An Exclusive With The Founders [Interview]5 min read
Welcome to our first blog post. In order to make it easier for people to get an idea of what’s going on at BLACK ONE and understand our culture, we thought it would be useful to create the “Inside BLACK ONE ENTERTAINMENT” blog series.
Through reading this series of blogs you’ll get to know more about our story and receive an exclusive “behind the scenes” insight into what’s happening at BLACK ONE.
So, who are you guys?
Hi, I’m Klaus, I am the Managing Director (MD) & CEO. I’m of half-Korean and half-German descent. I was born in Korea and grew up in Africa, Switzerland, and Germany.
Moreover, I studied business and economics, and lived and worked abroad for the last seven years, mainly in South Korea and the US. My experience lies heavily in brand building & management, marketing, operations, financing, and entrepreneurship.
Hey, I’m Maxim and I’m the MD & CEO of the Records Division. I grew up in Australia, Germany, Spain and am of German/Italian descent. My experience as a music producer and work with almost all major labels as well as a few indie labels has given me many insights into the music business and music itself.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some incredible artists and was mentored by great producers, songwriters, and music business specialists. Outside of music I have experience in management, copywriting and entrepreneurship.
What was your motivation to start this?
First of all, as a half-Korean, I got into touch with K-Pop (Korean Pop) early on and became an avid fan and fascinated with the many talented boy-and girl groups and different solo-and duo artists. And while I was working in Korea, I also got to know a few of those management companies and got to work with them.
I learned a lot back then. Now K-Pop has become way more mainstream and well-known all over the world.
Its flashy & elaborate choreographies, colourful looks & fashion and unconventional, catchy sound & musical identity has started to fascinate more and more people.
Returning to Germany
I returned to Germany in 2017 and I started to ask myself: “Why is nothing similar coming out from Europe or the US, too?”
The times of the last big “real” boy groups like the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, US5 or girl groups like the Pussycat Dolls, Spice Girls seem to be just a thing of the past now.
Then I coincidentally bumped into my now co-founder Maxim, whom I share with the passion for great music and also the vision to build up the next generation of iconic revolutionary “idol” superstars originating mainly from Europe and to be made famous especially in Asia and also the US.
I very much share Klaus’s vision in building an entertainment powerhouse and establishing artists with almost “unconventional” methods. But there is also a more underlying vision that I want to see through to completion over the next couple of years…
Being in the music business myself I’ve been in contact with a lot of different artists, producers, etc. However, despite those collaborations I spent the majority of my time having to figure things out for myself; especially when I was just starting out.
I think to myself how much easier trying to solve issues would have been if I could have met the right people at the right time.
Sure, today you have more options to learn almost everything about anything thanks to the internet. But, nothing is really quite like having a proper 1 on 1 human interaction.
Especially in the world of creatives.
Now, you might be asking yourself why this matters and why I’m telling you all of this. But in retrospect, it has been one of the main driving forces behind me wanting to build this company.
While working with lots of other labels and music companies I realized one thing.
They rarely built a thriving culture within themselves.
And I truly believe that trying to lock artists into ridiculous contracts is definitely not the way of the future.
Furthermore, I’ve been toying with the idea to build a “creative playground” for people from all different kinds of creative fields for some time now.
Being able to connect, create and further each others careers and knowledge is so powerful.
And now I have the opportunity to do so.
What makes Black One different?
We take the best parts of the systematic approach of K-Pop and use it to discover, develop, manage and market talent from Europe.
There are lots of best practices we can adapt and start innovating from. For artists in Europe, there is no systematic one-stop platform where you would go to become – let’s say – a well-rounded idol artist.
As most things go you can’t achieve massive success without a team.
You’d have to find a competent label yourself, find a manager or make enough noise that one finds you (and hope that they have the best intentions towards you), find a vocal coach yourself, find a dance coach yourself and even have to think about how to market and brand yourself. Even just reading that it might seem pretty difficult.
And it is.
Additionally, you’d also have to take into account that the above is still the best case scenario. Most of the times even that won’t happen as one pictures it. This is where we say that there is a lot of room for improvement.
We provide and organize in one place what you might otherwise need multiple separate partners & companies to do. Having many different partners not only costs more money in the long run but nerves as well.
We also pride ourselves on wanting to keep a fairly small roster of artists. This way we can ensure that everyone receives the attention that they deserve and doesn’t feel like they still have to do most things by themselves.
Moreover, let’s take a quick look at some things that we’re providing: each of our artists and groups is provided for instance with a structured business plan, a marketing & branding plan, a product plan, a development and training plan and all kinds of creative, business and also psychological support needed to build a long-lasting and successful career. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
All of this and more is executed by our Records Division (produces the content & manages the artists) and our Academy Division which will train up-coming performers and improve any skillsets that might need polishing.
What is your vision for BLACK ONE ENTERTAINMENT?
A lot was already discussed earlier but just to summarize:
Our goal is to build the ultimate hit idol artist, content & media factory as well as a fun creative playground for our ambitious and talented artists, performers and content creators.
We’re starting out with a heavy focus on music, but this systematic approach of discovering, developing, managing, distributing, and marketing talent can be applied to all adjacent fields like Magic, Social Media, Film, E-Sports etc.
What are you planning for the coming months?
We’re only 5 months old and this fresh vision for Europe has already assembled a powerful line-up of production, design, and management talent.
Most importantly we’ve now secured a very beautiful location and production infrastructure (1000+ sqm) in Berlin, provided by one very powerful player in this space.
We’ll release more information regarding this soon.
We’re also talking to other major players and TV Production companies to come onboard for joint projects. Our official audition platform will be opening in late June 2018, till then you can Pre-Register (see below).
Where can I get in touch with you?
General Inquiries: ➔ email@example.com
Artists & Performers ➔ Audition
Management & Executive Talent ➔ Careers
Creative Talent (Designers, Producers etc.) ➔ Careers ➔ Talent Pool
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