Aarhus Calling 2021 brought talents and professionals together once again

Musical exchanges and lots of talent was the recipe for a successful version of Aarhus Calling 2021 in september during SPOT Festival

The professional venue at The House on Ryesgade made the physical frame of the sixth edition of the songwriter and producer Mecca, also known as Aarhus Calling. Since the beginning in 2015, Aarhus Calling has been curating a program consisting of producers and songwriters from all over the world to participate in Aarhus during SPOT Festival. And it’s both the A-list as well as twelve unknown talents who get to spread their musical visions during the stay.

As so many other things, the annual music camp had to call it quits in 2020 but that only made the 2021-edition even more wanted and sought after. And here, a few weeks after, Creator and CEO at Aarhus Calling, Rewan Riko, really sees how much it meant for the camp to be in motion again. 

“The atmosphere was unique, people were almost euphoric and the feeling of unity, which often occurs on day two, was there from the very beginning. All the participating musicians and producers just melted together in a very constructive way”, says Rewan Riko. 

Talents from TikTok

The young talents at Aarhus Calling were, as always, a big part of the camp and this year’s twelve selected talents also showed that the level of talent just gets higher and higher each year – primarily because there has been created a culture revolving around songwriting and production, as explained by Rewan Riko. 

“All the participants at Aarhus Calling are an equal part of the camp, and it has almost become a movement around commercial songwriting and production in Denmark – which is our focus point. There’s a great deal of understanding of how you work with songwriting and producing and as an organizer of the camp, it makes me proud that Aarhus Calling has moved things forward and that we’re able to present such gifted new talents to the more experienced people from the business, especially those from abroad,” tells Rewan Riko. 

A new thing in this year’s search for talents was the platform TikTok, which focuses on the musical elements in short video formats. And a campaign on TikTok turned out to be the right place to discover the new talents – there are many skilled young people out there who just need a chance to work with their talent but doesn’t have the tools yet. 

One of the talents who won the TikTok-contest and a spot at Aarhus Calling, was Siri Worsøe who also won the ‘AC21 Best Talent Song Award’ together with two other talents, Samuel Ledet and Marie Foged. Beside the award, the three of them also won a trip to the UK where they have the opportunity to work even more on their talent. 

TikTok showed that recruiting talents online in the digital age is worth a shot, and Aarhus Calling will definitely be on the platform again next year. 

Successful results

Everything needs to get into gear again and the possibilities for traveling were a bit difficult for some of the intended guests from abroad. But luckily, it didn’t make That much of a difference, as the forces that showed up in Aarhus were, as always, on top. Amongst the professionals, who lent out their skills for some days, were producer and songwriter Benjamin Lasnier, who has made beats for Justin Bieber, and the English songwriter and artist Jasmine Thompson – just to mention a few.

And as always, a lot of music was produced during the stay in Aarhus. With so much talent at one place, it was almost inevitable and hopefully we will also be able to hear some of the results on the playlist in the nearest future. 

“Songs have been made which will definitely be cut, so it’s just to keep an eye out”, says Rewan Riko.

We’re open for applications for SPOT 2022

Photo: Kasper Krupsdal

The date is set, planning is full steam ahead and now the time has come to find some of the great artists and bands who will step onto the stage come May.

Do you have the next big hit? Are you and your band ready to perform in front of audiences and music business professionals? Or is your music just the sound that the Danish music scene is missing? Then don’t hesitate to start your application!

The application round for SPOT 2022 is open until November 25th at 12.00 PM and everybody is welcome to enrich our system with new tunes. 

We’re looking forward to hearing what the stars of tomorrow have to offer!

SPOT 2022: It’s gonna be May

Photo: Kim Matthäi Leland

It’s not the easiest of tasks, writing this article with our hands still placed way above our heads. But after SPOT 2021, we’re left with a feeling of wanting more, and that requires a date for next year’s SPOT Festival. 

We can’t wait to see you at SPOT 2022, May 6 – 7, 2022. 

With all the great shows from SPOT 2021 still fresh in mind, it’s quite easy to picture and look forward to a music-curious audience, a gathered music industry, musicians, songwriters, and producers at SPOT 2022 in the first weekend of May”, says Gunnar K. Madsen, leader at SPOT Festival.

Early Bird tikets!
There’s more! From today, and for the next 14 days, you’re able to buy an ‘Early Bird’ ticket for SPOT 2022 – and yes, it comes with a remarkable discount. Regular SPOT tickets can be bought from December 1st.  

From ‘back against the wall’ to ‘wind at our backs’: SPOT 2021 was everything we needed!

