It began with several failed attempts at entrepreneurship stemming from different software applications, but today he stands among the crème de la crème of the electronic music industry. The subject: Ash Pournouri; the topic: his rise to success with the omnipotent Avicii. Citing several different interviews, NextShark has assembled an extremely thorough piece covering everything from Ash’s beginnings as a businessman to his journey with Avicii, his founding of At Night Management, and his plans for the future.
His career in music all started when he happened upon the young Swede, Tim Bergling, who was only 18 at the time.
After meeting for coffee, one thing was certain: the pair wanted to work together, even if Pournouri’s vision wasn’t quite what young Bergling had in mind at the time.
“I could see us working together as he seemed to like me and I liked him, and he respected me and vice versa. It was a gut feeling that he would trust me to let me to lead, and I wanted to trust him to commit to do what he would need to do.”
Not to say that their relationship was void of issues; both Ash & Tim will admit that they’ve had it out with each other on several occasions.
“Over music direction, creative direction, professionalism, being on time, working in a specific way, his clothes, my executive decisions, really everything. I had several conversations with him on what it meant to be as big as we were gearing up to be and whether or not he wanted “all this” and if he was prepared to do what it would take. He was obviously very committed, as was I, so it all progressed, but man did we have our rocky moments.”
Despite such “rocky moments” they have been inseparable since that fateful day and only plan to continue their domination of the electronic music scene. As a manager, one of the primary pieces to take away from these interviews is that Pournouri considers the Avicii brand his “baby.” Although Tim is the brand, the success of Avicii as a whole is just as important to his manager as it is to the artist himself. His secret to the success that they have seen? “Hard work, and conviction that what you’re doing is right.”
Which brings us to the tough part about super-stardom. The prevalence of “haters.” Ash takes the high road, even when the notorious deadmau5 gets involved:
“I never take that stuff personally. How could I when I never even met the guy and he knows nothing about me or my business and is constantly getting his facts wrong from rumors and other haters. I do my thing, and people can say what they want. Tim’s been dealing with his share of haters too, and in the beginning it used to phase him. I told him the taller a tree grows, the more wind will hit it. That’s life. I take Joel’s attacks as flattering — who else would put the time into seeking month-old tweets and starting a rant off of them, and then when confronted not even ask you the question to your face like an adult — I think he secretly likes me. His online persona probably works for him, and who am I to hate on that? It’s his thing.”
While his plans for the future remain somewhat of a mystery, Ash does have a vision for the future of EDM and is tirelessly working to bring it to fruition:
“I am not planning or wanting to change anything in EDM per se, but in the music industry I want to continue to make things fairer for the artists, producers and songwriters and help the industry understand the consumers instead of fighting them. There’s a long way to go, and no one, no matter how hard they think, has yet found the ultimate long-term solution.”
That is something that we can all agree would be nothing but good for the modern music world. To close, Ash left us with one very important lesson; which is, in short, adapt to survive.
“You can have dreams and wishes and visions and goals, but the moment you think you can stick firmly to a plan, it’s over.”
Photo by Rukes