WHAT IS A GOOD MANAGEMENT?
When you dream about your management like I dreamed about mine last night, you know that your management is more than just your employees.
I dreamed I was lying like a child in the middle, between Manfred and Mette in their bed. Like when a kid sleeps with his/her mom and dad. Only difference was, that I was a full grown man. We were working all night on….. Well, my career. Manfred kept saying; “Okay, we really must to go to bed now, but we just kept on working and working and working and then Brian B Stanley, “LP’s” guitarist wrote me on Instagram and asked me to come to the states and be featured with him and a big Dj. David Letterman had called him and asked about Tim Schou and he invited Brian and I to do the song on his talk show. So we worked a bit more to make that happen.
I woke up and was like; WTF? Haha.
What is a good management? The answer is simple; “Iceberg Management.”
I wake up in Silkeborg, Denmark after a flight from Germany. My management had flown me home from tour, because they needed me at the office. They like to discuss important things face to face, instead of over the phone. I like that.
Iceberg Management is consisting of 3 key persons. Manfred, Mette & Torsten. And then there are 2 or 3 other important people working for the team, Alice being the one taking care of all the financials. She makes sure that one day, when I start making money, I’ll get my money on time. So basically she’s the most important one at Iceberg. Better get her a big Christmas present. And then there’s Sophie, who’s probably got the hardest job of them all these days as she’s registering and keeping track of my +300 songs catalogue. So sorry Sophie. Merry Christmas.
Iceberg is like a family. Literally. Sophie is Mette’s sister and Mette and Manfred are married. Manfred is the president, the head of Iceberg so to speak and mette is the CEO. (Vice President.) Torsten is the head of product management and for a long time I thought he was Mette and Manfred’s son, until I figured out, that that’s just how they treat any of their colleagues or music family, including myself.
Torsten is like that cool older brother that looks out for you. He could never replace my own big brother, no one could. (God, I can’t wait to see my brother again.) Torsten is around my age and he’s so driven and he has the longest red beard the world has ever seen, and when he comes up with great ideas it’s often right after he brushes his beard with his right hand. I wonder what’s in that beard. He always texts me in my most lonely hour, when I’m away somewhere in a strange city with no one but myself and in the need of a helping hand or a little cheer up. It’s like he just knows. Thank you Torsten.
The iceberg office is lying in the most outskirts of Denmark in Silkeborg, Jutland. Fields (….of gold if you will,) cows, forests and just a stunning view over the river. It’s the most beautiful drive to their almost secret headquarters, which is where they also live and spend most of their time dealing with labels, publishers and artists from all over the world.
When driving there from the airport at Christmas time, I feel like I’m going to visit Santa Clause, Mrs. Santa and all their happy helpers. I’m a huge believer in Christmas, so I don’t mind this little detour to Denmark during my German tour. This was actually the only taste of Danish Christmas I would get until December 24 when I go home to my family. So I was looking forward to visiting them and strangely enough, it really felt like I was visiting family. Now, I’ve tried many things in this business and working with many different people, labels and management’s, but nothing has felt so safe and familiar like “Iceberg.”
I was there for 2 days of meetings. In the evening when we were done with the first meeting, Mette had to leave, Torsten had a wife to get home to, so they left Manfred and I alone. Now, Manfred. A German Dane, one of the craziest characters I’ve ever, and I mean, EVER met. Manfred has a ponytail, smokes Cuban cigars and has a peculiar and sort of cute German Danish accent. We call him GP (GrandPapa) – he’s the closest you’ll come to a light version of the Godfather, except he doesn’t kill people. In fact, the cigar and the ponytail was 50% of the reason I ever signed with Iceberg in the first place. I thought; “That guy is gonna be my lucky charm, I can feel it, plus, nobody fucks with a cigar smoking German. This guy looks badass.” Haha. So in the beginning I knew Manfred was a tough motherfucker, and he’s a guy who doesn’t wanna hug too much, always gives me a firm handshake instead of a hug. I’m beginning to prefer the handshake now, but on rare occasions you get a hug, and that’s when you know he’s really happy and you did good.
