Gorana Romcevic is a seasoned communications and event expert with two decades of experience spanning Europe and Asia. She is renowned for her exceptional global network and her contributions to fostering the growth of electronic music culture, particularly in challenging regional markets. As a distinguished figure in the music industry and the owner of @bleach.agency, Gorana is not only a seasoned PR and communications expert but also an exceptionally talented singer.

Gorana was a guest at our weekly podcast ARTIST SPOTLIGHT, where she shared valuable insights into the music world, career development advice for musicians, and providing a sneak peek into her newly launched artistic journey—complete with some exciting surprises. Read the details in the blog below 🙂 

Can you please introduce yourself to our audience - where are you coming from and what is your background in the music industry?

I hail from Belgrade, Serbia, my hometown where I currently reside. Initially, I kicked off my career at the largest PR agency in the region, while working as a music editor at the influential Urban Bug music magazine.

The turning point came in 2013 when I made the move to Bangkok. I took the reins at GLOW, the most prominent club back then. It was quite a rollercoaster, considering that Thailand had unpredictable working hours regulations at that time. Regardless of all challenges, the club operated successfully and gained global recognition under my direction. As a Head of Bookings and Communications, I introduced new music trends while hosting the superstar DJs as well.

In 2017, I joined the Epizode festival in Vietnam as Communications Director. I was in charge of strategizing for its rapid growth and utilizing my huge regional network and personal credibility to position the festival in Asia. I established and managed worldwide PR, social media, organized a pre-party tour across 30 cities from Dubai to Sydney, and curated a regional lineup. However, I parted ways in 2019 and focused on my longtime dream – building my own independent platform that will be connecting cultures through music  – Bleach agency.

I launched Bleach (@bleach.agency) in December 2019, as the most ambitious project of my career. We were close to securing major client deals in Asia, but COVID-19 stopped all operations and brought me back to Belgrade. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we’ve extended our operations to Europe as well. I’m proud that Bleach is now thriving and achieving great results in both continents. We are specializing in international PR, communications and consultancy for music and Web3 projects in Europe and Asia and we organize Asia tours for artists. We worked with some of the most outstanding projects in the industry, such as Exit Festival, No Sleep Festival and Conference, TMRW Conference, Groove in Taipei, Sunny Side Festival in Malta, and many more. And we continue to grow.

From your experience, what key strategies would you recommend for musicians aiming to build a strong online presence and fanbase?

The top priority should always be the quality of your music. If you’re a genuine creator, staying true to yourself and your artistic values, rather than just following trends or chasing numbers, you will naturally attract your audience.

Now, of course, there are numerous tools available to enhance your success and career. Start by familiarizing yourself with the online platforms – social media, your own website, and music community platforms like Resident Advisor. Begin with what’s available to you.

Social media is accessible to everyone. Whether it’s music-focused or lifestyle-oriented, do what feels natural. Not everyone is comfortable with video, and that’s perfectly fine. Nevertheless, be aware that videos tend to have the widest reach, so maybe you’d like to try to find a balance that feels comfortable to you. It’s important to understand how social media operates. There’s an algorithm that can’t be hacked, so focus on consistent posting and engaging with your fans. Consider investing in photographers and ads. 

Take a look at where you’re at now and where you want to head next. Strategy is important, but there will always be hits and misses. We all learn as we go.

What’s more important, online presence or networking and live contact with people at events?

Ideally, both. Going out, traveling, networking, and meeting new people face-to-face are essential, especially in the electronic music world where connections matter. Not being present in these circles could pose challenges. Networking actively opens doors, helping you connect with promoters, managers, media representatives, influencers. It contributes to building credibility. 

Networking and socializing have always been my favorite aspects. However, if, as an artist, you feel more comfortable in the studio rather than constant touring, that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone is cut out for the demanding tour life, which comes with both challenges and glamor. It requires mental and physical strength. Therefore, knowing yourself is essential.

Can you give some tips that we haven’t mentioned yet?

Apart from what I’ve already covered – it’s crucial to prioritize your well-being and mental health. After years of constant travel, maintaining your inner strength is a must; you’re going to need it.

In the present scenario, everything’s out in the open. People see your every move and hear what you’re saying. It’s not just about being a talented artist; the quality of you as a person matters too. Use that visibility wisely. Strive to create a legacy that goes beyond your art and makes a positive impact.

What role does innovation play in the growth of electronic musicians, especially considering your background in both Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?

I have faith in the potential of decentralization. It offers an alternative to conventional modes of operation and brings fresh opportunities for the music industry.

As an artist, you can release tracks as NFTs on blockchain-based platforms. Music investment platforms grant track buyers a share in the royalties generated from every play. Essentially, purchasers become direct investors in the artist. You can also gain access to exclusive content, merch, meet-and-greet opportunities, and more. This approach allows artists to maintain control over their work as fans can support them directly. Also, it fosters a deeper connection with fans.

The NFT concept extends to the festival promoters as well. They can issue tickets as NFTs, stored as collectibles in digital wallets. That opens new possibilities for community-building. Also, it aligns with the human tendency to collect items and provides a way to relive positive emotions tied to events.

How do you advise musicians to navigate and leverage the dynamic landscape of digital platforms and streaming services for optimal career advancement?

Get familiar with digital platforms and understand how it works and what works best for your current situation. Try to find your niche.

If you’re an independent artist, then you probably know about Soundcloud and Bandcamp. You don’t need to have music released on a label, you can record your own and upload it. On Bandcamp your fans pay for your music. On the other hand, mainstream platforms have incomparably higher reach. Spotify, Deezer, YT Music, Apple music work if you’re signed to a label. 

At the end, everything is connected. Aside from quality releases, remember you need a social media following too. However, it makes no sense if you have a million followers but a low number of plays. So, finetune your approach.

I know that recently you launched a career as a singer as you possess impressive vocal skills. Can you tell us more about it, your future plans and the first steps you are Taking?

This is my favorite question 🙂 I’ve been teasing about it on my social media, but this is the first time I’m publicly discussing it.

When COVID started, and I found myself back in Belgrade, I realized my childhood dream of becoming an artist. I decided to go back to basics, focusing on sounding really good. Considering the number of people I know in the industry, I can’t be a newcomer. My standards in singing, as well as in everything I do, are high.

I’ve already started singing in some Belgrade bars, and I’ll be doing more; we’re finalizing the agreement these days. 

The main and ultimate goal is to release my music this year. I’m writing lyrics, and as I’m playing piano, I’m also composing. I will be involved as much as I can. The music will have an electronic touch. It will come with a huge campaign, of course, and everyone will know about it.

I am rebranding myself. While people know me from festivals and my agency, you will soon see much more artistic content, gigs, and hopefully releases from me. So, make sure to follow me on gorana_r for all updates 🙂