STIM interview with Roxette manager Marie Dimberg

As we informed you about it in October, Marie Dimberg was awarded the Swedish Government’s Honorary award for a lifetime achievement of Music Export. Now STIM (Swedish Performing Rights Society) did an interview with Marie, founder of Dimberg Jernberg Management, who besides Roxette, Per Gessle and Gyllene Tider represents several other great Swedish artists.

STIM’s first question to Marie was how she started working with music. Marie tells she has always been interested in music, but when she moved back to Sweden in 1982 after a period in Brighton (where the music scene flourished before), a lot started to happen with Swedish music. She went to a lot of concerts, hung out at the Ritz and bought records at Gamla stan’s record store. Music became a lifestyle and something she wanted to work with. She says her first job in the industry was as CEO secretary for Rolf Nygren at EMI. A year later, she was promoted to PR manager for Swedish and international artists and she started working with, among others, Per Gessle, Marie Fredriksson, Ulf Lundell, Jakob Hellman, Eldkvarn, Wilmer X. On the international side, she worked with artists like David Bowie, Tina Turner, Queen, Diana Ross and Paul McCartney and eventually Blur, Radiohead, Pet Shop Boys and many more.

STIM is curious why Marie moved to London 10 years later. Marie tells it was because of Roxette’s big breakthrough. She was assigned as Vice President International at EMI in London. She went to a lot of trainings and they sent her there to work on Parlophone and Capitol, which meant that she didn’t work with Roxette during that time. When Marie returned to EMI in Sweden, she became marketing director and had 22 people who reported to her, but this way she got further away from the artists.

When Marie came back to Sweden, she started her own management. She wanted to get closer to the music again and her experience from London made her dare. There were hardly any managements in Sweden during that period (1997). Roxette and Peter Jöback were the first ones she signed.

STIM asks Marie what she thinks has contributed to the fact that she has been working with both Roxette and Peter Jöback for so long. Marie thinks it’s because they have more or less grown up in the industry together. Her job has always been like a lifestyle for her that she prioritized. You either grow apart or you grow together, as in all relationships, Marie adds. Being an artist is the world’s loneliest job and therefore you need someone who stands there and applauds when things are going well and is there when things are going badly. In addition, you learn a lot from each other.

STIM is curious about what the biggest difference is between working in the music industry now vs. 20-30 years ago. Marie tells it’s easier to make music today because the technology has developed so much, but at the same time it’s harder to break through because so much music is made. There are greater opportunities for exposure today, but in the past it was easier to break through because the channels were fewer. At that time they toured to promote their record because they sold so many records, today it is the other way around. Today you release music so that you can tour.

STIM asks Marie what makes her a good manager. Ms. Dimberg says she is steady, extremely loyal and takes care of good communication. She thinks it’s important to be able to communicate with and to an artist. You have to be a team when you work together and have both long-term and short-term goals. There will always be steps along the way that you will like differently, but the artist’s vision should always be first. Marie Dimberg will never forget a moment when once Marie Fredriksson left the stage after a gig and Ms. Dimberg burst out in “How good it was! But…” and then Marie F. interrupted Marie D. and said: “You never say BUT immediately when someone leaves the stage.” Since then, Marie D. never gives criticism immediately after someone has performed, but then they have to talk through it later.

STIM asks if their is any magic formula for an artist break-through. Marie usually says that it’s the four T’s [in Swedish all words start with T /PP] – luck, timing, talent and teamwork. It’s very difficult to break through and have a hit, but it’s almost even harder to follow up and create more hits.

STIM is curious about what has been the most instructive period of Marie’s career so far. Ms. Dimberg says she was trained at EMI and the climate there was very good. It was made clear very early that they worked for the artists and not for themselves. Kjell Andersson (EMI) used to say that you must prove that you deserve to have an opinion. Marie thinks it’s a very good saying because many people just say things out without thinking them through.

