Where are you based?
I’m a Norwegian born music lover and entrepreneur living in the beautiful city of Oslo. This is also where my company, Masterchannel, is located.
Where do you work? What do you do?
In 2021 I founded an AI music company called Masterchannel (Masterchannel.ai), alongside the German mastering engineer Simon Hestermann and the Norwegian DJ and producer Matoma.
Masterchannel is an AI mastering service which makes it possible for anyone to achieve professional sound quality with only one click of a button, similar to how the ‘magic wand’ makes every picture more bright etc. Only that we do it for sound. AND people and companies we work with love it, due to how well-created we managed to build the tool.
As the CEO of Masterchannel a lot of what I do comes down to building and managing. I make sure we’re on schedule, talk to customers, pitch to investors, in addition to being the professional face of the company. All in all, a Jack of all trades, master of none.
What are you listening to?
Masterchannel is a start-up so a lot of my time is spent working, which I don’t mind, but in order to keep up with the pace I am addicted to listening to music while working.
Most of the time I listen to chill beats like Lo-Fi, Chillhouse, Melodic DnB and classical music from artists such as Jacoo, Etherwood, Dance Fruits, Tony Anderson and more.
But when I need to get “energized” I have two different paths; one is the electronic and one is the hip-hop scene. For electronic music that gives me some energy I love music from Arty, Chase & Status, Odesza and similar. As for hip-hop I’m a sucker for Mac Miller (R.I.P), Logic, The Kings Dead / The Deans List and the older stuff from G-Eazy.
How do you discover new music?
The way Spotify highlights artists and songs for me is a go-to way of discovering music, similar to what I already listen to. I feel like they’ve done something right here, but of course it can be a bit homogenous sometimes. So if I’m in the mood (and actually take time) to discover new music I have actually started finding a lot of cool songs that we have mastered at Masterchannel, cause there are so many great talents that we help! Big shoutout to artists like rayn, Shaun Reynolds and Black Prez!
But I also have another, maybe weirder, way of finding new music and that is through friends outside of the music community that I hang out with. Some of them listen to Norwegian “schlager” / country music, and even though I don’t often admit it, some of these songs are way too catchy! My girlfriend thinks it kind of weird sometimes, but she can’t help but smile when I sing along to songs about ploughing the field and driving my pickup truck. My life is not similar to the lyrics in those songs at all, but they are so damn catchy…
What formats do you usually listen to? LP, CD, Cassette, Digital, Streaming Services? Why?
99% of the time I listen to music digitally, because I’m often on the run, so if I can listen to it on my phone then that’s good. Here I switch between Spotify and Soundcloud as these are my two go-to streaming platforms.
Spotify is always good to use as I have my playlists and the recommended songs there usually strikes a chord with me. Soundcloud is more about finding the songs that are not yet released or don’t have the right copyright to be on Spotify. Soundcloud also has a special place in my heart due to it being the place where I had my first viral hits back in 2014.
But over the years I also got a bit into vinyl, especially when I’m visiting my parents. They have a large shelf of old original vinyls from the 60s, 70s and 80s which it’s fun to dig through. There is something about the feeling of putting on a vinyl that digital streaming service can’t replace, even for me as a guy born digital.
“One frustration I have with listening to music digitally is the lack of consistency in the quality of the music. Even though Spotify, Apple Music and the other streaming services adjust the volume, the output from artists still varies so much so it becomes a challenge.”
Where do you do most of your music listening?
I’m one of those people who listen to music all the time, which also the Spotify wrapped shows. I think I listened to 80,000 + minutes on Spotify in 2022 or something, so it’s music when I work, when I travel, when I cook dinner etc.
But one thing that some people can find a bit weird is that I listen to music when I do certain things, and it needs to be specific songs, like I’m trying to make my life into a movie. One example is when I’m getting dressed to go out I can put on a song that makes me feel “cool” and that I kind of vision myself being part of a movie scene where the actor is getting dressed and it needs to be the right music for that exact scene. And it can take a while to find that specific song, so you see where I’m going. It can take time to get dressed…
How do you find and listen to pre-release music?
In my work I get to listen to a lot of pre-releases which we master at Masterchannel.ai. There are a lot of great songs being mastered through us, and the joy of hearing them on streaming platforms afterwards is something I really enjoy.
But that said, I also find a lot of unreleased songs when listening to different DJ-streams, which I do from time to time. One of my favourite ones is Purified by Nora en Pure as she is a great DJ when it comes to picking out new tracks and putting them together in a nice package.
As a music producer myself I also provide feedback to others from time to time and this brings me a lot of joy the same way as my work at Masterchannel does. To be able to play a tiny part in the process really brightens up my day.
What are your frustrations with listening to music digitally? Any benefits?
One frustration I have with listening to music digitally is that there is a lack of consistency in the quality of the music. Even though Spotify, Apple Music and the other streaming services adjust the volume, the output from artists still varies so much so it becomes a challenge.
Another aspect of listening to music digitally is the challenge of copyright. There are so many great songs, especially remixes, that do not have the right copyright which makes it hard for them to be present online. Copyright issues are a big challenge for the industry, but I believe we can develop a system where all kinds of music can be released, and where the rights holders can be rightfully paid for the use of their songs / samples. Because if someone remixes your song, that is one hell of a way of being appreciated I would say!
“There is something about the feeling of putting on a vinyl that digital streaming service can’t replace, even for me as a guy born digital.”
How do you keep track of everything you are listening to?
Oh, that’s a hard one.. I try to save songs on Spotify or other services, but most times I don’t. What I have experienced over the years is that songs that have something that resonates with me, I have never really forgotten. I can be in a random setting and then suddenly one song just pops into my head. What I’ve started doing is that I find the song on Spotify, take a screenshot, and then listen to it afterwards. That usually helps.
Do you tip other people off to new music? How?
At Masterchannel we have a channel where we regularly post new music that we want to share with the rest of the team. That can either be new songs that we mastered and are proud of, or it can be random song one of us think the others should listen to.
Outside of the work environment my girlfriend is the one that has to “suffer” the most, cause I’m always eager to play new songs to her. Then I act like a small child on the first day of school, typically when I get back home from work, and before we talk about anything else she needs to listen to it.
Anything you want to “promote”?
I am privileged to work with some talented people within my company, such as my Co-Founder and CTO Simon Hestermann, who is also an amazing mastering engineer who took the leap to join the AI side of the mastering industry. The same goes for our third co-founder Tom, more known as the renowned DJ and Producer Matoma.
In addition we’ve been able to work with some amazingly talented artists such as the one I mentioned previously but also producers like JT Roach (songwriter for The Chainsmokers, Carrie Underwood and more), Skinny Days (Songwriter for Jonas Blue, Alan Walker and more) and Ane Brun.
To be able to work with talents like these brings me a lot of joy, especially when it leads to new artists emerging and taking the next steps. Cause in the end that’s what Masterchannel and I are working towards, giving every aspiring artist & producer the possibility to shine and get the sound quality they deserve!