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Category: Music

Yep, we’re pretty happy & proud that MIDEM just selected SonicAngel as one of the global music industry innovators.

Happy for the nomination, proud of our team! Team means: the team working day to day, but certainly all the fans, all the artists and everyone involved. It will allow us to tell our story to the international music scene. Additionally, Tom Dice is also selected for the NRJ music awards that is held during the MIDEM conference – so we’re present twice, with our platform AND our music!

Crowdfunding is becoming a gamechanger in empowering talent across the world, even if I see crowdfunding as a start (and not the end) of creating a new creative ecosystem. More about that later.

For now: thanks. Very grateful. Short video below (don’t mind the quality – but it does tell our story).


Paris: Official Press Release related to MIDEM – the global music conference (28-31 January 2012, Cannes/France)

Midemlab, the international pitching competition for ground-breaking start-ups and app developers across all sectors, today unveils the 30 finalists poised to be the innovators of tomorrow’s music industry. The finalists – chosen by UK digital consulting company Music Ally and French specialist open innovation consultancy, bluenove – will present their projects to a jury of leading international digital experts including potential business partners and leading investment firms.

The finalists will each outline their cutting-edge technical solutions that could offer new opportunities to industry executives, artists and brands to reach and engage with new audiences and generate revenues.

Previous editions have provided a launch pad for some of today’s major technological innovations, such as SoundCloud, The Echo Nest, Songkick and Root Music. The list of finalists for 2012 will herald the next generation of innovation.

Cannes, here we come!


We’re at a point that our company is growing in various directions: multiple platforms and multiple countries. In order to achieve the ambitions of our company, we’ll start hiring some essential key profiles. I’d like to get some feedback on the job descriptions. So every day of the week, I’ll post one. Starting with our need for a CFO. All feedback is welcome ! (and see our other open positions here:


.A CFO for SonicAngel  (incl. our new initiatives FilmAngel &

SonicAngel was created with the vision to create an innovative platforms to find, finance & release a new generation of artists powered by the fans. Central in our approach is a crowdfunding model, which allows fans to invest in the bands. However, we have a relentless focus to create success stories, so we’re also further building platforms based on social media te detect but also to optimize the release of creative work.

After a start in Belgium, we are now extending in various genres, but we’re also rapidly expanding to the US, Germany & France. As a start.
On top of it, we’ve just released FilmAngel.TV. Same concept, different domain.

And there’s much more to come.

In order to achieve our ambitions, we are looking for a CFO.

We believe it’s essential that a CFO can drive the following statements:

1.     “It’s all in the details” - A professional accounting designation is the foundation. A few years ago it was all the rage to have MBAs in the top finance role. These days, an MBA does not begin to cover the accounting, process, and tax knowledge needed to steer a company’s finances.

2.     “Let’s make a deal” - The dream team CFO not only runs the deal process for fundraising, but should also bring deal flow into the company. They should have a track record of originating and closing equity deals, and should have a long list of potential financing sources that are willing to take their call. Also you want someone who can stretch your funding by knowing which expenses to cut without harming your business.

3.     “Time to get organized” - Your CFO should take a leading role in bringing operational excellence into your company. It means installing just the right amount of process, reporting and structure. Not so much that it slows you down, but enough so that you smoothly run and grow the engine.

4.     “What happens in the company stays in the company” – Your CFO should be a trusted advisor to the CEO and other executives. Running a company can be lonely. Your CFO will a key, objective source of advice and counsel as you make the big and the small decisions.

5.     “Jack of all trades” – Able to perform other duties (e.g., human resources, technology, legal, and information technology) as needed. It will be a long time before you have in-house counsel, and you can’t afford an outside law firm for every NDA or contract to sign. So, choose a CFO who is very comfortable with legal documents, as well as finance.

6.     “Been there, done that” - Building a software based company is much different than a manufacturing one, or services. The differences are just as apparent in the financials as they are in technology. You need someone who knows the ropes in your industry. And who wans to excel in it

7.      “I have a dream” - The startup road is guaranteed to be long and hard. Investors look for someone who loves the challenge, looks and sounds like he can weather the storm, will always see the bright side despite adversity, and never gives up.