If Marie had to do something differently in her career, she would have been paid more and insisted more in certain situations. The latter requires that you pursue a case and not fight for that matter: “be confident, not cocky”, that’s a big difference, Marie says.

Regarding future happenings at Dimberg Jernberg Management, Marie tells STIM that they make plans, but they are flexible due to the current situation. Ana Diaz is their latest signing, Molly Hammar just released a smash hit, “Douchebag”, Per Gessle is in the studio and recording in English right now, their Danish pop prince, Christopher comes with hit after hit, Peter Jöback turns 50 this year and they will celebrate it in every possible way. Loney Dear has just released “Trifles”, which Marie thinks is fantastic and his album will be out on 26th March.

Roxette’s long-time manager Marie Dimberg receives Honorary award for Swedish Music Export

As we posted about it yesterday, at a ceremony at the Swedish Department of Foreign Affairs, Marie Dimberg was awarded the Swedish Government’s Honorary award for a lifetime achievement of Music Export.

Marie Dimberg says she was very surprised, honoured and happy when chairman of the jury for this called her quite some time ago – actually the day after Marie Fredriksson’s passing.

She tells:

My work has always been more of a lifestyle than an actual job. It’s impossible to describe the feeling of being at a Roxette concert in e.g. Johannesburg and the crowd of 50-60.000 people sing a long in a song written in small town Halmstad. Or to be part of a dream come true when Peter Jöback enters the stage on Broadway as Phantom of the Opera, one of the world’s most iconic roles. To see Agnes’ ”Release Me” climb the charts and a star is born. To hear Peter Gabriel praise Loney Dear and his incredible talent. I’ve had the privilege to be part of all of this and so much more. Those feelings are the fireworks, the goosebumps and the reward for the basis of everything; hard work and great teamwork.

Marie started her management in 1997. She began her career at EMI Records, in Sweden continued as VP of International in London and before leaving she was Marketing Director of EMI Sweden. Marie was instrumental already from the start of Roxette’s international breakthrough. Marie has been named the Most Influential Woman in the Swedish music industry and 2016 she was awarded the Denniz Pop Award for The Most Valuable Person.

2017 she teamed up with partner Tomas Jernberg and created the nordic management company Dimberg Jernberg. The company currently represents: Roxette, Per Gessle, Jonas Åkerlund, Christopher, Nause, Peter Jöback, Loney Dear, Molly Hammar, Gyllene Tider, Frida Öhrn, LOK, Emmi Christensson and BJOERN.

With new Roxette releases, and big successes with multi-platinum selling danish artist Christopher – being one of the biggest male pop stars in his home country, ramping up his career especially in Asia, and many exciting projects for 2021 in the making, the company is more vivid than ever.

See Marie talking about receiving the award HERE.

Very well deserved, Marie! Big congrats and keep up the good work!

 

Photo to the left by Sara Brynedal: Marie Dimberg and Anna Hallberg, Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs at the ceremony; Photo to the right by Karin Törnblom

Roxette received Honorary Award at the Swedish Grammis

Roxette received the Honorary Award at Grammisgalan in Sweden last night. The justification was:

“Brilliant timeless pop songs with effective angelic choruses and puns that have crossed all borders of the world. This year’s Honorary Award Winners have had all this. They therefore succeeded with the journey from a Swedish small town to the whole world’s pop heart again and again and again for three decades. With credits like 75 million records sold, 4 US No. 1’s – unique for a Swedish act! – 6 singles in the top 10 in England, and hundreds of concerts in all parts of the world, this year the Honorary Award goes to: Roxette! ”

Per Gessle wasn’t present at the gala, but we could see Åsa in the audience. While manager Marie Dimberg walked up on stage, the whole audience stood up to applaud Roxette.

