In our Meet the Family blog series, we are introducing our family of passionate professionals to you. We would like you to get to know us, connect with us, join our family, and let us help you make your dreams come true.
Today we are proudly introducing our PR & Marketing Communications Coordinator Bernardo Queiros.
Bernardo is a Portuguese PR professional who has recently moved to Finland from London. Hard-working and driven Bernardo gives us insights into his life story springing from Portugal to England, his early music career as a promoter and music entrepreneur, his top memorable experiences, and his work for Family In Music.
Let's get to know Bernardo better through his words during our interview!
What is your background (where were you born and raised, what’s your education)?
I was born in Porto, Portugal, the second biggest city in the country at the Western end of Europe. I entered school at the age of 6 and soon discovered I hated maths, and by that, I mean I have been most of my journey a writing and languages type of person. For that reason, in university, I opted for studying Journalism and Public Relations. Despite the entire course was a bit outdated, as pretty much the entire academic world, I can say I enjoyed my time there.
How has music been a part of your family life, childhood and growing up?
My father has a strong connection to music concerts and he is an avid record buyer. 90% of his apartment is still these days covered with vinyl or CDs. He was the one -at first- responsible for planting this passion for music in me. At only 2 years old, I was going nuts singing and dancing in front of an old Sony stereo - from the rock n’ roll classics to modern punk ones.
Then, passing through my rebel adolescent phase, I decided to jump onto pop, hip-hop and RnB when I created my own 'radio station' with my listeners being my entire family.
Later, I decided to reward myself with more professionalism changing to the online/podcast format when no one was even bothering about podcasts. Without any kind of expectations, I ended up conducting the hottest podcast and one of the most listened to in the Portuguese music scene for nearly 3 years by interviewing bands and showing the latest releases within the punk-hardcore world - I was 15 years old!
Drums also came naturally into my life, with endless hours of practicing to become good at it and I owe to drumming where I am at in life nowadays.
I agree. Drummers rule! What elements played a key role in shaping who you are today?
The environment of the city where I was born, the sense of community that was created in the past and that unfortunately is no longer visible. Being from a peripheric country, without any relevance in the international context back in the days, if I and my friends wanted to watch the bands, what to do? We mostly needed to hire those bands and work as gig promoters. That is what I did – me and a very few others who had the courage to embrace such a task.
I was a year to start attending university at that time, but rapidly being a promoter/concert buyer became more important. I missed several classes to work on the foundations of my first company, Copilot Bookings, a local booking agency, working with international bands – from the partnerships, the venue liaison to cooking dinner for the artists and finding an accommodation, so musicians wouldn't sleep in their vans. I dealt with contracts and deposits when I was underage and could not sign anything – but I naively did it - thinking that 'nothing could go wrong', and it didn’t.
Thus, I had to reinvent myself and to find fresh solutions every single day to access high-quality live music coping with the lack of any support by the official institutions.
All this combined, my friendships and early knowledge of what the music industry is made of from scratch – well, it all shaped who I am today.
Can you share some fun and music-related memories from your childhood?
Let me share the first concert I attended in my life. Being a child, I obviously could not enter any music venue, so my father had me covered because he knew the security guard.
A famous and reputable punk-rock band in Portugal was playing inside a boat’s cargo, which previously was a registered venue – and so, I begged to go - I won! I had backstage entrance which was fun too because I was so shy, I couldn’t even ask for an autograph - a wasted opportunity. I have a lot more memories as my childhood was so dynamic, although this one comes first to my mind.
You are a multi-talented person, drummer, communications professional, artist promoter. What type of artists have you cooperated with and what memorable projects you worked with?
A disclaimer: despite being multi-talented as spoken, I have chosen to focus on PR and Marketing and it really sums up my skills, academic background and what I have done so far in one area. On the other hand, I am still drumming because it makes me feel alive, so, to be honest, I can’t live without feeling an audience in front of a stage, enjoying live music as much as I do.
When I’m drumming, I’m also part of the audience and I don’t split it mentally – it is a strange feeling and hard to put into words, anyway.
I’ve been cooperating with artists from rock to hip-hop, from medium to top level. I can highlight my last and ultimate concert organisation - booking the UK’s major-label Frank Turner, which was the beginning of a friendship, too. This guy played thousands and thousands of concerts worldwide and have never been to Portugal... until 2019.
After 3 years of attempts, failed negotiations, and an unexpected meeting in London (where I lived for nearly 3 years), I took the biggest risk of my life, backed by no one rather than my faith. I worked months and months to make this happen and to avoid killing my bank account for all. I got big exposure catching everyone by surprise; I put in practice some marketing hacks and the ticket sales ended up coming from the USA to Poland. Portugal was a bit shocked how a single person with a team of pure friends, without any proper company behind, could close a deal for a couple of fly-in shows (Iberian Peninsula exclusive) with a Warner artist.
