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Interview with STEVE BURSKY, manager at Foundations for Owl City, Dispatch, Breanne Düren - Jul 11, 2011
“[Universal Republic] see Owl City as representing the future of our business. This idea of a kid in rural U.S. being able to make songs in his basement that sound like Top 40 radio could never have happened ten years ago.”
When Universal Republic recommended a manager to hot new signing Owl City (US & UK No.1) rather than pick out a seasoned pro with years of success under their belt, they went with the relatively untested talent of then 27-year-old Steve Bursky, of Foundations Artist Management.
Bursky may have had no experience with a major mainstream act, but he had proven himself to be on the pulse of the new online-orientated music industry when he oversaw U.S. jam band Dispatch build a massive grassroots fanbase by employing such pioneering promo tactics as using file-sharing to generate revenue. With the home-grown web success story of Owl City very much a product of this new age, Republic clearly felt a manager in tune with online spaces and social networking was more important than one with a dazzling track record. Owl City’s phenomenal subsequent success – with single ‘Fireflies’ attracting over 6 million sales worldwide and album ‘Ocean Eyes’ hitting top 10 in UK, USA and Germany - has shown their decision to be an astute one.
As Owl City release its follow-up album and Dispatch finish up a run of massive sell-out shows across the U.S., the Foundations founder talks to HitQuarters about how to assess potential managers, what’s involved in laying the groundwork for a successful career and why Owl City represent the future of the music industry.
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