Ian Nilsen

A life in the fast lane

We sit on an old tired couch in some hip cafe in the trendy part of town, not far from where Ian is about to start a two week recording session with an artist that he make us believe is going to go very big in 2013.

As he talks about it he shifts between laughing at their late night antics as well as being well excited about what they are about to archive.

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“It’s all the head, you know” he says. “With this record I sort of know how it will end up sounding like, well in advance. It’s nice, very nice indeed, That’s why having fun is very much a big part of the process too”

The days of being worried about how people might think of you and your music are seemingly over by now. Was Ian penalised for acting like a cross between a rockstar and some laidback life enjoying person all his life? Probably yes, but over the years he seems to have learned not to care about it. “Never did really”

He is on a roll now, got tons of ideas about how to go about on his quest to get his sound out and about. Early next year it will be Germany that will play host to what is sure to become a defining moment for BritishPopSongs, the label that he tireless keeps pushing bounderies with. “I kind of felt that the business of music was about to change big way already many years back, and i so much wanted to be part of the new. I took the opportunity to allow myself time off to shape things to come. Did people understand? nop, not really, but you know what? I really couldn’t care, I knew I was on to something.”

Time is running out, Ian is off to start the two week recording of what will probably be a recording we all will much more to in the following year, much like the book, the handful of  other releases, the radio shows etc etc.

Before he heads off, Ian gives a few hints about how he goes about his music:

“What I really try to archive is to get my sound out to the most people as I possibly can in the shortest amount of time. Easy feast, oh no.. It’s a British inspired sound, spanning all the great years of pop music, 60 to 90’s, not that i don’t like the last two decades, but I have to accept that the music business has changed. Run out of ideas? Maybe. I don’t listen much to other music, in a way that I buy 10 records and then sits down for a day or so. That’s not because I don’t like music, but I’m worried about getting ideas that comes from others, there would no point if i started getting too inspired by what’s around at the moment, a new synth sound or plug-in. So I duly stick to my own songs and way of playing my instruments. I might not be a great guitar or bas player, far from, ooops, but I do have my own style. haha.  ”

He’s already out of the door by now..

Catch Ian and BritishPopSongs on FaceBook here

facebook.com/britishpopsongs.co.uk

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All I really really wan’t… is to produce crowd-pleasers.

It’s hard not to be smitten by the uplifting big beats and bittersweet harmonies of BritishPopSongs UK.
RoW is somehow a trademark T.S.S.P. sounding track that mixes his beloved 80’s inspired British songwriting with the dance elements of 2014.

T.S.S.P. is producer and co-writer of such cool new acts as A Modern Man, the Stina Summer project and Mathildes Destiny among others, and he is loved by many followers around the globe. Some years back he ditched a job producing for many label signed acts to fully concentrating on getting his own trademark ‘sound’ out in the world.

“There was no more point in keeping helping others to get the production that they wanted with me just sitting there doing it for them” he explains over lunch this saturday afternoon.
“I recognized early on that even working with sparkling singers wouldn’t do it for me in the long run, and one morning i just work up and said, That’s it. I’m going alone now. Today I got my own people around me and that a fantastic feeling, that we are on this onslaught on the world with that sound that i got in my head night and day. ”

“Yeah, I know i tend to try to produce crowd-pleasers, tunes that hopefully sticks to your brain for ages, but that is what I like to do.”

He once said that being well connected in the music business can go both ways, of course you get to work with a lot of established acts, but that can also be a trap in the long run. You also end up doing tons of different sounding records.

“I always admired bands that would change direction every 4-5 years or so, I know my idol, Bowie, did it even more often, but still, and now after all these years you talk about his Berlin period, his Let’s Dance period and so on.”

In the end, sitting here in a borrowed Dockland flat, summer 2014, sporting his old Worldcup 1966 jacket and some tired worn out jeans, still looking a bit dizzy after a rather late night out, he just smiles and says

“Hey, I’m, a party animal, work maybe 60 hours weeks, but i do for the sake of the music i guess.

Ian Nilsen & Berlin

Ian Nilsen and BritishPopSongs has always been great admirers of famous artists, photographers, actors, writers, that always are wonderful generous in sharing their talents. Now coming in to 2014 a host of Berlin celebrities and artists are endorsing this unique musical universe of Ian’s and as we speak we are told to expect a host of collaborations this year.

One of the very first is a love song to the city of Berlin from a very secret Berlin artist due out this spring.

“I have known him for less than a year, but this cool cat is so much fun and reminds me in so many ways of myself” Ian laughs out loud ” and then it is incredible fun to record with him”.

and with Stian Summer, my somehow alter-ego, the little annoying youngster in me that refuses to grow up, I have found a perfect playground to bring together all things from my personal musical landscape so to  release a host of 80’s inspired Brit tunes, without having to answer any questions.

