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FRIENDSHIP BEHIND THE SCENES

Aktualisiert: Okt 7

Carolina Martin, Carla Porta, and Julia Ugarte are three Argentinean friends who met over a decade ago behind the scenes of the music industry. Today, they each work within their respective music industry giant - Spotify, Sony Music Argentina, and DALE PLAY Records -three of the leading corporations in the Latin American music market. We talked to them!


Carla Porta, Carolina Martin & Julia Ugarte

The Argentinian music industry is a good example of equality within the scene. As publicist Gaby Sisti told us in a previous interview, the number of women working behind the artists in areas such as production, press, marketing, among others that differ from technical issues, is higher than their male colleagues. The diversity behind the scenes in a constantly creative industry like this, makes people reinvent themselves all the time, even sometimes establishing it as a rule but without making it an obligation.


In a way, this becomes the door to a world of acceptance and free entry to new ideas from anyone working in the field. Thus, the scene becomes more vibrant and colorful than ever before with each passing day. People recognize each other's strengths and are ready to talk. Like Caro, Carla, and Julia, three friends who met while working in the industry a long time ago, and who today are part of those women who with effort and passion for their work have risen to the top of the Argentine music scene. We had the opportunity to talk to them for a joint interview.


CAROLINA MARTIN

Company: Spotify

Job:  Artist & Label Partnerships South Cone

Years active: 2000- present

Artists & Label Partnership of Spotify South Cone

Tell us your story and the work you've done in the music industry.

I started working in music in 2000. My first job was as an unpaid content writer for the site Rock Under, a website dedicated to spreading the word about underground bands. I was getting a degree in Social Communication and wanted to work in the music field, which of course I was passionate about, so I wrote to the creator of the site and my enthusiasm was big enough to score the position. It was an interesting set-up: I would get credit for shows of bands that I liked, I had the opportunity to interview them, write reviews of shows, record reviews, I could listen to new artists. It was a very interesting first step that allowed me to have an overview of the local independent scene from the inside. Then in 2003, I was part of a team that was developing the first digital music shop in MP3 format for Latin America but the project did not prosper. Soon after, the opportunity arose to join Delanuca Records, a US label that had opened offices in Buenos Aires, as a marketing and physical sales assistant where I worked with artists from all over Latin America who were distributed in the US. In 2008, I started working at Warner Music in the area of press and promotion, after 8 years I went to Sony Music in the position of product manager. Currently, and since a year ago, I'm part of the Music Team South Cone in Spotify performing my role as an Artists & Label Partnership.


What's your favorite part of your job and what are the biggest challenges you face?

My main function is to be in contact with artists, labels, and distributors and to support them so that they can have the best experience within the platform by sharing news and best practices that allow them to fully understand the information that Spotify provides to optimize their digital strategies. We are also aware of priority releases from both mainstream and emerging artists and identify opportunities to develop all kinds of initiatives, including women's initiatives. My favorite part of my job is being able to fully enjoy all the music and being able to apply my experience and creativity to make a positive impact on the local industry. I am very happy to be part of Spotify because I feel fully identified with its mission and values: to give millions of creators the opportunity to live from their art and billions of fans the chance to enjoy and be inspired by it.


"A few years ago, thanks to the strength of the feminist movement in our country and in the world, the situation of inequality began to change".

Have there been situations where you were not taken seriously because you are a woman?


During my 20-year career in the music industry, I went through all kinds of gender inequality expressed in discrimination, the salary gap, lack of visibility, and abuse of power. A few years ago, thanks to the strength of the feminist movement in our country and in the world, this situation began to change. Women are united, we support each other, we feel empowered, and although there is still a long way to go, I am happy that many of my colleagues no longer have to go through such gross situations of inequality and abuse as I suffered, especially in the first part of my career in the industry.



Carolina Martin

Where do you think is the music industry headed in the years to come?

The ways in which we discover and consume music change and improve every day. Technology changes rapidly and expands the possibilities for promotion and content creators can connect with their fans on a more personal level. Musical diversity, collaborations, support programs for emerging artists, and local and regional women's initiatives all provide an exciting backdrop to the industry.


What is Equality Empowerment for you?

For me, equality empowerment is represented in the existence of laws and private and public spaces that really promote and execute the role of women in the music sector in order to be able to participate in terms of equal access to resources, recognition, and decision-making.


