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Hot Producers Only Magazine's Executive Of The Month: Helen Abi

Helen is a multifaceted professional in the music industry, operating as a producer manager, A&R specialist, and creative dynamo, with her base in the vibrant city of Berlin. Her journey into the realm of music began at the tender age of 17, where she cut her teeth in the industry by conducting interviews, crafting articles about emerging artists, and providing unwavering support to friends pursuing their dreams in music. Today, at the age of 26, Helen's impressive career has evolved, and she now collaborates with a talented roster of producers spanning the globe. Her unique blend of experience, creativity, and a deep passion for music has solidified her presence as a valuable figure in the ever-evolving landscape of the music business. With her finger on the pulse of emerging talent and a knack for nurturing creativity, Helen continues to make her mark in the industry, influencing the soundscape for years to come.

Tell Us How Did You Get Started In Music?

I've always been in touch with music, but never thought about making a career in the industry. At some point, I became very interested in the stories and backgrounds of artists. When I got the opportunity to work as an editor at the only hiphop magazine in Vienna, I was immediately hooked. My life changed in those 2 years, as I was constantly at concerts and dealing with artists and their teams. That's when I started to build my network. After studying marketing and advertising, I moved to Berlin where I combined both worlds for the first time by doing an internship in marketing at Universal Music.

You Learned Entering Into The Music Business?

To not take things personal. I used to struggle with it for a long time since you always meet so many people and the conversations would mislead you to think that they are your friends but they are not.

What Got You Into A&R/Management?

I was always a person who could develop an interest in things super quick and be passionate about them. Since I also had the ability to connect with people very quickly, I found myself in that position by accident at first. After having tried different activities in the music industry, I knew that I could not do a full-time office job and keep doing what I desired, which was to connect the dots.

Where Are You From & How Did It Shape You?

I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. I grew up in two cultures as I have a Turkish-Kurdish background. Music played a big role in my growing up. Throughout my childhood, I was in a very musical environment as I came from a family with several musicians, my mother was active in going to concerts/festivals. Also ended up going to elementary school where the focus was on music. It was a natural setup. My mother was an elementary school teacher in Turkey, and when I saw how she did everything she could to teach in schools again after emigrating to Austria, it supported my vision of being able to make everything possible in life. In my family there was never a stronger gender, so everyone was equal. This attitude toward life also supported that thinking. My parents taught me that if I work hard for something, it will always pay off in the end.

Tell Us The Moment Where You Started Taking Your Music Career Serious?

I never realized the network I had built over the years until I found myself in rooms with personalities I had always wanted to work with. The last full-time position I held, label and artist management assistance, brought me to a point where I thought, "I'm better off myself." That was the moment where I took things seriously to build my own foundation instead of working on other people's dreams.

Who Inspires You?

I find inspiration from multiple sources but all being found from music itself rather than just a person behind it. This can be any lyrics, any artist that moved differently than the usual or anything that gave me a type of feeling to empower me or support my story.

What Has Failure Taught You?

Failure is as much a part of life as success. You can't have one without the other. It's a matter of attitude how you let failure guide you, so you should be able to control it at any given time. The music industry itself is a roller coaster ride. You can feel most successful for 3 months and depressed for 6 months. You have to be very patient and trust your intuition and know why you chose this profession.

What Is Your Best Quality?

I'm very transparent, and I would say that's also one of the reasons why people like working with me. I never make empty promises, because I value words. I don't want my words to lose power because I can't deliver on them. That's why I choose to communicate openly and pursue only pure intentions. I’d say I have a good instinct when it comes to how to approach and hold conversations with different types of personalities before I’m able to see things from different perspectives.

What Advice Would You Give Up And Coming A&R/Managers?

Maybe it won't work out on the first try, but you have to keep at it. And above all, I firmly believe that it's a question of mindset. If you see yourself somewhere in the future and have the drive to get there, you're already on the right track.

What Has Success Taught You?

It does not make you a better person - always stay humble. Even in your most successful times, don't forget your family and friends that came before. Especially when you're young and surrounded by different people - there's a lot of fake stuff that doesn't last.

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