awesome.'V E L V E L A - PROWL [Official Video]
What are your plans after your studies?
'To fully embody the music industry! The first plans are collaborations with Amsterdam Music Project, where I'll be organising events, and the British band Crooked Little Sons, for whom I am going to do try and program a few gigs. I am also in touch with another band that can use an extra pair of hands. I definitely don't miss the hotel industry yet ;)'
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