Photo: Allan Høgholm

SPOT 2021 thank you all for some amazing music days characterized by unity and reunion. 

It has been a long, tough and challenging road towards a redemption that we can only be thankful for. When 2020 became 2021, SPOT had its back against the wall, the sun in the eyes and our very existence was at stake – just like so many others in the music industry.  

Nine months later we stand here with the wind in our backs and the future wide open. With a mix of luck and competence, we ended up with a SPOT Festival true to its nature – immediately after the last Covid-19 restrictions were gone.

A big thanks to everyone who helped and carried the burdens during the planning and execution of SPOT 2021. Musikhuset, the venues and associations in Aarhus and the many City SPOT-venues where the music is still playing right now. 

Thanks for all the music we got to present. It was truly an outstanding line-up with the new and amazing insanely skilled musicians, songwriters, producers and performers.  We’re proud to be the center of so much talent. 

Thanks to the SPOT audience for once again supporting and creating a great community around the music. It is impossible not to be proud of the audiences present, joyful and including way of creating a party for the music and performers. Even though not everything went as planned, or in a perfect way, our audiences have returned with nothing but patience and understanding.

A big thanks to all SPOTs employees and volunteers who have worked above and beyond this year to create the festival. A special love to Aarhus Volume for an almost symbiotic partnership, fourth time in a row. 

Thank you to the board for loyal support of the festival’s values and work and thanks to our partners for the trust and for taking their part of the working load. 

Thanks to our main sponsor Tuborg for great cooperation. 
A big thanks to Aarhus Kommune, Danish Arts Foundations music selection, KODA, DAF, DMF and all other contributors, big and small.

Thanks to Promus and MXD for the collaboration around SPOT+ and the international invitation work and thanks to the 1000 representatives from the Danish and international music business for supporting the mission and being there for the music.

An extraordinary effort from SPOTs professional key people who have made it possible for most of us to go to bed with a smile on our faces and dreams that it can only be as amazing in 2022 – maybe even better. 

All good to everyone

Gunnar K. Madsen

SPOT 2021 goes out with a bang: Huge Afterparty at Musikhuset

As we all know, nothing is bad without being good for something. Covid-19 and the (double up) postponing of the festival – and all the changes it has brought – gave us the opportunity to rethink some of our traditions. Now, we’re ready to present a brand-new initiative, and my God we’ve been looking forward to being able to share this with you.

This year, as SPOT 2021 is reaching its final concerts, Aarhus Volume and SPOT Festival will throw some extra gasoline on the festival fire and invite you all to a gigantic afterparty at Musikhuset. The foyer will be transformed into the club of your dreams with a capacity of 2,500 people. Oh, and we’ve made sure that the DJ-lineup is out of this world.

Friday night, from 00:15 to 03:45 at Musikhuset, you’ll be able to experience a DJ-set from Danish stars AV AV AV, a set from Chicago’s own Jamie 3:26 – a force of nature, and the Danish genre equilibrist Caius.

“The afterparty at this year’s SPOT isn’t just an opportunity to gather 2,500 at Aarhus biggest party – it’s furthermore thought as a tool in terms of presenting DJs in the right setting. In that way, it’s in line with our effort to create a better stage for producers and DJs, who – more and more – are seen as musicians in terms of performing live on stage, while also being dominant on the streaming services. We can’t wait to invite you to this huge afterparty, where we’ll transform well known settings in Musikhuset to a meaningful and gigantic, pulsating club at the festival,” says Albert Fajardo-Helmig, part of the booking group at SPOT Festival.

See the timetable HER and buy your tickets HERE


We can’t wait to own the floor with you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuT6mtPmqMgu0026t=1858s

Benny Jamz before first festival-appearance: “It’s gonna be Jamz world!”

He is, in many ways, a pioneer – and after ten years of being highly influential on the Danish rap stage, it’s quite the name that we’re adding to the SPOT 2021 poster. Besides being seen as one of the main acts behind bringing grime to Denmark, Benny Jamz has been active and a superstar under the alias Høyer Øje and in the Danish super groups B.O.C. and MOLO – not only a leading act in Danish rap, but in Danish music in general.

But this year marks a first for Benny Jamz, as he’ll be performing at SPOT 2021 with his first ever festival appearance as a solo act. Even though he might get the stage for himself, Benny Jamz is never all alone: “It’s gonna be Jamz world, but there’s always B.O.C. in everything we do. We represent together or separate, and I can’t wait to show, what my world has to offer,” he says.