The job of a startup CFO is very different from one at a “big” company. The latter is much more of a hands-off role focused on investor relations, deal making (financing, M & A), governance, reporting and other back office matters. In stark contrast, the startup CFO is much more hands-on and integrated into the day-to-day of the business.

If you feel ‘Yeah’ while reading above statements, and you’d like to work in Brussels, call me on +32 477 62 65 74 or mail me at



It’s each time quite a stress, because ‘winning’ the opening for a major act is such a great moment for our young bands to show how good they really are, to gain experience and ofcourse to enjoy a full house in a great venue. MNM just announced that Newton will be opening for INXS at DeVooruit in Gent on December 12th.

This is the 5th time in a relatively short time that one of our band is selected to do a major opening.
1. Tom Dice for Taylor Swift @ Vorst (Brussels) & Ahoy (Rotterdam)
2. Barefoot & the Shoes for El Fish @ AB (Brussels)
3. Vienna for Avril Lavigne @ Forrest (Brussels)
4. Jerusalem Syndrome for While Lies @ Lotto Arena (Antwerp)
5. Newton for INXS @ Vooruit (Gent)

continue reading…

Last Monday (Nov 28) I attended (part of) the yearly conference about the future of Classical music.

Besides the fact that I’m a classical music lover, we’re also launching the SonicAngel – Festival van Vlaanderen partnership to enable young classical talent to get discovered, earn a record deal and have huge exposure at 2 major classical music events. I’m quite a fan actually, and even though I took my wife (girlfriend then) to a 4 hour Wagner opera as our first classical music concert, she still joins me often. For the anecdote, I still remember that Wagner evening though:
During the break after 90 minutes…

. She: “I’m glad it’s over, didn’t like it’
. Me: “It’s not over, it’s the first break”
. She: “The first?”
. Me: “Yep, it’s gonna be 2h30 more !”

That said, besides the content and meeting people full of passion, I also heard about the new music note that the government will hopefully approve this week. It unites all music related organisations, in a strong and forward looking plan that will benefit the entire industry. From preserving and promoting access to practicing music, to guiding in management and a lot of incentives on the evolution of distribution and connection (digital) and financial support. It can be the enabler of a strong turnaround of the sector, if all work united. Kudos to Stef Coninx (Chief Muziekcentrum Vlaanderen) & his team for taking the time to explain me the background and potential impact. I was also impressed to hear Philippe de Coene, a parliament member, who came forward to highlight the legislative counters of this reuniting note.

Guess we’ll hear a lot about it. Let’s do all we can to build an industry based on new principles, where the artist, the fan and all other players work together to find and break amazing talent, embrace the connection with the fans, and use technology as a means where it can solve the inefficiency of the sector. Maybe some entrepreneurs will step in again, in an industry that has mainly known downsizing, restructurings and more negative news. And believe me, more companies will go out of business, but I think we’re at a pivotal moment in time during which a new reality is being created.

Let’s go

About 18 months after our launch, we’re now scaling in a couple of directions:

1. internationally, with currently a main focus on Germany & Switzerland, France & the US. Our homepage is customized depending on the country you surf from, so just go . If you’re a band, best to start at our auditions platform:

2. genres, with currently a main focus on:

3. domains, with currently a main focus on film & tv: FilmAngel.TV


–> Below some supplementary info, such as:
- a link to some international articles explaining our actions
- a photo with Oliver Stone at the same day we announced our FilmAngel.TV project
- the press release and the jury of our classic music initiative for young talent

Let’s go!


- – - – - -


. SonicAngel detects talent based on facebook & twitter:

. SonicAngel = kickstarter + label:
. SonicAngel artist Iris to represent Belgium at Eurovision:







Flanders Festival and SonicAngel join forces on a project to support young, classical talent using a new model continue reading…

Hey all,

today we announced our partnership with Universal Music.

Not only will our physical distribution in Belgium & Luxemburg be handled by the world strongest distributor, but we will also collaborate in order to find new business models and other experiments, and apply our joint expertise into new digital launches to connect with fans. I’m a very strong believer that our model will be the best model for finding, financing and releasing talent – and one of the key elements remains having a strong distribution. That’s exactly what we’ll do together. I’m actually pretty impressed by the complementarity and the will to create innovative models. NL Press Release below.

