Bruna Chiovitti

Managing a Rockin’ Passion: Bruna Chiovitti.

Bruna Chiovitti is one passionate and persistent lady – passionate about music and persistent to ensure she worked in the industry.

“When I was six, my sisters used to take me to concerts at the local shopping centre and would always make sure I was right up the front so that I could see everything.  I was fascinated by the music and spectacle and so I guess it is no surprise I ended up working in the music industry, where the thrill of live performance and artistry continues to inspire me everyday.”

Bruna learnt about the music industry by working at live music venues. “I took note when bands were playing.  I noticed who was working with them, who was coming to see the bands play. I tried to learn as much as I could about the industry. I hassled promoters, anyone associated with music to give me a job!”

And it was being persistent that also landed Bruna her job with Phil Stevens. Having previously worked with Phil in live music venues, she began hassling him for a job as his assistant at Phil Stevens Management and Jarrah Records. At the time he was managing John Butler and The Waifs.

Bruna says: “In 2003, a little known band called Little Birdy dropped their demo recording into Phil’s office.  Phil loved what he heard and rang me up to say, ‘Have a listen to this!’  I had a listen to the demo and loved it – the songs were Relapse, Baby Blue, Beautiful, Too Late and Andy Warhol – and begged Phil to manage them and employ me to do whatever was necessary to manage Little Birdy. So Phil started managing Little Birdy.”

She continues: “I wrote a letter to John Butler and The Waifs saying that I would be helping Phil manage Little Birdy and this would not take away from the great job he does managing them!”

Bruna worked for Phil up until last year when she resigned and started managing Abbe May.

“Abbe won the WAMI for Best Female Vocalist in early 2007 and was managing herself.  I sent an email out to my extensive industry email list saying I couldn’t believe that Abbe didn’t have a manager.  I attached Abbe’s details to the email and she received some responses, but continued to manage herself.”

She continues: “I was hesitant to manage Abbe because I was very busy in my job with Phil and I saw how much work was involved managing an artist.  After working with Phil and Little Birdy and The Flairz for four years, and what felt akin to doing a degree in the music industry, I tended my notice to Philip Stevens Management and Jarrah Records and I started working with Abbe.”

Bruna still works out of Phil’s offices in Fremantle and says she is lucky to have him as a mentor while working with Abbe who she says is an inspiration. “Abbe is super intelligent and in her art has a clear idea of what she wants. Abbe is not afraid of hard work and this is why her work is so great.  I love working with Abbe and hope to do so for a long time.”

With a guest appearance on SBS’s Rockwiz, triple j airplay for her debut solo album and her recent national tour, Abbe’s profile has been lifted on a national level. Bruna says the distance between Perth and other capital cities does cause her some difficulties in doing business.

“I am currently booking a tour for September and a venue in Sydney will not give me a Saturday night date, I have seen lesser bands – in the sense that they have had less radio play and MySpace hits – able to play at this venue on a Saturday night.  This booker is hesitant to give us, a band from WA a Saturday night because he thinks we won’t bring in numbers…Booking the national album launch was a nightmare! Lots of venues never got back to me, lots of tears of frustration, and people not really caring about a band from WA.”

She continues: “These venue bookers have a point. Why should they risk a good night by putting on a band from WA that has no following that they know of, when they can get a local band in who have pulled crowds before?”

Another challenge Bruna says she has faced in getting tours happening over east, is the high costs associated with doing so. “How many WA bands are touring?  Only the ones being played on Triple J?  Less than 10 bands I reckon which is not many at all.  I met lots of people over east that love WA bands and had heard of the WAMI Festival. We need a showcase tour of WA bands for the East Coast.”

And if juggling managing Abbe with her day job at Mills Records while also being a part of Burning Down the House on RTRFM wasn’t enough, Bruna is also doing some work with The Flairz ahead of their debut full length release. But luckily Perth music is her passion.

“We really have the best music here in WA no doubt about it… I love the music scene here in Perth, everyone here does. Get out of the house and support local bands, you will be pleasantly surprised!”

Copyright (C) 2008 Christina Ballico.

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