We interviewed Xiana Fumega - The A and B side of the music industry i – Bryan Stepwise

We interviewed Xiana Fumega - The A and B side of the music industry in Spain

We learned about Xiana Fumega 's work when she and Zara Sierra formed Desvelo Música in 2015, carving out a niche for themselves in event production, management and communication.

Now, he continues his professional work alone, working alongside groups and soloists of great recognition on the national music scene.

We know that the culture sector is making a great effort to generate value and move forward despite Covid.

#Laculturaessegura is a movement to create spaces and formats for concerts, theater, etc. in which attendees can enjoy music safely.

Q.- What measures do you take?

A.- Indeed, an immense effort is being made to be able to hold concerts in alternative spaces to the circuits to which we were accustomed (in my case the halls).

It is true that theaters already hosted certain types of programming, but now we were presented with the challenge of bringing other styles of music to these spaces where the public, a priori, might feel a little out of place.

The result is being very positive. The public is eager for music and accepts the new “conditions” by behaving in an exemplary manner.

All measures are taken and all health, safety and hygiene protocols are applied. Access controls by taking temperature, disinfection of footwear and hands, safety distances at entrances and between seats, reduction of capacity.

Of course, it is being more than demonstrated that Culture is Safe and that all the professionals who are part of it in one way or another are working hard to continue working and continue offering cultural activities.

Concert by @ochoymedioclub. Via Instagram.

Some bands and promoters have been criticized for not following the recommended rules,

Q.- What is your opinion and how do you think it affects the sector?

A.- I really believe that there is a large majority of us who are doing things well, I'll stick with that. One good thing that the pandemic has had is that it has united us a lot as a sector to fight as a block and present our needs to the Administrations.

Associations of cultural workers have been consolidated to go all together. Will there be those who do not comply? Sure. But we must give visibility and voice to all of us who do.

During these months it has been shown, even with a clinical study (Prima-Cov) that concerts are safe. In the Community of Madrid itself, through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it has been certified that in the almost 4,000 cultural events held since the beginning of the pandemic there has not been a single outbreak.

In the Community of Madrid itself, through the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it has been certified that in the almost 4,000 cultural events held since the beginning of the pandemic there has not been a single outbreak.

In an increasingly competitive and digitalized world, the music sector has had to reinvent itself countless times. Specifically, your work is very appreciated since we are talking about live music. A format that attracts the public and that a stream cannot replace.

Q.- Still, do you think that in the face of the pandemic it can be a way out?

A.- I believe that streaming can be a complement but it can never replace the complete experience of a live concert. That connection between artist and audience that is established in a live show can hardly be reproduced through a screen.

Concert @vampireweekend. Via Instagram.

Even though he is grateful, he is also very sacrificial. Behind a concert there is a lot of planning, overtime, objectives,...

Q.- Side A and side B of the music industry? What is the best and worst of the sector?

A.- I am very happy with my job. I love production, I love when all the pieces fit together for a concert to develop successfully because there is, as you say, pre-production, work and enormous dedication behind it.

For me that is side A. When the concert ends and the band is happy because everything went perfectly and you know that you are part of that.

It also happened to me when we acted as managers and experienced first-hand the triumphs of the artists we worked with.

The worst thing, although fortunately I think it is changing, is the competitiveness that exists between “rival” promoters or managers. Let it be commented in a joking way if this or that has crashed at a gig, the fierce negotiations to scratch every last cent...

This was largely what wore Zara and me down when we were working to get Desvelo forward.

We wanted to impose our way of working, based on ethics, empathy, camaraderie and good practices and many times we ran into concrete walls.

Q.- What is the great challenge of musical culture in Spain?

A.- Let it be valued. We have a musical scene with a lot of quality and talent, but there is a lack of platforms, aid, and means.

We hear more and more news about music media closing their newsrooms, few programs on public television betting on musical content. “Fortunately” they continue to emerge on payment platforms, but not available to everyone…

Artists can hardly dedicate themselves only to music, it is a very precarious sector.

In the best of cases they charge for playing, but no other phase of the entire process to get to play is contemplated, not even creation. There is a need for regulation and for the Artist Statute to be implemented now.

Tell us a little about your experience.

Q.- What would you say is a great moment in your career as a promoter?

A.- A super sweet moment was when we teamed up with Las Odio. Working with them from the beginning of their first album, experiencing all the joys together, seeing how everyone's work became a tour that went through the main festivals (Primavera Sound, FIB, Bilbao BBK Live, Tomavistas, Contempopranea...) was very very satisfactory.

