The French Music Export Office Opens in New York City

New York, USA – The French Music Export Office (Le Bureau Export de la Musique Française) has opened its office in New York headed by US music industry veteran Mr. Jean Rousseau. The French Music Export Office (FMEO) aims to promote music made in France abroad through a number of campaigns and actions. The FMEO provides advice, referrals and information to all French music professionals, from label A&R to journalists to managers, and creates worldwide relationships and business opportunities between them and their international counterparts. The French Music Export Office (FMEO) is situated at 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10021. Its Director since November 2002, Jean Rousseau is a sixteen-year veteran of the American music business. Rousseau has extensive worldwide music industry experience. He spent seven years working for Virgin Records America in Los Angeles as a Senior International Marketing executive and two years working for the Columbia Records Group in New York City in a similar capacity. In the fall of 1996 he started his own artist management company, Brave New World Management. His European background and in-depth knowledge of the global music industry is perfectly suited to the challenges of balancing two cultures around a single musical axis.

The French Music Export Office in New York has a dual mission,” explains Rousseau. “The first is to provide French professionals with information and opportunities on the American and Canadian marketplaces; the second is to stimulate interest in America and Canada for music made in France.”

In the ’80s the success of French artists abroad was limited to a few, such as Charles Aznavour, Nana Mouskouri or Richard Clayderman for popular music. But by the early ’90s the success of Patricia Kaas, Deep Forest, the Gipsy Kings and La Mano Negra proved it was possible for a new generation of French artists to succeed abroad. Simultaneously, French labels aware of the need to develop their repertoire internationally to survive in a global market made greater investments, while high quality releases made it possible for French labels to compete internationally and to multiply their export initiatives.

In 1993 French labels created a collective tool, The French Music Export Office (FMEO) – Le Bureau Export de la Musique Française [] – with the support of the French government and French music professionals. The FMEO is a non-profit organization that aims to advise, promote and inform about music made in France through a range of activities and initiatives. The FMEO serves the professional interests of French music labels and their respective artists; hence also works with publishers, managers, agents, promoters, lawyers, etc. The FMEO has offices in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Moscow, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Tokyo, and Sydney. The results are clear – international sales of artists/records made in France rose from 1.5 million copies in ’92 to more than 39 million in 2000. Although the results are encouraging much work remains to be done for music made in France in a world dominated by English-language music. The FMEO in New York will work closely with the French Cultural Services but it is not a cultural organization.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.