Content Creator Ana Viotti sat down with us at Groupie to talk about her life as a content creator, and where she sees the future of music documentation going. Read the full interview below.
Groupie: Hey! So you do a lot, can you walk us through who you are and what you do day to day?
Ana: So I am a content creator at Musicbox Lisbon, my day to day is basically what I do at Musicbox I am a full time content creator, and I think I always was. Before Musicbox I was freelancing in different areas, and graduated from the fine arts. I was in the arts world for a little bit then I got into advertising which helped my technical side. Then I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to work in music in Lisbon, so I created an opportunity for myself creating a music blog in 2013 called Side Stage Collective – Musicbox spotted me from there.
Groupie: What is your role at Musicbox and Lisbon?
Ana: With my music blog I was photographing, filming, and interviewing all over Portugal. I was basically photographing at every venue in Lisbon and it got to the point where someone at Musicbox noticed my work and challenged me to do one thing as a freelancer and they loved it, so they created a spot for me there to be a full time content creator. Anything you can imagine that involves content at the music venue, that’s me.
Groupie: Can you describe your creative process?
Ana: I don’t know if I have a creative process to be honest, I don’t want to disappoint you.
Groupie: You could never!
Ana: Basically I see a lot of [art] that’s not just music related. I think it’s important to see things, and read things that aren’t music related. I think it’s a “go with the flow” kind of creative process.
Groupie: No I love it! You take inspiration from around you.
Ana: It’s a bit of a messy creative process. I do my best creative work by just working a lot. I basically don’t stop…ever. Imagine a constant pressure on myself, for me that’s the best.
Groupie: What camera do you shoot on, and where did you start?
Ana: I have a new camera now! I was [shooting on] a Canon 7d, and now I am Sony Alpha 7r3. I invested in that little baby, because my canon was giving me a bit of a tough time. Now I do everything with my baby Sony, and I also carry around some analog as well. I have a really cool point-and-shoot, the Olympus mju2 – that’s a really cool one to have.
Groupie: Love the combo!
Ana: I how started in general, was when I was in university I was studying multimedia arts with a specialization in photography. I started assisting a photographer and that’s how everything started in the area as a photographer.
Groupie: Love it, how did you first get into being a music creative?
Ana: I was always very obsessed with music since I was a little kid, and I’ve never had the urge of learning an instrument. I always felt very close to the music business in general. I wanted to relate to music through photography. In a trip to London I took my dad’s analog camera and I photographed my first show there. When I developed the film and I got the results I knew it was exactly how I wanted to relate to music. You can do it with words, but I wanted to capture it with my camera. One year later I started my music blog, Side Stage Collective.
Groupie: How do you see social media’s role in the music world?
Ana: I think it’s crucial. It’s crucial because the way communication is evolving it’s relying more and more on content. See- I’m very close to the UK market, but Portugal is a different reality, it’s a really small market. I think people are starting to realize the importance of content, not just PR, but the bands and festivals. Social media needs to be fed constantly.
Groupie: 100% agree. It’s a never-ending cycle. What’s it like personally for you?
Ana: I think my biggest struggle daily is being professional about it, music is cool, but we have to be professional. We’re winning step by step and people are realizing that Social Media is important. It’s a step by step battle, that I think we’re winning in a very beautiful way.
Groupie: Who should we be paying attention to music wise, from your side of the world?
Ana: Well -Europe is great it terms of music right now. We have a showcase music festival every year here in Lisbon called MIL Lisbon International Music festival, and it has a little bit of every market in Europe, Brazil, and Africa. Our scene right now is incredible – and in a lot of different genres. We have dance bands that export really well, then you also have pop going on,indie rock, amazing hip-hop. We have this label that has been internationalizing really well. Dance music with African influences, Enchufada. Also Príncipe Discos, music from the suburbs of Lisbon! I could tell you a million names, just check us out, there’s really a lot going on. This is just Portugal too, so imagine the rest of Europe.
Groupie: So America should pay more attention to international music?
Ana: Yes! Yes! Right now! Because the US is just so big, the tendency is to close up on yourselves. I consume a lot of American music, I think everybody here does, but we’re making an effort here to explore a little bit more outside of traditional markets, and I think it’s the best thing you can do for your scene. That’s how you innovate.
Groupie: what’s the project you’re the most proud of in the recent past?
Ana: I think it’s the showcase music festival I was talking about earlier, MIL Lisboa. How I was able to deliver such a consistent and creative campaign with such a small team. I think in terms of communication it’s my little baby. That’s my pride and joy.
Groupie: What about video, how do you approach motion graphics?
Ana: The way I do video, and because I’ve always worked by myself, is hand-held camera and close to my subjects. I like to carry my camera around. I tend to see very stabilized, slow motion video – I like the guerrilla aspect of hand-held. It’s about connecting to [your subject’s] emotions. It’s not only just documentation, it has a lot of emotional weight to it. I think every photographer tries to do that, but it is really my main goal.
Groupie: Thank you so much for sitting down with us to talk about being a music creative. Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Ana: It’s beautiful to see a community of content creators all over the place. People concerned with the job, it’s very comforting and very beautiful. A couple years ago I was looking for work in London and I didn’t know how to sell myself – so seeing a community all trying to do the same, I think it’s very important. This is the future.
Also – come to Portugal soon. We’re just waiting for everybody.
Groupie: Well that’s an amazing end.