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SXSW Music 2014

Heavy Metal Entrepreneurship - A Ph.D. study

My solo panel presents findings from my Ph.D. study on the success of Finnish heavy metal. The study, titled "Warhearts and Oceansouls:
Case studies of Finnish heavy metal entrepreneurs" analyzes musicianship through the lenses of entrepreneurship. Finnish music export has grown significantly in the last two decades. Most of the growth originates from the success of Finnish metal music. Bands like Amorphis, Nightwish and Children of Bodom have been touring and selling records globally since late 90's. In the core of the phenomenon is the artist and the band, the creators of the original artistic content and the performers of their music both on stages and in studios, both on home markets but most importantly internationally. These artist entrepreneurs develop and refine their product offering, they search for funding, distribution and partners in order to make a living doing what they love, as any entrepreneur does. I discuss the passion and path of the artist entrepreneurs' career.

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  1. Who is the artist entrepreneur, on an individual level and from a psychological perspective?
  2. What are the different skills possessed by the artist entrepreneurs?I used theories from entrepreneurship and psychology to understand the individual traits and tastes of these entreprenerus and their team compositions. The core theoretical framework I used is entrepreneurial passion. This sub question analyzes the individual level characteristics of the entrepreneurs, tream compositions and their stakeholders.
  3. How do the artist entrepreneurs acquire knowledge and expertise both in musicianship regarding their product and in business regarding the marketing of the product? This sub question analyzes the venture-level activities and decision-making process.
  4. Who are the most important stakeholders for these artist entrepreneurs and how do these relationships came to be?
  5. How is the relationship with the audience developed and maintained, and more specifically how do the bands communicate with their fans directly through social media?



Laura Laaksonen, Advisor, Consulate General of Finland Los Angeles

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Other
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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