After an extended period of country wide shut down, Benny Jamz is now back on stage, both with B.O.C and as a solo act, and that has been a welcomed change in the charismatic rapper’s life. “It’s great to finally feel alive again!”. And that’s something that we’ll get to feel when he hits the stage at SPOT Festival in September with his first festival appearance as a solo artist. You can expect songs from both his 2020 hit album ‘1010’ and new songs that hasn’t been released yet – all a part of his own universe. Most of all, you can expect a fired-up Benny Jamz: “I can’t wait to take you all to Jamz planet”!

See our full line-up HERE

Roots&Hybrid Announces Showcase Line-up

Roots&Hybrid Festival transforms itself for one year to Roots&Hybrid Showcase. A one-day festival line-up centering local energy and free musical journeys.

Roots&Hybrid Showcase 2021 will be det turkise telt’s first night ever in a house that is soon to be a home for a living and wild collection of turquoise moments, ecperiences and ideas. Six Danish acts coming together in a colorful intersection of curiosity.

See our full festival line-up HERE

KarriereKanonen Special at SPOT 2021

Experience KarriereKanonen when former participants and the latest winners in the talent project meet in a live show with loads of love for the different musical genres and expressions. KarriereKanonen Special celebrates music and shows that the artists from KarriereKanonen stand on the shoulders of each other.

Pil
Pil writes songs in Danish about the odd feelings in an uplifting and playful pop univers. Loneliness and unhappy love is described as precisely as possible and the newly struck winner of KarriereKanonen 2021 has especially gotten success with the songs ‘Nattely’ and ‘Omvendt’.

Marcus.wav
Behind the project Marcus.wav you’ll find 23-year-old Marcus Bjerring, who creates the sound of a young man’s thoughts through the frustrating and fabulous twenties. Marcus.wav is one of the winners of the 2021-edition of KarriereKanonen.

såforsatan
såforsatan is the un-schooled boy from Copenhagen who mixes jazz with heavy hip hop and merciless lyrics. The selv-delivering lyrics was contributing to securing a victory in Danish music competition KarriereKanonen in 2020

føl som
The Aarhus/Aalborg-based duo consist of rapper Emmanuel Matongo and producer Frederik Reese, and they released their debut single ‘Mit Blod’ in fall 2019. With melodic, honest lyrics and dreamy, hard-hitting beats, the duo reverses the definition of the word “sensitive (følsom)”.

See the full SPOT 2021 line-up HERE

SPOT 2021: 10 fresh acts added to the poster

Even though the line-up might already be packed with talent, there’s still more to come. As of today, we’re setting in the final sprint and using the unusually tough waiting time to announce fresh new acts. 

Today’s package of 10 talented acts will undoubtedly settle well with all the festival lovers around, and leave you guys longing even more for September 16th and 17th, where we’ll once again kick in the doors to SPOT Festival in the heart of Aarhus.

We can’t wait to see you!

SPOT Festival has joined the Keychange Movement

Diversity in the music industry is a hot topic, especially when you take a look at how the music business is going to evolve over the next many years. For some it is the most natural aspect if you work in music while for others it is still something that you would rather not talk about.

At SPOT we have chosen to take part in a more diverse music business – more precisely we have signed a Keychange Pledge to promote and work for more gender representation.

Keychange is a new global network and a movement which works towards a total reconstruction of the music industry where the goal is to achieve balance in gender representation. With founding partners like our festival colleagues at ReeperBahn Festival, and PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst, Keychange wants to create a better and more inclusive music industry for the current and future generations. According to Keychange Pledge coordinator, Francine Gorman, the change must accelerate as a result of the Keychange work that amongst others consists of a talent program and the Keychange Pledges – a pledge to contribute positively to the change.

In SPOT we have seen an organic change in the recent years when it comes to gender balance, especially in the artists that apply throughout our application round and that is a change that we want to support even more. That is why you’ll now find SPOT Festival amongst the Keychange Pledges – a group that only grows bigger.

According to SPOTs leader, Gunnar K. Madsen, there wasn’t much to think about when presented with the opportunity to become a Keychange Pledge.

“For SPOT it is important to support initiatives that we trust have a positive impact and which can strengthen the diversity in the music business in a constructive way. At SPOT there has always been quite much diversity in our repertoire – maybe because we aren’t a commercial gatekeeper and because we always have seen artistic renewal and diversity as a core purpose in our communication and work”, tells Gunnar K. Madsen.

Keychange is an important initiative, a useful tool and a movement that must be supported. As a part of the 500 current pledges of festivals and organisations, we look forward at SPOT to contribute even more positively to the changes to come and see what Keychange can do for the music industry as a whole.