The Music Network story: ‘West Meets East’, October 2009

Here’s an article I wrote for The Music Network in September 2009.

West Meets East

Ahead of October’s One Movement For Music Perth debut, Andrew McMillen spoke with the manager of an Asian pop singer and the lead guitarist of a German funk-rock band to gain some perspective on the Asian and European music industries.

Thai pop singer Tata YoungHailed as Asia’s ‘Queen Of Pop’, 28-year old Tata Young [pictured right] has garnered impressive accolades throughout her career, which began as a teen superstar in the mid-1990s. Young has since sold over 14 million albums – recorded both in Thai and English – and will venture to Australia for the first time this October.

Myke Brown, Young’s manager since 2002, is quick to admit the difficulties associated with establishing an artist in a different culture: “Bringing any new act into any new market is always tough. Australia will also be a challenge, but we feel we’re very well prepared. We plan on releasing in Australia this year, probably sometime after One Movement. Tata’s October show will be a bit of a sneak-peek preview for Australian audiences.”

Of particular interest to readers of The Music Network and attendees at One Movement For Music is the West Australia-meets-East-Asia angle. As a veteran of the Asian music business, Brown is well-versed in their slow-and-steady methodology.

“Asians have a different approach to business. They’ll tend to want to get to know your origins, your past, and your future goals. From an Asian perspective, once you intimately know that person, you trust them, and only then – over a period of years – are you ready to do business. Western minds tend to want to meet you and cut a deal on the same day!”

A final word from Myke Brown on which skills and personality traits are required to succeed as an artist manager: “An extreme amount of understanding and patience. In Asia, you hop over one country and you’re in a completely different language. If you’re a band manager, you have to be able to communicate on not only language, but cultural levels. You must respect all cultures. It’s a monumental task for a lot of people. For those who understand, it’s about moving slowly and not barking out orders. They move through it like water.”

From Asian pop to German funk-rock: following a successful jaunt to MUSEXPO Los Angeles in June, Sorgente [pictured below left] are another act making their Australian debut at One Movement. Lead guitarist Jakob Biazza elaborates on the interest that the American industry showed the six-piece in LA.

German funk-rock band Sorgente“It was our first industry showcase outside of Germany. We played The Viper Room in front of mostly business people, but since we made a lot of contacts in LA, we had about 50 or 60 fans in front of the stage as well. It’s always an amazing chance to play outside of Europe. We took a camera man from LA to film the whole trip, and we’re editing a 90-minute documentary about the whole trip.”

Outcomes from their first industry showcase debut? “We’ll probably release our first album, Let Me In, in the States. We made a lot of friends there, a lot of people who want to help us with shows in the Santa Monica and LA area. Of course, we got invited to Australia, which is totally weird; from playing in LA, to getting an invitation to another continent. We’re pretty close to a world tour!” Biazza laughs.

The guitarist is adamant that the band remain independent, after splitting from their first label due to some undisclosed “really bad experiences”. As for the advantages of DYI, Biazza is optimistic: “Who we want to work with, who does what for the band, album artwork; all of those decisions stay with us. We can decide what we’re going to do, when we’re going to do it, and how we’re going to do it.”

Read extended interviews with Myke Brown and Sorgente exclusively on, the official One Movement For Music Perth blog.

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