Niko Nordström isn’t just any first-time visitor to Australia, keen to test the surf, the food and the local music scene.  The Warner Music stalwart will guide the fortunes of the music major’s activities in Australia and New Zealand and its roster of artists, from superstar Ed Sheeran through to homegrown signings Illy, Kylie Minogue and Kimbra.

Nordström, currently vice president of Warner Music Nordics and managing director of Warner Music Finland, is heading to the great southern land for the first time to take charge as Warner Music Australasia President. The exec spoke exclusively with The Industry Observer ahead of his arrival.

“Obviously, this is a big change in my personal and professional life. I’ve never lived outside of Finland before and I’m so lucky to do it in Sydney,” he says. “I have a couple of friends who live in the city and they keep praising its beauty, its friendly and relaxed people and the many activities there are to do.  Even though I love Helsinki, I won’t be missing its dark and cold winters.”

Nordström succeeds Tony Harlow, the company’s outgoing leader for Australia and NZ, who was recently appointed president of WEA Corp., based in New York. Though he’s “eager to get started,” Nordström will only assume duties “following the completion of normal immigration procedures,” according to a corporate statement.

The Finn hasn’t yet sampled the lifestyle, but he’s done his research on the music community he’s about to drop into. “The Australian music scene is rich and vibrant with so many talented artists and I’m excited to be

“The Australian music scene is rich and vibrant with so many talented artists and I’m excited to be able see more of them in person,” he says. “Australia has always been able to successfully export its artists’ music.”

Growing up in the ’80s, INXS was one his favourite bands and more recently Nordström caught Sia’s performance at the 2016 Flow Festival in Helsinki where she “really nailed it and showed why she is a global superstar.” Nordström’s 15-year old daughter is a massive 5SOS fan and attended the pop-punk band’s gig in Helsinki last autumn.  “Illy has been one of Warner Music Australia’s artists that we have put huge effort to support up here in the Nordics,” he adds. “I hope to be able to continue to export Australian artists and music globally with the help of WMG’s international set up.”

Nordström’s 15-year old daughter is a massive 5SOS fan and attended the pop-punk band’s gig in Helsinki last autumn. “Illy has been one of Warner Music Australia’s artists that we have put huge effort to support up here in the Nordics,” he adds. “I hope to be able to continue to export Australian artists and music globally with the help of WMG’s international set up.”

Nordström, who is credited with doubling the Finnish company’s market share in the 10 years since taking the helm, reports in his new gig to Stu Bergen, CEO, International and Global Commercial Services for Warner Music Group (WMG). “One of WMG’s true stars, he’ll be bringing his exceptional management skills, artist development chops, and streaming knowledge to this important post,” Bergen says of Nordström. “I’m excited to see what Niko, our outstanding local team, and our extraordinary artists achieve together.”

“One of WMG’s true stars, he’ll be bringing his exceptional management skills, artist development chops, and streaming knowledge to this important post,” Bergen says of Nordström. “I’m excited to see what Niko, our outstanding local team, and our extraordinary artists achieve together.”

Following Nordström’s departure from Helsinki, Mark Fry, general manager of Warner Music Finland, becomes managing director of the company.

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