Introducing: shesaid.so Sweden!
shesaid.so Sweden’s new chapter Directors, Dina Liberg and Nicole Palacio, remind us of Sweden’s contribution to the global music industry, and their hopes for the community in Sweden.
shesaid.so: Tell us a little more about yourselves and your career journeys to date.
Nicole: “I decided I wanted to work in the music industry in 1992 after reading an article in Sassy, the feminist teen magazine of the time, about a woman working in marketing at Def Jam Records. I was eleven years old and just moved to Los Angeles from rural California via Medellin, Colombia. So it has certainly been a journey! Whilst studying Music and Business at the University of Southern California, I interned at many companies in various areas of the industry, finally landing my first full-time job at a boutique talent agency managing the tour efforts of American house music legends Little Louie Vega and Junior Vasquez.
“In 2008, I ventured out to launch my own agency Muisca, which to date manages the global touring and promotional efforts of over twenty established and emerging techno music producers and DJs, including Truncate, Freddy K, Annika Wolfe and Gabriella Vergilov. Extending upon this practice, I partnered with celebrated Swedish house and left-field pop label Studio Barnhus to develop their in-house agency, representing a stellar collective of creators like Bella Boo and Off The Meds, with the support of label founders Axel Boman, Kornel Kovacs, and Pedrodollar. While running the agencies, I also worked over a decade in corporate sponsorship and advertising sales in LA with clients ranging from Coca-Cola to T-Mobile to Vogue.
“But in 2017, I went fully independent with the launch of a consultancy practice to connect global brands to local communities, mostly public parks, festivals, and arts & culture institutions. So I’ve truly dedicated myself to experiential entrepreneurship and to the music industry for nearly twenty years now and on a global scale, operating all three businesses from both Los Angeles, California and Stockholm, Sweden where I’m based since 2020 with my Swedish husband.”
Dina: “My road into the music industry hasn’t been exactly straight-forward. I did a degree in criminology, then after my studies I started working for a bank in Oslo. But I’ve always loved music and being creative. At age sixteen I set up a live theatre group with a few friends and performed at a music festival, a few years later I designed the backstage area at the same festival. When working as a financial advisor, I would often help our Events department and also arranged a few events on my own.
“My first role within the music industry was at Warner Chappell as a music consultant where I stayed for a year. From there I moved to Universal Production Music and worked for them for seven years. How I got into the music business in the first place was a mix of luck, hard work and determination. If you come from a different industry background it’s important to show how your previous job experiences can be transferred to the new role, and also how your personal skills will be perfect for the company.
“For personal reasons, I moved back to Sweden in 2021. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible for me to keep my position at Universal while working from Sweden, so I had to resign. But that pushed me to fulfil another dream of mine — starting my own company. So, now I’m the founder of the international sync agency Lionberg Music. It will be fun times ahead.”
shesaid.so: What inspired you to be involved with shesaid.so?
Nicole: “As a woman from an immigrant family and as an independent business owner, equal opportunity is deeply important to me and I know very well that access to that opportunity takes work. So I am happy to contribute to the communal effort, both locally and globally, provided by the shesaid.so platform and its actionable solutions. I first learned about shesaid.so via my industry network in LA back in 2015 so I joined the local chapter, drawn to its roots in electronic music which felt like a void in the industry until then. And I was impressed with the evolution that ensued over the years, particularly with the programmes in education and career resources, like financial planning and goal mapping, and with the calibre of brands and allies supporting the cause. Once I moved to Stockholm, I reached out to shesaid.so to learn about local resources, recognizing the need here for a similar global platform dedicated to women and gender minorities in the Swedish music industry. So I was happy to learn about the opportunity to lead the effort with our Co-Chair Dina.
Dina: “I have been a member of shesaid.so for years. It all started when someone I knew told me about a shesaid.so event she had attended. I checked out what shesaid.so was and immediately felt that I wanted to be a part of that community. I was a member of a few other music communities as well, but the differences with shesaid.so was that it was international and that it was inclusive for women and gender minorities from all parts of the music industry — different roles, ages, background and sectors within the industry are all welcome.
“I believe in working together to be able to make the changes necessary for more equal opportunities in the music industry. To meet all these amazing women around the world via shesaid.so has been fantastic — Nicole being one of them!
“When I came up with the idea of making a women-only production music album for the company I was working for, I reached out to shesaid.so and asked if they would be interested in this project. They said yes, and now two albums have been released thanks to this project. It has been great working with shesaid.so and I’m really looking forward to bring this positive energy to establish a community in Sweden, as welcoming as shesaid.so was to me.”
shesaid.so: How would you describe the music scene in Sweden?
Dina & Nicole: The music scene in Sweden is world-class. The network of songwriters, composers and performers that have achieved pop recognition is remarkable, from ABBA to Max Martin to Robyn to Avicii to Ace of Base to The Hives. The independent spirit also thrives, from house music to metal reaching global influence. And Sweden’s contribution towards music technology is quite influential globally. Spotify was founded in Sweden, and the seeds of Soundcloud, Amuse, and Beats Music were all planted here. High design music hardware companies liked Teenage Engineering and Urban Ears also maintain global reach. So Sweden has very much become a leader in music innovation, growing in diversity and in opportunity.
shesaid.so: Why did you want to form a chapter in Sweden?
Dina & Nicole: Sweden is well-known for its progressive policies towards gender equality. Generous paternity/maternity leave, subsidized university education enabling any person to pursue a degree, subsidized healthcare for all conditions, flat corporate hierarchies, and strong work-family balances are cultural norms here. But Sweden still has a way to go with equal representation specifically within the music industry. So we hope to provide that inclusive space with the access to more role models in leadership and to more education and resources, both at the artist and at the executive level, which we felt was needed for women and gender minorities here. Also we felt that Sweden should certainly be part of the conversations related to gender equality at the global level, so we are happy to share our perspectives with shesaid.so global.
shesaid.so: What are your hopes for shesaid.so Sweden?
Dina & Nicole: We hope to connect all the amazing women and gender minorities in the Swedish music industry, to find out together the needs to address and advance equality, to provide educational and inspirational programs in the spirit of collaboration across industry sectors, and to have fun whilst doing it.