"I think it is fundamental that women in the music industry in Latin America continue to unite and work to achieve visibility for our contribution to the industry".

How do you feel the parameters of equality behind the scenes in the Latin industry in general?

I feel that we are at the beginning of a path towards equality in a world where historically, we were relegated to a secondary position. Not only on stage, but also in the office, the recording studio, and backstage. I think it is fundamental that women in the music industry in Latin America continue to unite and work to achieve visibility for our contribution to the industry in order to be able, in the future, to guarantee equal representation of professional women in the different areas of the sector.


How do you feel about gender relations in your working environment?

Equality in the workplace is a priority in my life today. I have the privilege of working in a company where equality in the workplace exists and I am proud to be surrounded by so much female talent, creative women from whom I have much to admire and continue to learn from.



JULIA UGARTE

Company: Dale Play Records

Job: Marketing and Promotions Manager / personal manager

Years active: 2006 - present


Julia Ugarte Marketing in Dale Play Records

Tell us your story and the work you've done in the music industry.

I started working with music after I stopped studying medicine, social communication, and when I also dropped out of tourism. I took a year to "see what I wanted to do" and that's when I started. First, around 2003, as a set designer for independent bands of friends. Then, I moved on to production. At that time, I was so passionate about audiovisual production so I started to study integral audiovisual production. While I was studying, my work in the music world grew, with more responsibilities. The summer tours arrived and I worked on tour, selling merchandise, or whatever was needed. At the same time, I was taking pictures of the shows, doing backstage, and also designing flyers, stickers, etc. Other bands added to the work request and I even became the manager of a tango trio for a few months. In 2006, a proposal came to me and I started working as a press assistant for several bands. We can say that this was my first job in the music industry. At least the most formal one. It was the time when envelopes with records, with printed newsletters, were taken to hand-delivered. In 2007 I started working at MTV and as an assistant to the music and artistic talent department. In 2008, I started working on “Quiero Música”, where my main task was to carry out the channel's core program, “Los 15 Mejores”. Beyond this, I was involved in specials, sections, and other things within the channel. For 7 years I was the executive producer of this program. Then, in 2016 I left that show to become a responsible producer for the signal news show. In 2019 I made the decision that it was time to change jobs. I'm currently working leading marketing for the DALE PLAY Records label. Additionally, I'm the personal manager of Bizarrap the Argentinean producer and artist.

"I'm lucky to be able to do what I love. My search generated a lot of effort, but I found it, because I looked where there was passion, in music".

What's your favorite part of your job and what are the biggest challenges you face?

I have a lot of favorite parts. Besides the fact of working with music, I think the challenge, which is also the best part is to get into every artist's world and try to get creative and lead the concept about the release. And of course, teamwork is essential. There’s no other way. Another challenge is that this is a work that is not taught anywhere. I’ve learned what I know from more than 15 years of experience and is not something you can achieve with a career. That's the funniest thing about what we do. There is no school. So, I think every day is a day to learn something new. And I also enjoy that, very much.

And there is no doubt, at least for me, that it is a job that cannot be done without passion. There are no timetables, no formulas. Always, at least in my experience, the good vibes must characterize a space where the most important thing is creativity.


Have there been situations where you were not taken seriously because you are a woman?

I think that in the last years we have allowed ourselves to take off the veil that we had of "things as they are", realizing that those things that we became to perceive as normal were wrong. I was part of that great number of women that realized many situations that for a long time we tolerated or thought as normal when they were not. Yes, of course, I have had to live situations. But I also always considered myself a strong woman with character and with the ability to fight for my space, to defend it, to insist. I think those people underestimating women, most of them men, tend to do it with the quieter ones, those who will feel they cannot tell anyone, or say nothing. Little by little, things are changing, and that fewer and fewer women are keeping their mouths shut, and I think that this could make some people be a little afraid.



Julia Ugarte

Where do you think is the music industry headed in the years to come?

I believe that, even more so with this pandemic-quarantine situation, the direction is digital. Similar to the scenario we are already experiencing, but in a more accentuated way. And I am convinced that this world-wide confinement that we are going through leaves globalization even more exposed. We don't release a song for your region, you release it for the world. I feel that the regions have become even more blurred. We are in an era that is more global than ever, and today you can reach the world from your bedroom. In the same way that many things have changed, the work in the music industry has become super demanding, at the same time it’s probed that today, you can work from home achieving the objectives in the same way as from an office. That makes an impact, that generates a change, it is inevitable. With this worldwide projection, I think it’s going to increase, even more, the Collabs and the intentions of conquering new regions.


