Gabriel Turielle: “Music should take a revolutionary role for itself”

By Izabela Delfiol


SIM São Paulo encourages meetings: professionals from all areas of the music market attend the convention and expand their horizons and connections. The series Humans of SIM brings stories of people who leverage the best of SIM. This episode is about Gabriel Turielle, responsible by the platform Contrapedal. 

Even before founding Contrapedal Records, Gabriel Turielle played bass in the band Psimio and won projection and awards in his country, Uruguay. Later, what started as a label in 2005, became not only his livelihood, but also a project that would integrate many other professionals and artists from all over Latin America. Contrapedal became an agency and producer of shows and a festival that bears the same name, with editions in countries like Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. The Brazilian edition was held in the capital of São Paulo in 2017, in partnership with Inker (the agency responsible for SIM São Paulo). 

"In 2014, I went to live in Mexico for a few years and there we created a booking agency that toured artists such as Dona Onette, Ava Rocha, Francisco, El Hombre, Tulipa Ruiz, among others," the producer says. He adds: "2014 was intense, since in the same year we promoted the creation of MMF Latam (Latin American Managers Association), of which I was the first president and vice president of IMMF (International Music Management Forum)".

Along with all that, there's room for even more work. Turielle also works as a consultant and offers support for the internationalization of technological innovation projects in Latin America, since she originally graduated in Computer Science. Finally, he is about to release his first book, "Manual de Supervivencia para Músicos Empreendedores" (Manual of Survival for Entrepreneurial Musicians), a project that also counts on the Musical Mentoring portal full of training materials and other resources for the sector. 

The founder of Contrapedal has been with SIM São Paulo since the beginning: "The first time I heard about SIM, I believe it was in its first edition, when I represented the artist Franny Glass, from Uruguay. I remember the impact this convention had on me. The contents, the guests, the parties and the quality of the production. I always admired Fabiana Batistela because, in each edition, she bets even higher".

Latin America has a complex history and culture and holding a festival that passes through several countries of the continent brings unique challenges. "First, the most important challenges are to understand the idiosyncrasies of each place. Then, to find the right partners and, finally, to give continuity to generate long-term profitability. In Latin America, it is very difficult because of the economic and political dynamics", he explains. 

As a territory permeated by political tension from the beginning of its colonization, art and culture play an important role in Latin American battles. For Turielle, the place of music in these situations is not only combat, but also innovation: "Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused people's attention to deviate from political problems, since the coronavirus was the opportunity that some governments were waiting for to exercise even more authoritarianism. I think the role of music and all musicians should be more challenging, to expose the deeper reality. Music should take this revolutionary role for itself from the discourse, to aesthetics and artistic movements".

Regarding the impact of coronavirus on the market, the producer does not hit any stakes but does not see in the flood of live broadcasts of shows and other free activities as a light at the end of the tunnel. "The music business is a business for only a few and a means of survival for the vast majority. I see an over-exposure of streaming shows, as well as conferences and workshops, but I believe that over time the frequency will decrease because you can't live from free activities all the time. So artists will have to start getting used to paying for digital content," he reflects.

Turielle believes that until a vaccine is created, the sector will walk with difficulty, since the protocols of social distancing make it difficult to resume activities as they were before and many projects become unviable: "The uncertain future obliges us to reflect and diversify our offers and services. I think musicians and producers need to make an effort to create new value proposals in order to monetize and survive the times ahead. More than ever, it's time to work to create a community from its original essence and make it loyal".

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