Marie Dimberg held a touching speech while accepting the award in the name of Roxette. She talked about the first time she met Per and Marie. She met Per at Café Opera in 1984, when she was new at EMI. She met Marie Fredriksson later in the same year at the reception of EMI. Ms Dimberg told that Marie and Per met in the late ’70s when they shared a rehearsal studio. 2 successful Swedish artists, they established Roxette in 1986. Their dream, ”Today Sweden – tomorrow the world” came true. ”2 good friends, 3 great chords and 12 brilliant songs” was the slogan of their break-through album, Look Sharp!. The rest is history. Marie Dimberg told about Roxette’s journey, their US No. 1’s, their concerts all around the world filling football stadiums and playing for millions of people, selling more than 75 million albums, doing thousands of interviews and TV programs. Per and Marie were the ultimate combo, where 1 + 1 makes at least 3. Per’s fantastic songwriting complemented Marie’s unique voice and strong stage presence. The better Marie was singing, the better songs Per was writing. Their songs are loved all around the world. Their international greatness could be seen also now when Marie sadly passed away on 9th December 2019. She and Roxette were honoured all around the world. They meant a lot to many generations over so many years. Now a voice went silent, but the music and songs live on.

When Marie Dimberg finished her speech, everyone stood up again to give a huge applause.

During the night, Tro was also performed by a boy, Love Bjurman and Marie’s picture was shown on the screens. At the end of the song everyone stood up and raised their glasses to Marie. The program leader told Marie is a legend who touched so many people all around the world not only as an artist, but also as a person and will never be forgotten.

Watch Marie Dimberg’s speech HERE and Tro HERE. You can watch the complete broadcast HERE.

 

 

Stills are from TV4’s broadcast.

Per Gessle’s record label, Space Station 12 celebrates 1 year anniversary

21 March 2017 is for sure a day to remember for the rest of our lives. From the RXB team Judith and I had the honor of being invited to the 1 year anniversary party of Space Station 12, Per Gessle’s and Marie Dimberg’s record label. Much appreciated! The event was announced to start at 6 pm and last until 10 pm. It took place at Skyddsrummet, Stockholm.

We arrived at around 17:45, at the same time as Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman. Marie Dimberg was welcoming the guests and a photographer took pictures of all who arrived in front of a black and white Space Station 12 background. We thanked Marie for the invitations and congratulated on the anniversary.

The musicians who were to appear on stage were 1 floor above the event area and were getting prepared for their performances. Per Gessle was among them, too. Some minutes after 6 pm Mr. G came down and also welcomed some guests. We had the chance to thank him too for the invitation and congratulate. He said he didn’t realize that already 1 year passed since they started this label. Time flies when you’re having fun. Thomas Evensson from TDR was taking some pics and Per kindly posed for them. Even for a group pic. Oh well, he said on Skavlan he gets depressed when he is out and no one asks for a selfie. Now he told us he will regret what he said for the rest of his life. Haha. Nah, he was really easy with it.

At appr. 7 pm a curtain was pulled away, so we could see the stage and go to the area where the performances were to happen. The stage was so tiny and low, the whole place so cozy! Of course, we, a small bunch of fans got in the front row, however it felt being too close to the stage. Everyone else was standing at least 5 steps behind us. Haha. It was funny. Then we also stepped back a bit, to have a better view of the not too high stage.

First Marie Dimberg went up on stage and she talked about Space Station 12, how they started it with Per. She talked very nicely about Mr. G and about their signed artists. She also mentioned their very good collaboration with BMG and she said they decided on a simple principle regarding what to release under SS12 and it’s that they release what they like. She also said there will be musicians on stage now who have their live debut, so she asked to applaud them. Then invited PG on stage saying even if Per doesn’t have his live debut now, he also loves being applauded. Haha.

So Per came up on stage to perform. He had Helena Josefsson (backing vocals), Malin-My Nilsson (violin), Clarence Öfwerman (keyboards) and Christoffer Lundquist (guitar) with him. Mr. G was playing an acoustic guitar while singing. He performed 2 songs, Tycker om när du tar på mej and Småstadsprat which he said we might have heard on Skavlan or whatever. Both songs sounded fantastic live and in this very much stripped-down-acoustic versions. Space Station 12 was live on Facebook during Småstadsprat, so you can watch a great video of it on their Facebook page.

