ProPromotion Oy
Tampere 2008

"I'm just there to hold their hand, they have to walk their own way"

Suiciderock: You are the owner of “ProPromotions”. What are your main tasks, the main functions of your job?
Taija Holm: My main target is to make stars out of my artists. I want to see them as big stars one day. I want to make people to buy their records. I`m responsible for the releases on the national market and hopefully on the international market as well.

Suiciderock: ProPromotions exists since 2006. When did you decide to open your own company and was it difficult to open it?
Taija Holm: I was thinking about this for two years before I opened ProPromotions. I actually wanted to be the person behind the artists I like. When you work for a record company you just get the artists right infront of your nose. They are from all genres from Hip Hop to Metal and you can`t choose with who you want to work. With ProPromotion I`m happy to be able to choose the partners I like to work with by myself.

Suiciderock: You work for some big Finish names, such as Popeda. What criteria do the musicians have to bring with them to get your attention and interest?
Taija Holm: Well, it depends on many many things. The band or the artist has to be interesting in many different ways. I mean for me the persons in a band have to be interesting. There has to be an impressing story behind the persons, this is an aspect that is very important for me. I can`t work with insane people. That`s why I have a few meetings with them beforehand. It`s very hard to work with guys who are kind of “out of this world”. I tried to say that very nicely now *smiles*. I think this are the main facts.

Suiciderock: Was it always your intention to work in the music business?
Taija Holm: Yeah, you must know that my dad was a musician and my mom is a marketing lady, so that`s why I always have been related to this music-marketing stuff. Music has always played a very important roll in my family.

Suiciderock: Have you ever done something else than dealing with music?
Taija Holm: Yes, I wasn`t born in a record company *smiles*. I was working for Tamperes Trade fair for about four years. I was responsible for many different events here in Tampere. My work included many different fields from handicrafts to some kind of security – themes, it was covering a wide spectrum. But after a while I just found out that this is not me at all! I wanted to have a job which is more related to music. I didn`t want to play or sing in some band. It was clear that I want to work behind the artists and help them to push themselves further. I wanted to be the lady who helps pushing their career step by step into the next level.

Suiciderock: Have you ever tried how it is to be on the other site? Did you ever play in a band yourself?
Taija Holm: Oh I did. I had a band together with my little brother. We were playing some Guns `n Roses songs in the very early 90`s. I was singing and I also played the keyboards. Our dad was the one, who was most exited of our project. He was too exited in my opinion. That was also the reason why I left the band later on *smiles*. I was so ashamed of the whole situation that my dad was on every of our gigs and so on. Imagine you are a teenager and you can`t go anywhere without your father. He was carrying our instruments, he was our driver and also the fact that I was playing with my little brother made it very difficult `cause this was just too close for me. But I guess this was a good experience for me.

Suiciderock: Does this help you to understand your artists better?
Taija Holm: Yes, as I can understand my artists nowadays. I know what it is like when they are rehearsing, playing gigs, preparing for them and so on because I tried that myself before, too.l It`s like “been there, done that”. At least they can`t come over to me and tell me that I don`t know what it is like.

Suiciderock: What are the positive and negative aspects of your job?
Taija Holm: Positive is that I can work with nice people everyday. Every day is a different day. There is no day a like or similar to the other. I can be creative, it`s a very enthusiastic job for me. The negative aspects are that I have to care very much for the appointments of my artists. Most of them don`t know what they have to do. I`m organising their schedules and they don`t know their own schedule, even if I sent it to them. I have to remind them all the time a lot. They call me and ask me if they can go to their grandma or whatever. They don`t want to have anything to do with their schedules. Not all of them are like that but if you have ten guys asking you all the time what`s going on it feels a bit ununderstandable for me. It`s the character of some musicians. You can`t change them. It`s quite hard for me to remind all those guys all the time. That can be very negative sometimes.

Suiciderock: You have so many projects going on besides ProPromotions. How do you manage to combine everything?
Taija Holm: I show you my calendar. Luckily it`s big enough so I can collect everything in it.

