Managing Director
Helsinki 2008

(Photo by SAM AGENCY OY Official)

"The whole music industry goes through big changes at the moment"

Suiciderock: You are the owner of Samagency. What are the main functions of your job, what exactly is Samagency?

Sami: Sam Agency Ltd is an artist management and booking agency, besides that we are responsible for the publishing stuff as well. We mainly book our Finnish roster for tours in Finland but also in Scandinavia, Baltics and Russia.

Suiciderock: For how long do you earn your money that way now?
Sami: I´ve been running the company for about 10 years now and earned my living this way for almoust the same time.

Suiciderock: Was it always your deepest wish to work in the music industry?
Sami: Not actually, my plans have been totally different. But you can´t always predict or choose your life beforehand. I´m happy the way things have turned out.

Suiciderock: If not what have you done before you started your career in the music business?
Sami: I´ve studied arts, played in a band, worked in a casino, plus studied at the Rock Manager´s training program (IMMF+Sibelius Academy), and some business-related studies.

Suiciderock: What are the positive and negative aspects of your job?
Sami: I think the positive aspects are: I am travelling a lot, meeting lots of nice people and work on very interesting fields where no day is alike. The downsides might be sometimes busy schedules, short-term way of thinking in the business.

Suiciderock: You manage some big names in Finland, such as the Don Johnson Big Band. What does a band need to get your attention? What criteria makes you choose a band?
Sami: Bands like the Don Johnson Big Band and Poets of the Fall has drawn my attention mainly with their music which has had something unique. Talent! Criterias for me when choosing a band are music, talent, motivation and charisma. I´m always looking for something new and exiting.

Suiciderock: What`s your opinion about the current situation of the music industry in general?
Sami: The whole music industry goes through big change at the moment, we all know the situation. Some of the cards are now dealt again at the moment and future will show who are the players and winners. I kinda enjoy the situation as being adventurous person.

Suiciderock: I read somewhere that you are playing some instruments as well. Which ones?
Sami: You read wrong ;) Well, ok. I have played some bassguitar ages ago, but nothing to mention about. Let´s be quiet about that and not tell anyone, ok?

Suiciderock: Did you ever consider changing from your position as a manager / booking agent into the position of a musician?
Sami: No I haven´t, like mentioned before I have played in a band but made the decision to leave making music to those who are really good at it. So more like the other way around. I´ve specialised helping artist on their career and that´s what I feel I´m good at.

Suiciderock: What characteristics does a good manager need in your opinion?
Sami: Honest, hard-working, good contacts, good overall knowledge and understanding of music business. Good skills with people and also negotiating skills. Ability to adapt to new situations quickly. Can make decisions, quickly if nessessary. PR-skills, basic understanding of music law etc etc. The list is long and you will learn new things every day.

Suiciderock: Please describe yourself by using one word.
Sami: Passionate

Suiciderock: You mentioned that your are mostly much more nervous than the band itself before they play a gig. How comes?
Sami: *laughing* It was kinda a joke, but also has some truth in it too. I do tend to be a bit nervous when the bands I love go on stage, but in a good way. I know that at that point there´s nothing much I can do but enjoy the show.

Suiciderock: What kind of advice would you give to a young band or a young musician?
Sami: Take your career seriously if you are aiming high and enjoy what you do!

Suiciderock: Famous last words?
Sami: Rock n roll!