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This month, we visit with Inge Colsen, founder of Gold Atlas, a New York-based creative PR and marketing collective that handles musical acts and events, including our area’s popular All Things Go Festival. Colsen speaks of her career, growing up in the Netherlands and why she always enjoys visiting the District.
How would you characterize your passion for music?
Inge Colsen: I’m a Dutch person and I studied business economics, but I was passionate about music coming from a small, small town in the Netherlands. I always found that there was a mechanism of people belonging to something — if you like the same band, you could bond. When I first went to concerts and shows, I saw the energy between the musicians and the people enjoying the music.
How did you go from economics to the music business?
On a flight, I saw someone reading Billboard Magazine and I saw the words “music business” and I was doing business and I loved music, so I realized this is what I wanted to do. When it was time to do an internship, instead of going to an accounting firm I went to the financial side of a record label in New York.
What was your path to forming your own company?
I had also interned at Nasty Litte Man PR, and when I went back to Amsterdam to finish my diploma I started interning for Dutch record labels and others wanted me to work for them. I was offered a part-time job at V2 Records, Richard Branson’s company at the time, and it was fun. In New York, I got a job as an office manager at a PR company and was a publicist, and after 10 years, I decided to go off on my own and create Gold Atlas together with my business partners from Neon Gold Records.
You do a lot in the D.C. area. Tell me a little about your favorite events here.
The big one is the All Things Go Festival. I love it. It’s an independent music festival and I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished. They were a blog who turned their vision and love of music into a small festival. After a few years, they went bigger, and three years ago, they went to Merriweather and that was a huge leap. Last year it sold out, and this year the festival is two days and it also sold out in no time.
What are some of your favorite places to visit when you’re in D.C.?
The 9:30 Club for sure. Every now and then I visit NPR with my artists, and those are always good times. Once I went to the White House and I really enjoyed that. It was when Obama was still in office.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Meeting people who are passionate like me. I like to combine the positive, curious energy of people and making them fall in love with a new artist.
Learn more about Gold Atlas and follow Colsen on Twitter @wearegoldatlas.
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