In the end, seeing sold-out venues, people still looking out for more tickets and one of my favourite hard-working artists of all times coming over with the national broadcasting company backing me up, well... this was something memorable. It still gives me huge goosebumps!
In parallel, of course, I worked with many others abroad, collaborated with several companies in-house and some agencies, but – sorry – this is the chosen one because everything was solely on me.
What are your creative superpowers?
Press negotiations; influencer and content marketing; copywriting and with that reshaping any kind of subject with some excitement involved. Community engagement because I love different people and the richness it gives to any type of PR.
Problem-solving, networking and having an international knowledge of how various cultures consume music – these three helps boost my creativity levels every time I am embracing a new communications campaign and all that a new challenge involves.
Career at Family in Music
Bernardo, you are the new PR and Communications Coordinator at Family in Music. How did it all start for you in the journey within Family in Music?
As with everything about me, it was something quite remarkable and a result of my non-stopping networking activity both off- and online. It all started with LinkedIn accompanied by my crush for Nordic countries.
The idea of living up north in Europe (further north than the UK) was in my mind. I confess Covid-19 rushed this process, so when I saw Family in Music’s hiring in marketing, I saw a perfect opportunity to explore, dig in for more. Therefore, after a couple of private messages on LinkedIn and weeks after my first contact, I was called for an interview with Juka, our CEO. I enjoyed chatting with the rest of the team full of brilliant and interesting people. The rest is history to be told and here I am, looking forward to this year of 2021 - and we’re ready!
Give us an insight into your work at Family in Music. What value will it bring to music creators worldwide?
I aim to empower creators with a broad knowledge of what it takes to promote their music releases or their independent businesses in the music and entertainment industries. How to translate creativity into simple messages to captivate their target audience to purchase their goods and/or services. Otherwise, the hard truth is that no one cares about what you are selling because the internet is so noisy. Tell your story, embrace your uniqueness plus do not be afraid to push your limits. Then put on a sales strategy on top with other’s help and at FAIM we truly hope you will win that’s what we are here for.
On the other side, I want to bring my expertise on how to get media exposure and how to maintain a good relationship with all the press stakeholders and potential partners – it is a two-way relation of giving and getting something in return.
What is the best advice you’ve been given? And what message or advice you would like to give to music creators, in general?
One of the best pieces of advice I heard is not to rush on career moves alongside having the necessary accountability for my own actions. Nowadays this makes even more sense to me. Everything comes on time.
Don’t misunderstand patience with lack of action; keep working, keep hustling but don’t get overwhelmed. Creators: even during the least motivating periods and when you are about to quit, remember how blessed you are for sharing good art/music with others. That has no labeled price, and it is a service towards humankind. In parallel, try to be connected to the industry side of the curtain as much as you can and do not quit to fight for better working conditions.
Professionally, what’s your biggest dream?
That is a tricky question to answer... Millions of dreams, doesn’t it seem easy? (smiling) Well, working with a few labels or artists that inspire me to do better every day; somehow being hired to work on their global marketing campaigns, where creativity, risk-taking and innovation are rewarded. I want to make a difference in the future where old standards in the music business are challenged –that's how the world progresses, right? But now, realistically, I’m focused on helping build Family in Music as a legit platform that affirms itself worldwide supporting several entrepreneurs to thrive. I tend to jump onboard projects where I see potential to put my entire energy into, and I hope that’s reasonable. Or even more down to earth... I hope to travel to conferences and make touring happen again, very soon!
Other than music, what other hobbies you have and how do you relax after a hard-working week? Tell us about how you recharge your batteries.
This is something I’m still mastering, I confess. I’m a workaholic, and sometimes I let myself being super tired – I struggle to stop when my body asks me to. I guess that isn’t bad because I’m grateful for what I do, and I’m highly focused on my career, even after some hard setbacks, I tend to never quit. However, when I force myself to stop more often, I do yoga, I meditate every day where I focus on breathing to keep my mind clear and my levels of concentration high. I used to play football, but not anymore for a long time. Now I just drive myself to craft breweries, I love cooking vegan recipes and watching a good Netflix series with my cup of tea. I don’t have a lot of friends, although the ones I keep are like family, so I spend time with them as much as possible. In Finland, I feel like a kid since snow and long sauna sessions please me a lot.
What music you like listening to and what artists / bands you are listening to right now? What are your music influences and favourite genres?
Isn’t too obvious if I saw punk-rock? I say yes for that. However, I’m way more eclectic than before. From Anderson. Paak to Biffy Clyro, I hear everything that feels good depending on the moods. I ask for people to do playlists on my behalf... so, if you have something to share, I will appreciate your gesture. Some good funk and RnB (preferably underrated), doses of 90’s punk-rock and some modern Brazilian bossa nova will catch my attention.