It is rumoured also that Stian Summer is adopting aspiring twenty somethings out there to play along.

“In many ways, the Stian Summer project is much more than just me and myself. It’s something I would wish others to play along to, a kind of a adult playground for admireres of this type of music: lifestyle, fashion, live appearances, everything…. you name it”

“and you know what, why not have tremendous fun along the way doing it? ”

March 2014

(A tender moment in the middle of all the craze) Ian Nilsen, Berlin, February 2014

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Come on guys, it’s not bad to stick out!

As we are about to learn is that, Ian Nilsen, label boss at BritishPopSongs, is probably just as concerned about staying on course in his quest to do what “he really really wants” on his time on the planet as writing yet more catchy songs with his bunch of much loved artists.

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Not long ago, in a recent interview Stian Summer aka britishPopSongs label owner Ian Nilsen painted a somehow gloomy picture of the future of his bellowed Modern Music.

Ian takes the world of modern pop music very seriously indeed, even if he often tones down the importance of his own work. But in perspective this is more than just a fluke, he is dead honest about where he sees himself right now and in the future.

Guess that most people do what other people tell them to do. People listens to the same songs by the same artists because they have seen a billboard with them somewhere or on TV. They don’t really think that this is a dead expensive excercise for the record company ( and in the end for the artist ), who as we know, is the one who pays in the end for these things. It is such a shame that so few good artists has come through the mainstream channels over the last 10 years, the record companies has played it so safe, that the quality simply is below par. But in the end, this has allowed a host of smaller and pretty unknown artists to push through, although in smaller scales, so all is not bad.

A rather successful venture into setting up his own label, based on his own sound, was met by nothing but sceptism from everyone around him. “You can’t do that” was the most common reply when he with enthusiam talked his project up to friends, family and industry figures, “The music industry is stone dead”.
But Ian knew about the actual figures, knew that it was not longer the record companies the took home the big takings, but with an industry that employs so many there were ample space in his opinion.

“You have to do your own thing, without taking much advice from the so called people that knows better. Combine that we the ability to write and produce you own records and you are set up. You see, most people in the industry cant write a tune to their life. There have been so many hangers-on all way from the 80′s onwards that the artists and real talents somehow all was forgotten in it all”

“That’s why I decided to create the Stian Summer project. He was mid-twenty something that did not care what people said, he just wanted to have fun. Tons of it, and that all the time”,

Speaking of this fictive alter ego Ian lights up as he goes on.

“You know, He is someone that keep having a good time in what could very well have become such a boring life, if I had followed what people around said i should do. I get all sad when i think about how pushy people can be in their quest to make me to be like them and live the same kind of life. Put me out of the cities that I love, and look at trees! Oh No!” he laughs.

Songwriting is a calling for Ian, but pretty much everything else he takes very lightly. He’ll joke his way through most things and he wakes up in the morning with a great desire to do more and more.

“I simply enjoy life so much, that I won’t allow anyone, to interfere. I have been surrounded by so many, that I found out was just using me to get me to do their things, if you understand. Being pretty naive in this respect, I have this tendency to go along with this, but one day I woke up and litteraly I said, enough is enough”

So what he describes as many years probably just pleasing others, these days is more, I do what I do, come join if you wish, but if you want to tell me what to do, then, sorry no way!

“I’d risk to become grey and tired if I had not adopted this attitude. I come from a place where people constantly are told not to stick out, be humble, stick to your call, live a life as the rest of us and so on. The result is that most things that comes out of there is well below average”

That is not going to happen to the Stian Summer project anytime soon, although he is pretty tight-lipped on the subject,
“I’m tired talking to people about the importance in what I do, so I guess I just do it here and then. I don’t take the discussions with anyone, I just do my thing, and I’m not about to stop that anytime soon”

2 minutes with Ian Nilsen from BritishPopSongs

Ian Nilsen out of hip online label BritishPopSongs is having an inability to keep quiet for a moment and is having none of it if he’s told to slow down a bit.

Ian Nilsen, BritishPopSongs

Ian Nilsen, BritishPopSongs

“You Know,  there is so much fun to have in the music business right and it’s only going to more and more. All the bad things about the business that i hated before slowly seems to disappear in front of us, and isn’t that just great?

Just read an article about how labels is fighting their corner to keep copyrights for bands they signed in 1978, because some US law came in at that time and limited the period they could keep the copyright was 35 years! Today we do as we like, very much and i’m so grateful that we can. Years ago we even had to sign agreements when we sat down to puzzle with songs even before hitting the first note”

It’s an odd situation for many record people out there, because many does indeed get quite exposed now, because they never were good at much, and just hang about changing jobs all the times, where all the poor people they signed was left behind with bad deals.