How do you feel the parameters of equality behind the scenes in the Latin industry in general?

I think everyone, every day we are re-educating ourselves. I work with an environment of people who I feel are respectful of equality. Sometimes I feel a controversy because it seems to me that it is a bit of marketing around “Equality in the Latin Industry” as something fashionable. However, this offers new spaces, visibility. I see more and more seminars by women in the music industry, more space for women (not yet enough), and more women who are encouraged to go to the front. I think about young men, they think differently, just as they find it hard to accept gender divisions in the music industry and that debate is already in check, the thinking of the male feminine as a rivalry is much more blurred. Change is underway, it has been taking time but it is happening.


How do you feel about gender relations in your working environment?

For me, equality must be assumed as such. It doesn't make sense not to take it for granted. I never believed less than the men around me and I think it's important to act accordingly. Empowerment starts in the head and then moves to the attitudes that one has or how one performs. I have found myself in situations where I have needed to dialogue with myself to get into that state that I call "mental empowerment" to make sure that my argument is ok and to go with conviction. You don't have to feel less than anyone else. At the end of the day, hard workers are exactly that. They are not men; they are not women. I believe that with respect one can say anything. I think the industry is used to being a small table of gentlemen. It’s true that the percentage of women occupying leadership positions in the industry is much smaller than that of men, little by little it is growing and becoming larger.



CARLA PORTA

Company: Sony Music Argentina

Job: Promotion Manager

Years active: 2007 - present


Promotion Manager Sony Music Argentina

Tell us your story and the work you've done in the music industry.

I started working in " Los 40 Principales" when I was studying journalism at TEA in 2007. My first step in the industry was through an internship. Once I became effective I started as a producer and then I went on to become a radio musician and also did some work for Radio Continental. Then I worked at Radio One as the producer of the first morning, of "Morning Time" and at Radio Ciudad doing "Proyecto Sonoria" a program dedicated exclusively to the music of new artists. At that time I was called by Sony Music Argentina where I started to work as a Marketing Coordinator and since two years ago I am the Promotion Manager. My work consists of leading a team that is responsible for the promotion of Sony Music's edges (national and international) in traditional media such as Radio, TV, and print media. From the release of a single, a video clip, an album, interviews, participation in special events. In Argentina, the team is formed by broadcasters in different parts of the country and a nucleus based in the offices of Buenos Aires. In the Southern Cone, there are local teams in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. I'm in charge of developing the strategy and doing the follow-up in these territories. Chile has a local Sony Music team.


What's your favorite part of your job and what are the biggest challenges you face?

My favorite part is the creative one, when we can do innovative actions, generate new content from another side. It's also great to be able to work with teams from different media. Sharing work, working together is the most important part of my job.

For me, it was a great pleasure when we could start with "Mas musica mas emocion", our own podcast. I believe that the biggest challenges are related in the first place to managing a very large and varied team and people, and on the other hand, to make a difference in order to achieve the objectives and to recreate ourselves, the search for the "different" is always a challenge. We work with very talented artists, with very varied content and we always try to live up to them.


Carla Porta

Have there been situations where you were not taken seriously because you are a woman?

I consider that my ideas and thoughts were always heard and taken into account.

Within the team I am part of it does not matter if you are a man or a woman, you are a person, and we all respect and value each other.


Where do you think is the music industry headed in the years to come? What is Equality Empowerment for you?

I think it is the industry that is transforming and adapting to new platforms and possibilities the fastest. Every day there is something new to learn, music is a universal language without borders and that is one of the things I like most. I see a more democratized future for all artists, much more globalized music consumption and I think that is the great potential for gender equality in the industry.


How do you feel the parameters of equality behind the scenes in the Latin industry in general?

I'm very happy to see that in the industry there are more and more women in general. At least from my position at Sony, where we are connecting with teams from different countries in the region, I see that in all territories there are many women working and in many cases with hierarchical positions.


How do you feel about gender relations in your working environment?

It has total importance. I believe that the most important thing is equal opportunities, equal rights, and also respect for others.


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