Jan Sneum (Denmark)
Jan is a true radio legend both on and off the air – he has worked for a variety of different radio stations over a career that spans more than 40 years. As Doctor Demo he discovered a great many local music talents and he was also chairman of the EBU expert group, EuroSonic. As he puts it himself – he’s more a fan and music lover than a cool professional. In any case, Jan’s expertise draws on many years of personal experience with music bands and artists.
What would be your advice for emerging musicians who want to make it abroad?
To make it abroad, you have to start all over. You might have to play for an audience who knows nothing about you, your music, your status at home, etc. Put yourself out there on stage. Address yourself to the audience... Know where you are... At least pretend that it’s a pleasure playing in the here and now... Don’t experiment too much on those first showcase tours. Just do what you know you’re really good at. Play songs that you love to play – even if they’re regarded as “old” at home – but if those songs have brought you an audience at home they might bring you an audience abroad. Be willing to meet the press – even if it’s a lonely journalist who just happens to love what he’s just heard. Think about good stories. If you have merchandise to sell – go and sell it yourself right after the show... You’ll very often get some feedback from a local audience that might be of value to you. If you’ve got a newsletter let people sign up at the venue...You never know…You might come back some day and have put those e-mails of your future local fans to good use.
Have you ever won any competition? And are you a competitive person?
No. And especially when it comes to music I don’t like competitions... Of course someone – you, me, or someone else has to make selections – like when you shop for dinner and go for fish or meat or something else – but how can you compete in music? Is heavy metal better than garage? But maybe I’m just not a competitive kind...
Have you ever played in a band, solo or as a DJ?
No. Never in a band or as a solo artist. DJ (nearly) only on air during broadcast... Sorry.