Of course they were ( and are ) good record people too, so what probably happens right now is that the good ones stay put.

“The one that i learned quickly” ,  Ian says, “is that you eventually only got yourself and your close network around to really count on in the end, so when the going gets tough, you must be able to sort things out by yourself. And the only way you can get to the core of it all, is by having full control over your career and hold all rights to your material”

Ian is label manager at BritishPopSongs, an online label that releases records at a fast pace and that is one of the ones to look out for here in the second half of 2011.

From Riff To Radio – About Us

IN has in many years worked as producer/writer and artist on a large amount of  recordings with many different artists. He has been based in London for over a decade and have always followed closely the development of the music industry as it has changed from the old model with big major record companies to what it is slowly becoming today. He has also been a keen networker on the many industry events around the world.

He have always had a keen interest in the business itself, don’t forget that the UK recording industry was for long the 3 biggest export in the country. We also know today that the global music market generates a whopping 30 Billion Dollars a year! yes that\s correct, so any saying that there is no future in music is plain rubbish. And the best part is that a much larger share of all that money today goes to the artists themselves.

Originally a vivid jazz pianist, it would not take long before he started to have a keen interest in pop and rock music. If there is one thing nearly all people have in common then that is popular music. You always have songs that reminds you of things in the past, your first love, first break up etc. Songs are very important in so many people lives. Much more than movies and sport.

When working as producer he can take the simplest of ideas (usually the simplest are the very best) and just get on with it on his beloved laptop and make music that would in the past have had to be made in expensive million dollars recording studios. Software and computers have today become both so cheap and powerful that we never could have dreamt about even 10 years back, and thus have made it possible to make music for no money, with only hard and persistent work and of course talent.

Some years ago IN started BPS, a complete rethink of the the workings of a traditional record label, where there should be no obstacles in getting music out to the the fans. There would be no CD returns, un-sold and lying around in boxes, no complicated contracts that artists would live to regret and so on. And its very much becoming a success. BPS is still growing its rather big  fanbase by the day, in the end simply by releasing cool songs that people like. All artists and label share what they earn and artists very much take part in their own career development such as promoting themselves.

Now with this book he will try to learn tips and tricks how to actually get your music heard out there, in this first instalment, by the radios.

Ian Nilsen: “Time is perfect to enter the next phase.”

Founder and Exec from BritishPopSongs  / BeatHouse Managment & Online PR agency Ian Nilsen reveals plans for the next phase of the BeatHouse/BritishPopSongs adventure in Berlin.

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Ian Nilsen mentioned that the current change of tone within the global recording industry over the last six months signaled that it was time to move into the next phase of the label probably a little earlier than predicted in 2013. BritishPopSongs initially planned to continue spending considerable time with it’s semi-pro roaster and thus giving them amble time to continue development, however this seems to have given too little time for the real professionals and the more dedicated among the roaster.

“I feel that we need to balance it a little more, first and foremost to keep a good cash-flow, because without it, we essential would put ourselves in a corner. At the same time I  also feel that we need to prioritize the artists that really fight their corner a little more, and the ones that goes a bit loose a little less attention at the moment.

I guess it’s a pretty natural thing to do.

I feel that being an artist today is all about sustaining, a willing to succeed, invest in your own career, keep going, effectively be the artist that you pretend to be. If music is your hobby, no problem, but within the framework of BritishPopSongs that is not really possible.

The beauty with this label is that we produces high quality indie/pop because we so believe in it, and for us to be loose and easy to work with we must make sure that we all as artists are all in, that everyone want sto invest in themselves as artists”

Ian Nilsen say that in terms of company setups, there will be some changes too.

BeatHouse International will be home to Management and Online PR for both the top parts of BritishPopSongs artists and then for artists that are not associated with the label. These are all artists that are top of their game now and true professionals.

BritishPopSongs will run effectively run a two-level structure with a few priority artists and then a number of artists that for on reason or another goes easy on the ride so to speak.

International project related song writing/producing tasks by Ian Nilsen will also be managed by BeatHouse International from now on.

Ian Nilsen – talks about the importance of being independent, but also ensuring that it all doesn’t run out in the sand.

“I really feel proud of launching something that has grown this much, with a 100 song strong catalogue, that can go challenge all the bigger players in the industry when everyone just kept asking when you were going to fold and stay grounded. This next step is just moving us even closer the ultimate goal, being able to release hit records made by ourselves  but in partnership with some of the best of the people in the industry. What I will make sure is that the my artists are on top of the game and real professionals that you can count on”