By Rafaela Piccin
The fourth installment of the #BehindTheSIM series, which tells the story of the professionals behind São Paulo Music Week, interviews the historian, sociologist and researcher Dani Ribas. She’s the director of DATA SIM, SIM São Paulo’s hub collecting data about the Brazilian music market.
DATA SIM is one of the most urgent and audacious projects at SIM São Paulo. This hub conducts research and manages data related to the Brazilian music market. It was launched in 2018, and it has a long path ahead. Its objective is to generate data and studies about the music industry, thereby revealing its value, importance and economic impact.
There’s no one better than this historian who holds a masters and a PhD in sociology, and who also happens to be an expert in Cultural Policies, in order to head the research. “In my head, I have always worked with music. It was only the level of professionalization of my work and the area per se that have changed,” she explains. She started in music as an amateur musician, and she discovered herself professionally on the backstage as well as in the academic world. “My talent isn’t being on stage. It’s understanding the gears of the music world. That’s what I still do up to the present day”.
Dani is the director of Sonar Cultural Consultoria e Pesquisa em Gestão Cultural, a company that has carried out consulting tasks on behalf of UNESCO, and which developed research with IPEA. She also has teaching skills and used to coordinate the Cultural Management course at the Research and Formation Center at SESC, and she currently lectures Cultural Management at FESP-SP and UNICAMP.
Her relation with SIM started in the second edition of the fair in 2014, when she delivered a talk about cultural habits and audience development. The following year, SIM’s director Fabiana Batistela invited her to join the recently formed SIM Consulting Board, to which she still belongs.
At the end of 2017 the two decided together to get DATA SIM off the drawing board, since both felt that music industry data was necessary and yet not available in Brazil. “In general, research is not taken seriously in this country. Even less so for research related to the culture industries. The government has the duty to understand all production chains in the country, how to structure and to regulate their relations, be it the car industry, agrobusiness or culture,” she says about the challenges of the profession.
“In this economy in which the world lives today, understating the economic power, the creative industry included, is equivalent to throwing away growth opportunities. It’s turning your back to a future that hasn’t even started, because we don’t understand the role of music and culture in this context. That’s why, I think that the role of DATA SIM at collecting such data is extremely important,” she says.
Comparing the situation in the Brazilian market to other countries, she notes that abroad the government shares the responsibility of music industry growth with artists and producers. “Take a look at Australia, or London in the UK, all European countries in general, the USA: the government maps the production chain, collects data and hands it to the sector for development purposes. In Brazil, it’s the other way around it seems,” she compares.
There’s a lot of work ahead, and some of the actions are already fruitful: the first part of the research The São Paulo City Music Market, devoted to the live music spaces, described the profile and highlighted the economic and cultural importance of these places for the city. Other three parts of said study (phonographic market, instrument industry and artistic sector) are currently in development and will soon be available at datasim.info.
There’s yet another DATA SIM research study, still collecting answers, which investigates the participation of women in the music universe. It’s entitled “Women in the Brazilian Music Industry: Barriers, Opportunities and Perspectives”, and it’s compatible with “Women In The U.S. Music Industry: Obstacles And Opportunities” (read the full report here) from Berklee College of Music e Women in Music (WIM). It will include data from women across different age groups, career stages, functions and country regions. The results, which will reveal the diversity of professionals that make Brazilian music happen, will be presented at SIM São Paulo 2019.
Translation by: Victor Fraga