It’s also very interesting to see that across Europe, 3 streaming services will launch at nearly the same time: spotify, deezer and we7. Unsure what the financial benefits will be, but it’s sure that part of fans are preferring access to ownership. I’ll share our results and tests on streaming regularly in this learning period. But if it is any like what I’ve seen in Scandinavia, it will be pretty impactfull and impressive.



PERSBERICHT: 8.nov.2011
Universal Music & SonicAngel
verenigen de krachten




Universal Music, ’s werelds grootste platenmaatschappij met artiesten als Lady GaGa, U2, Rihanna en Metallica, gaat intensief samenwerken met SonicAngel, het bruisende label van boegbeelden Maurice Engelen en Bart Becks, dat muziek en technologie combineert.

Universal Music zal in België en Luxemburg exclusief de distributie verzorgen van de fysieke album en single releases van SonicAngel,  en krijgt de optie om voor bepaalde projecten de samenwerking uit te breiden naar een licentie. SonicAngel zal zelf haar eigen digitale exploitatie uitbaten en verder uitbouwen. De krachten worden ook op andere vlakken gebundeld. Zo zal er bij Universal Music een beroep gedaan kunnen worden op de expertise van SonicAngel wat digitale marketing betreft, en starten beide labels ook een gemeenschappelijk initiatief rond nieuwe modellen inzake muziekdistributie en –verkoop.

“Sinds de oprichting van SonicAngel in 2010, hebben we deze nieuwe speler op de markt nauwlettend gevolgd. Hun innoverende aanpak rond digitale marketing en sterke virale campagnes, zorgen voor een frisse wind in de muziekwereld, waar er vaak op een wat stereotype manier promotie wordt gevoerd. Naast de know-how van SonicAngel wat het digitale aspect betreft, hebben ze naturlijk ook een sterk artiestenbestand, met voorop Tom Dice, maar ook nieuw talent, zoals mastercab, Vienna, Airis, Barefoot & The Shoes, Mathieu & Guillaume en BAB. Dat de muziekindustrie het moeilijk heeft, dat weet iedereen, maar stilstaan is achteruitgaan en daarom gaan we ook samen met SonicAngel de strijd aan en zoeken naar nieuwe mogelijkheden om muziek op een legale manier aan de man te brengen”, aldus Patrick Busschots (Managing Director – Universal Music Belgium)

“We zijn verheugd met deze samenwerking en zien uit naar de strategische samenwerking op de verschillende domeinen. Universal Music is een onmiskenbare kracht in de muziekbusiness, en  er is een grote complementariteit tussen beide teams. Dat we voor de distributie van onze fysieke producten nu het brede netwerk van Universal Music ter beschikking hebben, is een heel belangrijke stap in de verdere ontwikkeling van ons label. We gaan voor een gezamenlijke toekomstwerking, waarbij experimenten en vernieuwing niet uit de weg zullen gegaan worden”, zo zeggen Bart Becks en Maurice Engelen (Oprichters SonicAngel).

De eerste projecten waarvoor beide labels de krachten zullen bundelen, zijn de album releases van SonicAngel artiesten mastercab en Tom Dice (respectievelijk najaar 2011 en voorjaar 2012), alsook de lokale lancering van nieuw werk van Universal artiesten Rihanna en Rammstein.



Voor meer informatie:
Universal Music Belgium: Dirk Van der Auwera – GSM:0497/52.71.47
SonicAngel: Femke Mussels –– GSM: 0471/73.31.72


Mathieu & Guillaume leggen in ‘mensentaal’ uit wat fanfunding of ‘crowdfunding’ nu eigenlijk is.

Nu heb je de kans om hen mee te ondersteunen, en alles vanop de eerste rij mee te maken.
Op deze site vind je alle info: M&G

Duidelijk uitgelegd, niet ?




Ter info:
M&G hebben ondertussen reeds 3 top10 hits in de vlaamse top10 gehad, ganse Vlaanderen overtuigd van hoe goed ze live wel zijn, Nederland de eerste keer leren kennismaken, en ook Wallonië komt in zicht.

