Jun 07, 2022
Get To Know: Eric Fender
Eric Fender is someone who knows the music industry inside and out, and has built a career touching many different aspects of music including production, DJing, management, A&R and more. He's an encyclopedia of knowledge and joins us to discuss what he's been up to and where things are headed for him and the industry at large.
Hi Eric, thanks for joining us today! Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your current roles within the music industry?
Hey guys, thanks for having me! I'm Eric Fender, currently 26 years active in the dance music industry. Right now I'm focusing on releasing new music in 2022. Expect some fresh house cuts and some more obscure deep tech, but always with soul, funk and intoxicating rhythms. I will be releasing three house tracks on Freeway Recordings in the next few months, so watch this space! I am also doing A&R for Freeway Recordings alongside John Christian and JeeCee. On the management side I am developing some incredible new talents.
Taking things back, how did you get started with a career in dance music and what made you want to pursue this as a career?
I started as a producer/DJ working with Jamez and Laidback Luke (both released on the classic Dutch imprint Touché in the mid to late 90s) and released a bunch of music and some remixes. Later I started focusing on the business side of our industry, working for big distributors of vinyl and mix compilations.
While being a resident DJ and programmer at various clubs in The Netherlands, I became A&R and label manager for the Sneakerz MUZIK label alongside Dutch legend Erick E. I did remix management for Nicky Romero, Bingo Players, Bart B More, Sandro Silva and many others. I've traveled around Europe (and beyond) with Laidback Luke, Fedde Le Grand and Sébastien Léger to mention a few.
I started a management company called TTTM where we launched the careers of Sick Individuals, Stadiumx, and the list goes on. When the house music virus hit me in the early 90s, I knew it would stick with me forever. Meeting amazing and talented people around the globe. Experiencing massive raves and festivals and sets of Derrick May, Dimitri and Marcello at clubs in and around Amsterdam. Over the years I created a network within the music industry attending WMC, ADE and IMS and have been using this to help new talents grow. I love to create careers from zero to something with impact.
As someone who has been involved in all aspects of the industry, how have you seen the evolution of the roles of a manager and a music label change over the course of your career? Where do you see these roles heading in the future?
For me, being involved as a music manager grew organically after having been involved with so many aspects of the industry from A&R to tour management and legal to marketing and sales. I started as a collector of dance music in my younger years and later a producer and remixer. I loved Detroit techno, Italian house, anything from NYC and Chicago… early Dutch, Belgian, French and German techno and house. I basically combined being a creative in music with the business side. Right now I will focus on working with a few really talented producers/DJs (who will gain attention really soon) and working on my own music career again.
Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve worked with (or still work with)? What made your experience working with them special?
I like to work with artists who think forward and develop something different and new. This is very hard to do these days. Fedde Le Grand made some amazing tracks, Bingo Players as well, my Hungarian friends Stadiumx are incredible talents. What made it special was the dedication to reach their goals and deliver that fresh sounding music! I have many stories of talents I worked with and for, and I might start a podcast in the near future… keep an eye out!
For all of the aspiring DJs and producers who are just getting going and maybe have one, two, or three releases on 1001Tracklists, what would be the top three pieces of advice that you would give them as they try to progress their careers?
Regarding music production: original sound design, intelligent composition (less = more) and some SOUL! Take any gig you can, do at least 10K hours of DJing. Network, network, network! In clubs, at festivals, and at music conferences. And stay humble and focused!
What are some trends that you're noticing which are affecting the industry currently or trends that you think we can expect moving forward?
Well it's harder to make a career in music for sure. With so much music released every week, make sure you have your releases and social media ready to rock and keep it rockin'. Your career is basically 25% music and 75% promoting it on any and every platform that is out there. NFTs will be around for a while, it is very interesting how that industry is developing. If you want to be successful, you have to create, think and act with a focus on the future.
Connect with Eric Fender: Instagram
short link 1001.tl/779shl