Music Speaker Profile: Laura Laaksonen

Written by Rory Burbeck | February 25, 2014

SXSW 2014 Music Speaker: Laura Laaksonen

Very briefly, what do you do and what is your session about?

I am a researcher and public servant of international entrepreneurship in creative industries. My session is about entrepreneurship in the Finnish heavy metal scene. Heavy Metal Entrepreneurship in short.

How/why did you get started in the music industry?

I have always loved music - played instruments, sang in multiple bands, and written music. I got a chance to study music business after finishing my masters degree in engineering. That was a dream come true and I am very grateful for my university and especially my supervisor Toni-Matti Karjalainen who came up with the idea and made it happen.

How many years have you attended/spoke at SXSW in the past? If this is your first time at SXSW, what are you expecting?

This will be my third time attending. First time speaking. I love how this festival brings entrepreneurial spirits from different fields together. I'm really looking forward to meeting interesting people and having great conversations, also really looking forward to checking out interesting films and bands.

Best thing that’s happened in music in the last year?

This is something that happened in Finland. A young female artist Sanni released her first album. It was really refreshing, especially coming from the Finnish pop music scene. I know this is not very metal of me, but still...

Favorite new app/service/tech development in music?

I have been waiting for the IMDB of music for a long time and now music.info is doing exactly that, so that's cool. Also Songhi has this great platform for a fun and engaging way learning music on all levels. Others worth checking out are Audiosauna, Tunemio by Huimio, and until.am.

What’s the biggest issue facing the music business today? Can it be overcome?

I feel like the biggest issue today is artists not getting compensated for their work. It can be overcome but it will take time.

What’s the last live show you saw that floored you?

Susanne Sundfor, she is amazing. Also, the Finnish duo Phantom was phenomenal. When it comes to metal, the new singer of Nightwish, Floor Jansen floored me big time.

Favorite moment/weirdest thing you saw from a past SXSW?

I have to say it was Andrew W.K.'s keynote at SXSW 2011. So inspiring.

What artist(s) are you most looking forward to seeing perform at SXSW 2014?

Dune Rats from Australia.

Tacos or BBQ?

Is this a trick question?

Hear Laura Laaksonen at Heavy Metal Entrepreneurship - A Ph.D. Study on Thursday, March 13th at 5pm in ACC Room 13AB.

Photo courtesy of the speaker