Åsa was filming both songs too, so videos will surely appear on Per’s and Roxette’s Facebook pages shortly. After Småstadsprat Per told they leave the stage now and give the chance to SS12’s young artists to perform. After he left the stage we congratulated him on their wonderful performance. He thanked for it, but also said he was missing our banners in the front. We were wondering what kind of banners we could hold up for these 2 ballads and he said why not a tussilago sign. Haha. Yeah, OK. For the summer tour he gets it!

Before the next act, after some minutes break Marie Dimberg came up on stage again saying she wouldn’t sing, but please welcome Good Harvest. They performed 3 songs. All three were beautiful and one can melt hearing how the 2 girls’ voices blend! As Christoffer later mentioned, they both sound like one voice together. We are happy to see them on tour with Per this summer!

There came a little break again and Alex Shield was next to perform together with Charla K. They played Alex’s 3 songs, Charla’s debut single and a new duet that they mentioned were going to test with us, the audience. Everybody cheered afterwards, so we would say – thumbs up! We were all surprised how different Alex sounded live. He is a fantastic songwriter and now it turned out he is a great live musician as well. He and Charla K got the audience in a real party mood. It would have been fun if PG joined Alex on Good Fight as in the album version, but it didn’t happen. The song sounded cool live anyway.

We missed Fanny de Aguiar very much. It would have been fab to see and hear her live. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to perform and wasn’t present at the party either.

Rocket Fuel beer! – Picture by Judith S.

Even if Per was on stage only for 2 songs, he didn’t leave the concert hall. He was chatting with the guests and enjoying the performances of SS12’s artists while eating hot dog and drinking beer. Talking about beer, it seems that Per now is involved not only in the wine business, but the beer industry as well. There was a beer at the party, called Rocket Fuel which has Space Station 12 label on the bottle. The label says: ”Space Station 12 is an independent record label with the finger pointing at the future, always in love with great music. No matter what we release it will always be unique, interesting and something you certainly can’t live without. Just keep your ears open. And we love beer. Our favourite ones are made by Krönleins in Halmstad. Enjoy!”

Per was in a real happy mood, he even came to us asking if we were having a good time and we had a small talk. He is very proud of the acts they signed, he finds them real talented. And he is so right.

Among the guests, besides other artists, journalists, people from the music industry, TV, radio, wine people, we were happy to meet Pelle Alsing, Dea Norberg, Lasse Lindbom and see 2 members of the usual crew, Micke N-S and Peter Fredriksson. Christoffer said these events and performances are also good for them, because otherwise they don’t meet too often.

Regarding the summer tour, we got to know that besides Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist and Clarence Öfwerman, Magnus Börjeson will join and play the bass, woohoo and there will be a new drummer this time. We also heard a few times from different people that maybe they will also have a violin too… Is it July yet???

The party ended at 10 pm as it was stated in the invitation. Each guest got a SS12 bag when leaving. There were promo singles of SS12 artists inside – including Småstadsprat – and an SS12 badge. You can see this badge on the pics of Per as he was wearing one during the event.

All in all, it was really a fantastic event. We want to thank once again for letting us being part of this celebration. Good luck to Space Station 12 with finding even more exceptional artists to join the already fab team of signed musicians!

Per Gessle & band (Helena Josefsson, Malin-My Nilsson, Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist); Good Harvest; Alex Shield and Charla K. Pics by Judith S.

 

Per performing at the party. Pics by Patrícia Peres.