Some good this morning from our SonicAngel artists.

1. Vienna will open for Avril Lavigne at Forest National tomorrow 14 september. Some tickets still available!
Check their new single & video of Lonely Shore here
Check their brandnew merch here:

2. Bab will be the lead actress in a VTM Kazoom serie Skilz
Check out Bab’s music on her SonicAngel profile

3. Barefoot & The Shoes are confirmed to open for El Fish at the AB, and will play at the MetroMusik festival this Saturday in Brussels
Tickets for the AB concerts
MusikoMetro Saturday 17/09

Bravo to all – I’m gonna enjoy all of that soooo much !


It’s amazing how quickly Tom Dice his funding is going. Over 55% in a matter of days is also for us an incredible sign of encouragement.
His previous album did amazing for the fans.

1 FanShares on SonicAngel costs 10 EUR, and gives:
- a full download of the album
- 1 free ticket for the release party of the album
and a share of the profit. The previous album returned 26+6,8 EUR already. That’s 32,8 for every 10 EUR.
That for sure beats the stock market nowadays!!!
You can still buy FanShares of Tom Dice here:

It has been a busy week:
- Tom Dice is in funding since a couple of days (press release in dutch here below, for those interested).
- We’re launching in Germany (thursday) and France (friday) (click the tabs right on
- 2 new bands came on our funding platform: Shellcase and The Fortunate Few.
- Airis her single is doing amazing, Tom Dice is still number 3 in wallonia and keeps huge numers in France
- 7 artists are recording singles or albums
- we launched SonicAngel Classic, a close partnership with KlaraFestival – check it out at:
- we’re finishing an amazing Lords of Acid album. This sounds soooo good, you’ll love it.

Next week, Mathieu & Guillaume will be featuring the very best funding video I’ve ever seen.

Now off to Berlin, where I’m launching SonicAngel Germany at the PopKomm conference + sit on a panel on the future of music and the possibilities of crowdfunding. 2nd time Berlin in a month or so. Love it!!


FanFunding tweede album Tom Dice op SonicAngel loopt als een trein
– In enkele dagen reeds meer dan 50% volstort via de fans –

Tom Dice en SonicAngel hanteren opnieuw dezelfde principes voor het financieren en het lanceren van het tweede album. Het principe is eenvoudig: enerzijds kunnen de fans SonicAngel FanShares kopen, anderzijds zijn er weer een aantal exclusieve extra’s.

Een SonicAngel FanShare houdt in dat je voor 10 € recht hebt op een volledige digitale download van het album. Daarnaast krijgt iedere persoon ook een toegangskaart voor de releaseparty van het album. Bovendien wordt de winst van het album gedeeld met de fans.
Het eerste album ‘Teardrops’ bracht ondertussen reeds 32,8 €  per SonicAngel Fanshare op.

  • 26 € Eerste uitbetaling voor periode mei – oktober 2010 ,
  • 6,8 € Tweede uitbetaling voor het daaropvolgende semester.

Elke 6 maanden worden de resultaten gedeeld met de fans.

Daarnaast zijn er weer een beperkt aantal exclusieve producten, zoals bedrijfsconcerten aan 50% (slechts 5 beschikbaar), het bijwonen van een repetitie van de band, gesigneerde albums of het schrijven van een persoonlijk nummer.

Het principe van FanSharing blijft groeien. Bij SonicAngel zijn ondertussen 16 van de 17 bands die voorgesteld werden totaal gefinancierd, een succesratio van maar liefst 94%. Ook The Fortunate Few (die met Marillion reeds een eerste succes scoorden op Radio1) staan sinds begin deze week op het SonicAngel platform, naast de Amerikaanse Cynergy67 (55%) en het Vlaamse Newton (27%).

De eerste buitenlandse SonicAngel band – het zwitserse BAKXIII - haalde deze week hun totale funding op en is klaar om de studio in te duiken voor de opname van hun album. Perfecte timing voor de lancering van SonicAngel in Duitsland, waarvoor nu donderdag 8 september 2011 het officiële startschot zal worden gegeven door Bart Becks tijdens een persconferentie op de internationale PopKomm beurs in Berlijn.

