We continue the series #BehindTheSIM, which tells stories of the professionals involved with São Paulo's International Music Week. In its twentieth chapter, we interview Helena Gaia, Production Manager of SIM São Paulo.
Helena Gaia's trajectory in the music market begins with the dream job of many who grew up between the 90s and 2000s. From 2005 to 2007, she worked on occasional projects in the artistic relations department of MTV Brasil, until she was finally hired: "I worked at VMB (MTV's Video Music Brazil Awards) and Rockgol taking care of the artists and I stayed in this department until 2011. It was really cool because I had this access to the artists, I was the person who received all the MTV music videos and watched them first, before everyone else".
As she lefts, she joined the team of rapper Criolo, who had just released 'Nó na Orelha'. "I went in to work together with his manager, Biba, producing the album's release tour. I also did the executive production of the DVD with Emicida (Criolo e Emicida Ao Vivo), I helped in Criolo's international tour... we took care of everything. It was a moment when I had a lot of 'hands-on' because I was helping in everything: taking care of his schedule, making the bridge with the press office and all these things", she recalls.
After taking a break and becoming a mother, Helena worked at corporate events for some time. She returned to music in 2017, when she worked at HBO's program Clubversão and was in contact with artists from Brazil and Latin America. It was only in 2018 that she joined SIM São Paulo: "In 2018 and 2019 I was in production with Alê [Briganti]. And now in 2020, I took over the production management. I'm very happy to work at SIM because that was it, I managed to unite the two things I like to do: work with music, think about music and work with events".
Besides reinforcing the role of SIM as an essential meeting point for the music market, where important connections are made, she sees in the event the possibility of training for the artists and agents who attend. "This possibility of connection and training is very important. I think this place of formation and information was missing here in Brazil. The music brings this, this possibility of you connecting beyond what is here. It amplifies many different discussions and formations -- like every art form, but I think music enhances that," she explains.
For the producer, one of the biggest challenges in her work is the way music is seen, both by the government and by a portion of the population: "Music is not taken seriously as a market, as a financial powerhouse. Especially in this moment that we are living, with the president that we have. So we have a lot of precariousness in the market, there are no labor laws or incentive laws working properly and we get stuck in all these obstacles".
Asked about the future, Helena ponders the difficulties imposed by the coronavirus and the social distancing for the entire music market. Music conventions are known precisely for their ability to unite people and this is the great challenge of the moment: to promote union in safety. "What I can think of is the present. What we have is this: we are in isolation, we can't meet and connect personally but we can do it virtually. So let's think about the present: what can we work with? We have to think about how to work and enhance the access and use of the virtual. That's the biggest challenge we're living today in music and SIM São Paulo. We're in this process of reinvention, right?", she concludes.