IMJA 2017

International Music Journalism Award - Let's celebrate Music Journalism


Steve Blame (Moderator, Author)

Author, Screenwriter, Format Developer and host. Steve Blame was MTV News Editor and Presenter between 1987 and 1994. At MTV he interviewed all major pop stars from Madonna to McCartney. He presented MTV News, MTV News At Night, The Steve Blame Show, and Take the Blame. As the main on-air presenter spearheading MTV's pro-social campaigns Blame interviewed world leaders and religious figures such as Gorbachev, Delors, Peres, and even the Dalai Lama. After leaving MTV in 1994, the former Mathematics and Physics graduate took up residence in Germany where he set up Viva 2. Under his direction the channel won the Gold Art Director's Award for its on-air design in 1996. Blame released his auto-biography "Getting Lost is Part of the Journey" (2011) and the books "Emotionale Vaseline" or "Zwischen Rotwein, Filetsteak und Popstar-Neurosen" (both 2013).

Dani Fromm (Redaktion, laut.de)

Born in Frankonia, Dani Fromm moves to the Lake Constance region to study in the early 90s; nice area but also a cultural wasteland for anyone with even a slightly leffield taste in music. She who isn’t offered anything does it herself: University parties at first, the rest follows. Two and a half decades and numerous promoted concerts, readings and dj shows, festivals, bookings, tour management and babysitting for various musicians, half an agency and a full-on second-hand record-store later, her diploma in biophysics still sits unused in a drawer. Yo Mama Fromm got stuck as an editor of laut.de. This is where since 2004 she writes about soul, funk, pop, reggae, schlager, humppa and overtone singing, mostly about hip hop though, her first love, for ever.

Wolf Kampmann (Freelancer publicist and lecturer / Hochschule der populären Künste)

Wolf Kampmann was born in 1962 and libves in Berlin since 1970. He is a freelance music journalist, university lecturer and book author (a.o. „Jazz: A History From 1900 Until The Day After Tomorrow“, German only, Reclam.). He teaches History of Popular Music and Music Journalism at Berlin’s SRH University for the Popular Arts and Jazz History at Berlin’s University of the Arts. In 2015 he received the Prize for German Jazz Journalism. Since 2016 Wolf Kampmann is Chief Editor of online magazine SPAM.

Melissa Perales (Consultant, Curator / Music Pool Berlin, Torstrassenfestival)

Melissa moved from Chicago to Berlin in the 90s. Since then she has organized an international film festival, owned her own restaurant, and began booking and promoting live shows and film screenings under the moniker M:Soundtrack. As a concert promoter she presents international acts monthly in venues such as Schokoladen, Grüner Salon or Berghain Kantine. M:Soundtrack is a platform and meeting point within the Berlin independent music scene since 2004. Melissa is a board member with all2gethernow, a conference for new strategies within the music business and its cultural landscape. Melissa’s passion is soundtracks, therefore starting Supertape was the likely result: a music supervision and consulting company which she runs together with the documentary filmmaker, Sabine Steyer. Since 2014, Melissa is a co-founder and consultant of the Music Pool Berlin, the central place to go for musicians and people working in the music business, living and working in Berlin. Since 2017, Melissa is the co-founder of European Women in Music e.V. a.k.a We Make Waves  (link FB), a new Europe-wide network based on learning, sharing, connecting and exchange for women in the music industry and connected creative fields. This first big event will happen in Berlin, November 2017. Besides all of this Melissa is a hobby cook and a supermom to two boys, 3 and 16 years old.

Doreen Schimk (Director Promotion & Coordination, Warner Music Central Europe)

Doreen Schimk started her career in the music business as radio promotion manager for edel records. Following positions at Sony Music, Sony-BMG and Columbia Four Music and more than 15 years in senior management in the field of promotion, she holds the post of Director Promotion & Coordination at Warner Music Group since 2011. In this time she has worked with artists such as Blümchen, Scooter, Ed Sheeran or Robin Schulz. As early as 1994 Doreen Schimk has started a first initiative for the support of women in the music business:The female-event-promoter collective  „SISTARS“ was aiming to support female artists by the conception and production of various music events. In 1995, using the moniker Queen Doreen, she and Danielle Mommertz of Dub Me Ruff founded Double D., the first female dub sound system. From 1992 to 2002 Doreen was an active member of many artist collectives and groups putting up events. She is a founding member of „Hey Ladies“ and keeps on supporting women in the music and creative industries.

Frank Spilker (Musician "Die Sterne", Author)

Frank Spilker is the founder of one of the most influential bands in German language. „Die Sterne“ started writing indie guitar music style pop songs by the middle of the eighties and became popular throughout the German speaking countries in the mid nineties. Along with his music he startet self marketing it through the cooperative label „Fast Weltweit“ and later in Hamburg was signed to „L’Age D’Or“ where he too had to call up radio stations by himself before it became one of the most appreciated Independent labels of Germanys music scene. „L’Age D’Or“ went on to become first a dance music label and then broke - whereas "Die Sterne" are still alive and touring. In 2003 they founded the band owned label Materie Records and self released the "Die Sterne" album „24/7“ among others. Spilker is also a solo artist and an author especially in times of lower productivity of his band. The album „Mit all den Leuten“ was released in 2008, the novel „Es interessiert mich nicht...“ in 2013. "Die Sterne" are currently releasing through the Berlin based label Staatsakt. You might think of Frank Spilker as a generally well connected person of the German music scene.

Birte Wiemann (Projectmanagement Cargo Records, Boardmember VUT)

Birte Wieman originally wanted to become a lecturer for English language and literature studies, received a PhD at the University of Hull in Northern England and may since 2013 call herself Dr. phil Birte Wiemann. There was a clear path ahead of her it seemed. While studying Birte didn’t mind squashing into a tour van with little-known local bands time and again over six years, doing interviews with bands like Alexisonfire, Thrice or Gallows for Fuze magazine. Even her dissertation somehow managed to include the Sex Pistols. Somewhere along the way, while sticking her nose in a book presumably, Birte must have lost her way. Instead of pursuing the academic career her parents had hoped she was about to enter, she landed in the independent music business. She is part of music distributor Cargo Records’ team in Germany’s Wuppertal for 12 years now, responsible for project management. Cargo Records happily celebrated recent chart successes with Bon Iver, Afghan Whigs, Sleaford Mods, Boysetsfire or Slowdive. At 2016’s Reeperbahn Festival Birte was elected a member of the managing board of Germany’s independent music association, VUT. Meanwhile Birte’s parents claim to understand what she does for a living. 

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