In this series, mica – music austria and Austrian Music Export have collected the experiences and perspectives of women in the music business. No matter the categories, quotas or breakdown, the goal is 100% of us working together in the struggle for feminism. In this interview, Salzburg singer and former winner of the ORF casting show Starmania ANNA BUCHEGGER talks about her career, the support she has received on her career path and her experiences.
What people / institutions / funding programs helped you along the way in the music business?
Anna Buchegger: In September I got a grant for my debut CD from the Musikfonds. In that process, David Buder [at Matches Music] gave me indispensable support and continues to do so. I feel like it’s an honest collaboration without a lot of self-enrichment, and I’m really thankful for it.
How and where did you get your experience in the music business? What were your biggest challenges, and how did you overcome them?
Anna Buchegger: My most intense experience in the music business – or in the entertainment business, to be exact – was, for better or worse, on the casting show “Starmania21”. One big challenge during that time, I think, was my stubbornness. I think it protected me from a lot of things, but I feel like it also kept me from really enjoying the experience. You hear so much negativity about the music business, and I let myself be prejudiced by all the bad stories – I forgot that the music business can also be a lot of fun. Of course, a lot of people have written me off after being on the show, of course. Whether I’ll have to overcome that, and how, remains to be seen.
What kind of career support have you received? Where would you have liked to have (more) support?
Anna Buchegger: Surprise – I wish I had gotten more support from public television [the producer of “Starmania”]. I know, lots of people are going to think, “I could have told her to expect that,” but I kind of wish it for the ORF’s sake, too. They could do more, profit more from their own shows. No one reaches as many people in Austria as the ORF – it’s a privilege that they still have that position here, and I have no idea if they’re not aware of it, or if they just don’t care.
Still, the show was a big boost. I may have been quickly forgotten after that, and the people that watch that kind of show don’t usually follow the individual artists after the end, but I learned a lot. Including what I want, and – maybe even more – what I don’t want.
Did you have role models to look up to around you? What role models do women in the music business have right now? What can you pass on to others?
Anna Buchegger: My mother and my sister were always role models for me, as far as personality goes. I’ve always admired the way they talk, dress, react, make jokes, and reflect.
Female role models appear every now and then in my circle. My friends are role models for me, too. When you’re so close to people, you really notice what character traits you’re missing, that you’d like to have.
To me, Christina Kerschner (aka Nnoa) is a real Wonder Woman in my scene. I’ve never told her, but I can’t fathom how a single person can do so many amazing things at one time, so autonomously and conscientiously.
“I don’t care about age; what I have a problem with is when people try to force outdated opinions – that they’re convinced are the right ones – on younger people.”
What role does age play for you?
Anna Buchegger: I’m really bad at guessing people’s age, and when they tell me how old they are I forget it more quickly than I do their name. I don’t care about age; what I have a problem with is when people try to force outdated opinions – that they’re convinced are the right ones – on younger people.
What would you like to see in terms of a more diverse music scene?
Anna Buchegger: I’m going to have to sleep on that one.
What questions do you get asked that a man would never be asked?
Anna Buchegger: No questions, but that does remind me of another story: Not too long ago, a sound man – who knew me, and who had watched the casting show on television – explained to me how I should hold my microphone.
That really got to me, and I think it’s mostly women who have that sort of experience. I’ve had the feeling, as a female musician, that my competence is often questioned.
Translated from the German original by Philip Yaeger.