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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Interview with Andreana M. CEO/Founder of The East/West Sound

 


- Thank you for taking the time to speak with us - may we begin with a brief introduction?

Hello my name is Andreana M.. I am CEO and founder of The East/West Sound and US manager/global promoter of the band Galaxy 7!

- When were you introduced to the Japanese Rock/Visual Kei scene – and by what band?

I was first introduced back in 2006 when I discovered L'Arc~en~Ciel while watching Full Metal Alchemist and hearing "Ready, Steady, Go" during the closing credits.

- You've recently launched your new company, The East/West Sound - what can music lovers look forward to?

Seeing a lot of very unknown bands! The main focus of the company is about helping promote the lesser known bands of Asia.

- The East/West Sound manages and promotes Galaxy 7 – tell us more about this artist and why you feel he will be a great success in the US.

Galaxy 7 is an electro-rock band from Tokyo, Japan. They were created by vocalist/guitarist Daisuke Tsutsui. Why I think they would be a great success in America is because their not your typical JRock band. Their sound and style is very unique and stands out rather than blends in with so many others. In America it's all about being unique, when you do things differently than what is considered “the norm" everyone notices. I think once their name and sound gets around more people will catch on and really enjoy them!

- The East/West Sound promotes more obscure bands from Asia, what drew you to Asia rather than another country?

I grew up my entire life listening to various types of American, European and everything in-between styles of music but I never really heard Asian music aside from Carnatic and Hindustani (traditional music of India). As a huge life long lover of music I’ve always taken great pride in listening to music from all over the world and so it was only fitting that I do the same for Asian when I was finally introduced to Japanese Rock.

- Tell us more about your history in promoting Japanese Rock in the United States – how long have you been doing this?

I’ve been promoting Japanese Rock for going on 6 years since 2006. The same year I got interested in it. But I’ve been working in music in general for going on 10 years. I worked in the American Hip-Hop industry for 3 years.

I got my start as a researcher/profiler for various Asian music web sites, I used to search the internet for information on bands and write profiles about them. I did this for a few years but after awhile I began to get bored with it. I also started to realize there were only so many ways you can re-write a bands biography before you start plagiarizing someone else’s work. And not only that but most of the web sites I was working for wanted to focus on highlighting the very popular bands and it quickly became redundant when you saw slightly different variations of their biographies on 10 other web sites. Bands histories don't change that fast and when it does everyone’s already written about it.

So then I took up doing interviews which I still do today. And from there I gained interest in being a promoter and started a promotional company in January of 2009 called Kanzen ni Jrock which I recently parted ways with. Then about 3 months ago I became a band manager for the first time. I guess you can say I’ve done it all minus a few things.

- What have been some of the highlights in your career thus far?

The first would be getting to work with legends... And by that I mean the very first original Visual Kei artists from back in the early 1980s when I was just a little girl and most of today's Visual Kei fans weren't even born yet. Unforgettable memories!

Starting The East/West Sound is the second highlight of my career. When I decided on my own to go totally solo and start another company from the ground up I knew I was ready to use all I had learned over the years and put it all into fruition in ways I never could or knew how to before.

- What would you consider the hardest part of your job – or the most unexpected challenge?

It's all a challenge, everything I do! None of it is easy and it is very unexpected. But I love it and I wouldn't have it any other way. The day it all becomes easy and there are no more surprises is the day it's time for me to retire but I don't see that happening HAHA! I always think to myself when i'm 90 I will still be going strong at this.

- Is there one trait that you believe is crucial to being a successful promoter or manager?

For promoters: Know how to be convincing. If you don't know how to attract someone's attention than they won't pay much attention to you.

For managers: I'm still very new to this as I've only been one for a few months but so far I have learned that you have to be selfless. It's not about you or your image, it's about the band and you have to think about their wants, needs and what works best for them. Because they’re the ones who are going to be seen and heard by the world, not you. You need to make sure their comfortable with what ever situation you put them in. Be it on a stage in front of crowd or in a magazine. Communication is one of the most important factors in being a manager. Without it, it can make the relationship between you both extremely difficult.

- What is the biggest change you've noticed in the music industry since becoming a promoter?

I've seen a rapid decrease in fan interest... It pains me to say that but it's the truth. But at the same time I understand part of the reason why this is. A lot of fans are teenagers and their tastes change like night and day and they lose interest fast when something else that catches their eye comes along. I am seeing more older adults who are in their late 30's to there early 40's becoming interested in the music though.

- Name five artists/bands who you highly recommend?

Definitely Galaxy 7 especially if you are into the electronic/DJ style of music! If you want to experience some underground check out BUGY CRAXONE. If you want something more "old school" check out legendary band DEAD END's earlier work from the 1980's, awesome stuff!!! Take an adventure outside of Japan and head on over to Hong Kong for the Visual Rock style of ParanoiD. And if you’re into Pop make a stop in Thailand and check out the brotherly duo Golf-Mike! They sing in Thai, Japanese and English.

- Could you leave a closing message for our readers?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Though my company is just starting out and not much seems to be happening right now I am working hard on some really great things that will be popping up soon so be on the lookout for them!




Stay up to date with what's happening at The East/West Sound!

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[author] [author_image timthumb='off']http://www.visual-keios.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ARThomas.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]

 

This interview with Andreana M. was conducted by Alicia R. Thomas (ARThomas)

 

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