Like many of you know I’m not just the one maintaining the forum, the owner of an online magazine that’s getting more known internationally, but also a promoter of various concerts in The Netherlands. Music is something that always had a great meaning in my life since I was a child, and since an old friend introduced me to Japanese music -the soundtrack of Cowboy Bebop- I have looked more into the world of music coming from the Land of the Rising Sun.
I don’t let myself be influenced by so-called hypes nowadays.
I was already listening to Japanese music, but these mostly had connections to anime. Think about TWO-MIX who had produced a few songs for Gundam Wing. It brought me to the point that I could even play a tune of Just Communication on the acoustic guitar. But I have been discovering music in my own way for years: slowly but steady. Most of the time I am running after trends that are no longer popular or I run away from it so I can discover it on my own when the hype has blown over. Sometimes I discover something before the hype, but up until now, that hasn’t happened too often. Nowadays I don’t let myself be and don’t like to be influenced by so-called hypes.
Number 1 fan
What I also like to avoid is the so-called “I am fan of 1 band and I follow this band’s every move”. I can’t do that. I know myself. If I follow one band I will bore myself after a while. Sometimes the members of a visual kei band manage to surprise me with one of their looks, but most of the time it’s more a quick judgement and on to the next band. I like variety and that prevents me from sticking to one band. Or it is an experimental band who changes genres occasionally, but usually, I like to listen to several bands and genres. This is why I like to go to concerts of bands who categorize under several genres.
What I also like to avoid are the so-called fan events, in which you can meet the band. Think about the VIP tickets which grant you early access to the venue before the concert and sometimes allow you to have a chat with the band. Add in a photo, which you can later see again through social media. Tag away! When I was presented with a VIP ticket for An Cafe by a really sweet friend I thought it was awesome, but also super awkward.
You’re there with a small group of people who all paid a certain amount to get to meet the band and get a picture with them -in this case, it luckily turned out to be a cheki- and a small chat. I feel watched by fans and try not to make any awkward movements that will make me stand out even more. Imagine this, this Summer I spontaneously decided to participate in a handshake event with a Japanese band in the Tower Records Shibuya in Tokyo. I was pretty much the only foreigner, while a large portion of the fourth floor was filled with fans. When I look back on it now I wonder why I did it. Even though I secretly didn’t want to miss it, because it was an experience. But if I want to do it again?
I rather support bands while being undercover. Especially since I am busy with organizing concerts. At the start of the organizing of concerts, I was still a bit undercover as organizer and promoter, because the shows were promoted under the name of the tour agencies. Slowly but steady I was recognized as the promotor behind these shows, and to give these shows a name something was thought up in a hurry about two years ago.
Being a promotor might look easy, but you have to keep in mind that if you want to continue to do something with this you have to make sure you behave professionally. Not just during the events themselves -you are the face behind the events you organize- but also outside of the events. I’m active on the social media, but I share more about the events I organize and the topics that have to do with AVO and which I am familiar with. I barely share anything personal -because let’s be honest: you don’t want to know that do you?-, but still, I often find myself with the urge to share a bit more. I still don’t. If I have the feeling that I want to share something I think about it first. Wonder what others would think about it. If it’s about bands I like I often doubt whether to share it or not. It shouldn’t end up like me sharing something of the same band too often! What if people who follow me start to label me as fangirl? This causes me to go silent on social media quite often.
“A promotor who fangirls about band this or that? That’s totally not done!”
The word ‘fangirl’ has a negative connotation for me, and if someone calls me a fangirl I don’t see that as a compliment in the slightest. It’s a sign to step down and find a cape that makes me go invisible if I wrap it around me. Being a fan of a band is a normal thing, but the border between fan and fangirl is pretty thin in my opinion and that makes it difficult to remain balanced if you are a promoter, and feels like you’re under a magnifying glass. “A promoter who fangirls about band this or that? That’s totally not done! We won’t take that one serious anymore. She’s trying to get in the bands of this guy or that guy.”
The search for balance
I work so hard for things and since I work together with musicians I feel like I can’t be myself on social media anymore. I feel like I am judged for my words way too easily and I should rather focus on new stuff related to AVO. And that’s pretty hard, because sometimes I can be very enthusiastic about certain things. Some bands are more active than others, and when the band who I’ve been following for years finally comes with a new album, I want to share that enthusiasm. But eventually I hold back most of the time because I think about how it would look for others. Sometimes I throw out a simple retweet but don’t add anything of my own. I still have to find the balance and don’t let myself be stopped by the thought of what others might think. That would relieve a lot of worry from my shoulders, and not to mention less wasted energy which I could have put in projects related to AVO. Because I have major plans! You can keep an eye on me through my personal Twitter account: @seraphinne. (I’m always in for a chat!)