Suiciderock: So you don`t need someone to remind you?
Taija Holm: No, not at all. There`s everything in there, my business life as well as my private life, also if it sometimes feels like I don`t have so much of private life nowadays.

Suiciderock: Isn`t that hard sometimes to work so hard all the time?
Taija Holm: I don`t take that job as hard work. I would be depressed if I had nothing to do. I`m a workaholic. I feel important while doing this. Of course, I can`t take care of everything as also my days have only 24hours. That`s why I have my assistant Laura. She helps me very much. I have to admit that I don`t have the time to do everything by myself. I`m just a human beeing like anybody else out there.

Suiciderock: What characteristics does a good promoter need in your opinion?
Taija Holm: You have to be patient and you have to be a very social person. A good promoter needs good connections. You have to collect those connections so that you`ll get a wider and better net-work. You have to keep your ears open, you have to stay interested in the things around you. It is also very important to find the best partners to work with. I mean clients, musicians, record companies and so on. It`s depending very much on the choices you make. You have to be nice even if you are fucked up, you have to keep smiling.

Suiciderock: You received the music and media award 2008 two weeks ago?
Taija Holm: I think that I got this award because I`ve been very nice to the people and because I`ve done my job good, I`ve done what I`ve promised to my bands. I think I keep up the good spirit and that`s why all my bands and partners like to work with me. They don`t have any border to call me. They can always reach me and they`ll always find an open ear whenever they have something in their mind. I do everything for them. I`m just there to hold their hand, they have to walk their own way.

Suiciderock: How did it feel to receive that award?
Taija Holm: I was so amazed `cause I didn`t know anything beforehand. The organisers knew that I will be there because I was working at the Music and Media event, so I had that pass to get in. We were sitting on a table during the gala when the named the 3 nominees. When the host said my name I was so surprised and overwhelmed. I only had 12 seconds to think of my speech. It was the first time that this award went out of Helsinki. There was a hell of a party afterwards.

Suiciderock: Please describe yourself by using one word.
Taija Holm: Oh, that`s hard. I`m a quite nice person, I`m good to work with and I have learned to be a better boss. I`m not giving up that easily, I have that kind of fighter personality.

Suiciderock: Is there any band, dead or alive you would love to work with?
Taija Holm: I admire all Finish bands because they`ve done such a great job on the domestic market as well as on the international market. That`s why I`ll name two Finish bands now: These are HIM and Nightwish. I`m very sure that they know me already. I`ve spoken with Nightwish´s Tuomas Hollopainen several times. We know each other, now we have to see what happens in the future.

Suiciderock: Is there any band that is not known yet, but you would recommend as kind of a secret tip?
Taija Holm: Yeah there is one. I would recommend a band called “RAW”. It`s a trio and the bandmembers are all in the age of 12, so they are still teenagers. They still go to school, they are very cute and they`ve composed all their songs by themselves, they`ve written all their songs by themselves. They are very talented guys, it is something new, something different if you compare them to all this rockbands where all guys are about 25 years old. Plus they are singing in Finish! They will also perfom at some festivals next summer.

Suiciderock: Your opinion about the Finish music industry at the moment?
Taija Holm: The decline of the album sells isn`t that much as forecasted. It`s about 2%. The whole business hasn`t become as big as expected. There is a big gap. The life-show business is growing very fast here in Finland. The people prefer going to the shows instead of buying the cd´s. They buy the albums but there is a big increase of the life show thing. It`s kicking!!!

Suiciderock: What kind of advice would you give to a young band or a young musician?
Taija Holm: If you make good music and you have good partners who work hard with you along the whole way, than your future will be bright.

Suiciderock: Your future projects?
Taija Holm: There is this American promotion company, called “Mama Trash” who will hold their own festival, the “Mama Trash Festival” in Helsinki next year and she asked me to promote the whole event in March. She is a nice lady, I really like her. It will take place in March in Helsinki and the club is called “Gloria”, so be there!!!

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