Maar SonicAngel beperkt zich niet enkel tot Pop en Rock artiesten. Zo lanceerden we eind vorige week, in samenwerking met het KlaraFestival een gelijkaardig initiatief voor jonge klassieke muzikanten van 16 – 26 jaar. Meer hierover over

Bart Becks & Maurice Engelen, oprichters van SonicAngel, verwoorden het als volgt: “Het succes van SonicAngel bewijst dat crowdfunding meer en meer zijn ingang begint te vinden als een alternatieve financieringsmethode voor de creatieve industrie. Tom Dice, de eerste artiest die we op deze manier lanceerden, is zo de trekker geworden van een groot aantal jonge talenten die nu gelanceerd worden. Barefoot & The Shoes, Airis (nu in de charts), BAB, Mathieu & Guillaume, mastercab (de afrekening), VIENNA (winnaar music exposure awards), RadicalG (albumlancering op donderdag 8 mei) en een heel aantal anderen geven aan dat de combinatie van sociale media, een alternatieve financieringsmethode en innovatieve marketing een nieuw model voor de toekomst kan worden. “.

Meer info op

Tom Dice

Mathieu & Guillaume

Samenwerking Klarafestival en SonicAngel

Femke Mussels, + 32 471733172 –
Bart Becks, +32 477 62 65 74 –



This night, the partyharders woke me up at least 5 times between 2 and 6 am. Even though we sleep in the center of Brussels, our bedrooms are in a small alley, and it’s always calm. Except this night, when some were so drunk and high from the brussels cityparade (I checked them out), that their only intention was to wake up the people in the neighbourhood. Anyway, there’s worst things in life. But I woke up hating Brussels. I’m already in this hate-love relation with our Belgian capital, and this didn’t make it better. Finally, was able to get some sleep from 7 am till noon.

Then my little boy wanted to go out and play. Every Saturday and Sunday, femke, Charlie and I try to eat together. During the week it’s quite tough, but in the week-end we keep it at least 1 our of 2, if not both. As we’re in between houses (we’re moving), femke wanted to keep on sorting. I took 4 suitcases and all the rest can be deleted. I have my photos online, all my music is digital, I already moved my vinyls, and all the rest is yours to have. But ofcourse it isn’t that simple…

So my little dude and I went for a viet lunch together. He loves wan tan soup and ‘riz sauté au poulet’, which we shared with a bottle of water.  Pretty good.

Then, I wanted to take him for the first time ever to the movies, and the Smurfs looked pretty ok. So I took him to UGC Brouckere. Unfortunately, there is only a French version. No Dutch verson. Not even an English subtitled version.  That is unfortunately also the reality of Brussels. So we decided to take the metro (dude loves metros and trains) and went to the Kinepolis. Movie was OK’ish, even if the acting was even too childish for a 3 year old. And Gargamel is a little to scary, so each time he appeared, Charlie appeared on my lap. But he loved it. So daddy loved it too. In the metro back, he ofcourse fell asleep.

Since then, I felt like working a little. Spent quite a while with a dear friend in San Francisco talking about shared leadership. Figured out how to cross-employ some tools (Zendesk, Mailchimp and SurveyGizmo). Finished the strategic planning for SonicAngel. Read through some crowdfunding studies. Checked out resumés of people that applied. Finished the financial projections for one of our new projects (we’re launching a graphics, artwork, social and video media company this week – combined in 1), and some other. I love to work in calm cafés, while drinking something. I’m now on my 4th Fresh Mint Tea. Am somewhat trying to live healthy, and just lost my fifth kilo since begin July. At least 5 more to go if I want to reach a special goal I’m training for …

While checking out something on IMDB (I’m working also on an amazing movie project),  I accidently arrived at the Soloist. I’m a big fan of Jamie Foxx and of Robert Downey Jr, and this movie I missed for some reason, even if I noticed the billboard all across Los Angeles some time ago. I found a (legal!) way to stream it this evening, and sooo looking forward to end the day with this. Streaming movies is just amazing.  See here the imdb profile: My midnight movie of the day.

I’m going to start writing again. Helps me to sort my mind. And by sharing, I’ve received so much back!

To my friends in the US: I hope Irene keeps away now. Enough tragedies already …