Official Space Station 12 party photos

Instapics of PG at the party: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9;

Instavideos of PG performing: Tycker om när du tar på mej: 1; 2; Småstadsprat

Instapics and vids of other Space Station 12 artists who performed: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5;

 

Interview with Marie Dimberg and Per Gessle about Space Station 12

ss12Marie Dimberg and Per Gessle launched the label Space Station 12 in February 2016. Since then, three artists have released their single at SS12. You may have seen Per posting about SS12 on Facebook quite frequently this year, so we thought of asking Marie D. and Per a bit more about the company.

Judith: When did you have the idea and how did it all start?

Per: The music industry is changing so much at the moment I felt like I, before I go to sleep, should take part of the new revolution. There’s a window at the moment for indie labels. And for indie way of thinking. I like that.

J: What was your motivation?

P: Same as with everything else in my musical life; to take part of music that I like and enjoy.

J: What do you want to achieve with SS12?

P: A great logo and a few gold records.

J: What are your tasks/responsibilities?

P: I’m the DJ, I am what I play!

Marie D: I run the daily operations with my team Lotta and Josef and we work together with our great license partners at BMG. We also have independent press- and radio people.

J: What is the story behind the label’s name?

P: The name comes from a Montrose-song, “Space Station #5” but I thought 12 was cooler since it’s my birthdate.

J: So far, 3 artists have released their latest singles at SS12. Their styles are rather different, who is involved in the A&R process and how does it work in your case?

P: We all are. But I have the last say. If I don’t like it, we won’t release it. But I’m pretty easy to convince.

MD: We all listen and try to convince Per if he doesn’t agree…! A good song, a great voice and an artistic expression are of course key ingredients. No matter what kind of “genre”

J: What are your main criteria when picking an artist up?

P: Personality. Intelligence. We don’t want artists who strive for fifteen minutes of fame.

J: Why did you choose these 3 to start with? How did you discover them?

P: Alex was number one. He’s the best songwriter I’ve heard in years. He wrote “Sinking Deep” for Fanny. That’s how Fanny came aboard. She turned out to be a great communicator with an interesting voice. Good Harvest stand for something a little bit more “classic” and organic. That’s very rare to find these days. They’re amazing.

J: Marie, you mentioned that Fanny’s single has almost reached 400.000 plays on Spotify, which is amazing for a new artist. How are you promoting the artists? What are the target audiences and countries?

MD: We start with Scandinavia as a home market but make the release available worldwide digitally. Together with the BMG team, the press- and radio people we try to get exposure wherever suitable for each individual artist.

J: The three artists are rather young and newcomers; are you focusing on this kind of artists or are you also looking to sign up established ones?

MD: We’ll see… our focus is great talent with great songs and I’m sure we’ll eventually embrace established acts as well.

J: Per, you co-wrote the lyrics of Alex Shield’s and for what I understood from an interview with him, the song was finalised and has been released as a single because of this.

P: Yes, I co-wrote the lyrics and the music to “New York City Ways” but that’s not the reason it was released as a single. Who writes the song doesn’t really matter. What matters is if it’s a good record. It has to communicate.

J: In what way have you been involved in the final results of (so far) the singles? Do you get to give input / feedback during the recording/composing process or final outcome?

P: Sometimes. I’m there if I’m needed.

MD: Per’s input is extremely important given his long and successful career both as a songwriter and an artist!!! In my mind, it’s a fantastic opportunity for young artists to have an artist/songwriter of Per’s magnitude as your “wingman”

J: Are more songs co-composed by you planned?

P: I’ve written quite a lot of songs together with Alex which are really cool. You’ll see.

J: What are SS12’s plans for the future and what is in the pipeline?

MD: We’re currently focusing on these three for the rest of 2016. There will be a new song by Good Harvest released in December penned by themselves; “Charly”. They will also perform at the Eurosonic in Amsterdam. Alex “New York City Ways” will be accompanied by a lyric video this week. Fanny is writing and recording and will make her first performance at Musikhjälpen in December.

If you want to know more about the three great artists go on reading.

Read more