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The 'WHAT' and 'WHO' of the newly formed Association for Electronic Music

00:00 Nov/30/1999

The figuring heads of the electronic dance music industry have come together to form the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM). The important announcement was made on January 28th, at the Midem music conference, a time for the leading players of the scene to discuss the business matters of the music industry.

The aim of AFEM? In the words of one of the co-founders, Kurosh Nasseri:„ Our motivation is wholly positive – to ensure electronic music gets the recognition and status it deserves.“

This article concentrates on what the AFEM is, who are the founders, and who make up the Board of Advisors. Wondering what AFEM is going to be doing? Then head here!

So, AFEM is the creation of Ben Turner and Kurosh Nasseri. The founders, as they are introduced on the International Music Summits home page:

Ben Turner the owner of Graphite, a music management and brand services company which specialises in the world of electronic music. He is also the artist manager for techno and technology icon Richie Hawtin and Rob da Bank – creator of Bestival and Sunday Best. Turner made his name as co-founder of the highly influential Muzik Magazine, Muzik Awards and then creative director on DanceStar USA: The American Dance Music Awards. Turner is also a partner with Pete Tong in the International Music Summit, an event described as "the TED of music conferences".

Kurosh Nasseri: an entertainment business lawyer who has represented the likes of Afrojack, Armand van Helden, Carl Craig, Deep Dish, Dubfire, Duck Sauce, Felix Da Housecat, Paul van Dyk, Richie Hawtin, Sharam and many other artists as well as various independent record labels, management companies, publishers, download sites, ringtone providers and fashion brands.

The newly formed organization will gather representatives of artists, DJs, managers, labels promoters, publishers, agents, retailers and broadcasters with „the mission to represent the common interests of all individuals and companies whose business is electronic dance music and to advocate on behalf of electronic dance music as a musical genre.“

The genre is estimated to be worth $4 billion USD, there is no denying the colossal magnitude of electronic dance music. Actually, the once-ignored market is probably worth much more by now. The association, however, will be a non-profit company. There will be offices in the UK and US, with a really impressive line-up of top players on-board already.

It will be funded by its members, who will get a membership of a worldwide network of artists, agents managers, labels and companies involved in electronic dance music. The fees, as Turner promises, will be ’as affordable as possible’, with different membership options to suit companies and individuals. He estimates about 10,000 dance music businesses could be interested signing up.

The Board of Advisors is already made up of some of the most important people in the music industry: Matthew Adell, the CEO of Beatport; James Barton, the President of Electronic Music, Live Nation; Tom Windish, the head of the leading Windish Agency. Below you'll find a more comprehensive list.

Nile Rodgers, the legendary producer and dance music pioneer has agreed to serve as an AFEM Ambassador. Rodgers is the head of the legendary disco group Chic,  as well as an individual performer, reported to be collaborating with Daft Punk on the forthcoming LP. Rodgers appreciates the position he got, saying:

"I am honored to be invited to be an Ambassador of the newly-formed Association for Electronic Music. Dance music is life-changing and life-enhancing, it’s a way of life for millions around the world. I am delighted to see the industry pulling together to represent its interests. Change comes from within, as I've seen with my work on the Grammys. And I feel this group of people have already proven their visions and durability. Now it’s their time to be embraced on an equal footing by the wider music industry. I am delighted to help them try to achieve this."

The following people have already confirmed their position on the Board of Advisors:

·       Matthew Adell, Beatport, CEO, retailer  

·       James Barton, President of Electronic Music, Live Nation

·       Carlos Correal, Insomniac (music director for Electric Daisy festivals)

·       Jason Ellis, Positiva / Virgin Records

·       Stephanie LaFera, Little Empire Music

·       David Levy, WME: William Morris Endeavor

·       Maria May, CAA: Creative Artists Agency (agent for David Guetta)

·       Liz Miller, Big Beat / Atlantic

·       Paul Morris, AM Only (agent for Tiesto and Richie Hawtin)

·       Patrick Moxey from Ultra Records/President of Electronic Music for Sony Music, label

·       Maykel Piron, Armada Music

·       Duncan Stutterheim, ID&T

·       Amy Thomson, ATM Artists (manager for Swedish House Mafia)

·       John Truelove, Truelove

·       Danny Whittle, Promoter (IBZ Entertainment)

·       Tom Windish, Windish Agency


Photo: Nile Rodgers, the freshly announced Ambassador of AFEM. by Thomas Faivre-Duboz

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