This stage also coincided with the birth of my daughter, and with my job as production manager forOchoymedio , so it was a triple challenge.

I hate them, New Year's Eve special. Via Instagram.

Q.- What would you like to do in the future?

I would like to continue linked to music and cultural management. I love the production (I think I've already said it a couple of times haha) but it is true that it requires much more effort to reconcile with family life; especially when the time comes again to work in festivals (hopefully soon!) and taking into account that I have my second child on the way.

This month and with this campaign we put the focus on the figure of women in the music industry. We believe that greater visibility is necessary for the role that artists, like you, play in this sector.

One of the most notable aspects, in this sense, of your work is the low representation of women in posters and warm ups at festivals and concerts.

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about it and it seems that there are many more bands and singers at these events.

Q.- In your opinion, is it really changing or does there still be a lot to do?

A.- Yes it is changing, but very slowly and with a lot of effort. At Desvelo we make the commitment (with ourselves) to fight to value female talent.

Since 2016 we decided to bet on bands led or composed entirely of women and work with them hand in hand to find those gaps.

Many times what we were offered was to put them in programming exclusively for female artists or specific festival stages where only women performed. There we realized everything we still had to work on.

It's not about giving us spaces created for us, it's about these artists being able to reach the same stages and play at the same times as male bands.

Q.- What aspects do you consider important to work on to advance in this direction?

A.- The Administrations must act so that in public spaces there is a real balance between the representation of women and men.

Aid or subsidies to encourage hiring, creation and female entrepreneurship. Eliminate the wage gap.

It is also necessary for the media to give more visibility to artists and professionals; and that all this is something continuous, not specific actions on specific dates like March 8.

I also think that if more professional women had access to management positions, artistic hiring policies would change because the gender perspective would be more present.

In forums and fairs or professional meetings there is also a lack of spaces for us to participate not only because we are women to talk about feminism or discrimination in music, but also because we are professionals in the industry.

March 8. Via Instagram.

Q.-Have you ever felt undervalued in your work because you are a woman? (For example: you have not been given the same opportunities as some of your colleagues; sexist comments; etc...)

A.- I have many anecdotes from the 15 years that I have been working in music. Yes, I have often felt undervalued and yes, the question has crossed my mind on many occasions: “Would this be happening to me if I had a penis?”

"The question has crossed my mind on many occasions: 'Would this be happening to me if I had a penis?'

I remember once, representing a group on a television network, that they brought me a rights transfer contract and asked me “who signs this for us?” I responded that I would sign it and they replied, “No, but it has to be the manager.” I said again that I would do it and they still insisted “No, but your boss.” Sexist or micro-sexist comments and attitudes, almost in every production.

If there is a man around, they will generally ask him anything related to the production rather than me, who directs it... unless it is about catering or invitations, then I am his person.

I also think it would be good if when the media asks us these questions, the focus changes a little and they start asking us how we respond or how we act in the face of these sexist attitudes; Perhaps this way we can give tools to colleagues who also suffer from it to deal with this issue and eradicate it.

Q.- What are you listening to the most right now?

A.- Eva Ryjlen, Zahara, Las Ginebras, Aiko, the group, Yawners, Casero, dani... This year, thanks to theOchoymedio and Intromúsica programming I have been lucky enough to work and discover several female artists/groups with a lot of talent and potential .

Q.- Any associations, organizations, festivals, other girls (producers, stylists, photographers,...) that you feel proud of?

I am very proud of the colleagues who surround me and with whom I usually work.

Starting with my boss atOchoymedio Belén Chanes, promoter, singer from Lkan, actress... my partner Bea Cort from Intromúsica , my partner (always will be) and sister Zara Sierra, now contributing her talent and experience to Oso Polita and Last Tour, the girls from the Trinchera (Lorena and Carla) companions in many festivals, photographers like Wilma Lorenzo (also versatile) or Lupe de la Vallina, Lucía Zuloaga, production manager from Baltimore, Imarú Aledo and Carol Rodriguez, festival directors...

Fortunately, every day there are more women and in more areas of work.

Q.-What is your guilty pleasure about music?

With a 4-year-old girl I will tell you that I sing all the songs from Frozen and Moana with real passion and it is not even necessary for my daughter to be in front of me.

Concert @ginebrasbanda. Via Instagram.

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