Now that I’ve gotten to know him better, I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never met a guy who doesn’t give hugs and doesn’t like to talk too much about emotions and feelings, and at the same time is actually so loving and caring, amazingly childlike and a lot of other words, that would make him blush and tell me to delete this blog post right away. Sorry buddy. I hope to God you’re not reading this. And also sorry to anybody who thought they knew Manfred, sorry for ruining your idea of him. 😉
Mette is the cook in the family. And my oh my can she cook! Whenever I come to their house and eat, it’s like stepping into a 4-star restaurant. I’m not gonna give her 5 stars, cause that wouldn’t make my story about Iceberg, as a whole, very plausible. (Mette, in my eyes you’re a 5 star restaurant!)
But since Mette was out for the evening, Manfred and I, the 2 men in the house, decided to pick up Thai food. Later, we told Mette that Manfred had been cooking a fabulous meal for me. Haha. When the cat’s out…. The mice they dance on the table. (Is that one of my stupid danish expressions? Or can you actually say that in English too?)
Manfred insisted on picking up the Thai food, and told me he had recorded the Christmas Calendar series on tv (in Denmark we have this tradition watching a Danish tv series around 7pm every night until the 24th.) and since I hadn’t been able to watch it this year because of the tour, he thought I should watch a couple of episodes to get up to speed before tonight’s episode came on tv. I couldn’t agree more, so I snuck up on the couch beside the fireplace and made myself at home.
Many Danish people don’t watch this series once they grow up, but it’s always been very important to me to keep watching it. Just like I like watching cartoons. My parents still watch it, and to my surprise, Manfred, the same cigar smoking ponytail German, who I earlier referred to as the Godfather, yup he also watches it. Unbelievable. That’s when it became clear to me that the Godfather and I had more in common than I had ever thought we would.
Next morning, after feeding me delicious breakfast of course, Iceberg and I went through a 7 hour meeting and then Mette cooked a traditional Danish Christmas meal for us. Manfred and Mette’s daughter and her boyfriend came by too and we had dinner together. Was nice getting a little family feel of the Danish Christmas.
We worked until midnight and at the same time my German assistant (the “schouexpert”) was, sitting back in Germay, booking me a ticket for Los Angeles over the Christmas. Manfred asked; “is she working for you now, at this hour?” And I said yes she is, and so are you.” He smiled.
The Schouexpert, Uli Zarges is my most trusted partner in crime. And I’m gonna take a second to describe her as part of my team, because she probably is the most important of them all, to me.
The schouexpert is to me what “Felicity” is to Oliver Queen in the series “Arrow.”A secret assistant who helps out Oliver in his missions and quests as “Arrow” and guides him through everything. She knows everything about Oliver and is working undercover for him.
I simply wouldn’t be able to do this much traveling (250 days of the year) around the world etc. and still go on stage concentrating on my shows, if it hadn’t been for the Schouexpert. Besides that, we work on all creative designs together and creating ideas etc. everyday 24/7 – the Schouexpert is unstoppable and she’s got my back. Thank you Uli.
It just hit me, I have people working with me and for me for so many hours until they drop. It’s so hard and rare to find people like that, I mean nobody’s getting paid at the moment. We’re all just a bunch of dreamers who believe in creating something together. They live and breathe it, they are so dedicated. It’s amazing to see something like this, because they genuinely care and want to see me succeed. So cheers for you guys for taking me in and showing me so much love and dedication and hard work. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had and the biggest reward is doing it with you.
Next morning I had to go to the airport to fly to Frankfurt, but before that, the Iceberg family had invited me along for the annual Christmas tree “chopping.” So we went to find the perfect tree for Christmas Eve. I was very honored to be invited to such a personal family tradition. After a good 15 minutes of scouting the Christmas tree farm, we found it. It was without a doubt the most beautiful of them all and I saw the Christmas spirit in Mette’s, Manfred’s and their daughter Natasha’s eyes come to live right there. Felt special to be a part of that.
Iceberg. You are indeed a loving and caring management and family. You are without a doubt a “1 in a million.” I can only wish for other artists that they have something similar to what I have, heck, just even 10% of what I got in my management and team. Cause this is what it should feel like, that gut feeling, when you know you hit home and made the right choices in your career. Well, any people you surround yourself with, whether you’re an artist or a normal mortal, (rockstar joke) that’s how it should feel, when choosing lifelong friends.
Thank you Iceberg and team, Merry Christmas.
Yours sincerely, Tim Schou, reporting from the “schoubox” somewhere in Germany.❤️