Ahead of the Firestarter Summit, GoodFestival gets an insider view of KALAB from co-founder Florence Ettlin.

What is KALAB and what was the inspiration behind it?

KALAB is a newly launched entertainment startup in Switzerland, which strives to showcase the full potential of the arts by empowering emerging musicians and promoting the discovery of the creative arts by the wider community. Through a marketplace platform, we aim to increase artist visibility, ease collaboration, bridge the gap between local talent and potential clients, and facilitate the entire artist booking process!

The inspiration behind KALAB mainly came from my personal experience as an emerging musician in Switzerland, which helped us to develop a product that fulfils an actual need and solves a legitimate problem in the market today.

What are your backgrounds and what do each of you bring to the team?

Talitha and I met at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) while pursuing our Bachelor of Science degree in International Hospitality Management. We crossed paths on the first day of school and have been a great team ever since! We realised that we not only share a common desire to impact people’s lives on a global scale, but also have a huge admiration for the arts. Besides becoming the best study buddies during exam time, we worked together on several projects for the Student Social Responsibility Committee, which Talitha reintroduced at EHL.

While we share a lot of the same qualities, we both have different strengths and advantages which perfectly complement each other. Talitha is a tireless enthusiast who always has a positive approach towards everything she does. She is incredibly creative and ambitious and has the biggest perseverance I have ever seen. She always pushes me to be a better version of myself and is able to motivate everyone around her. My role at KALAB is mostly connected to my music knowledge, creativity in marketing and designing, as well as tapping into the network I have developed as a musician. I truly understand the challenges artists face because I’ve been through it myself! Furthermore, I previously worked in artist management, artist relations as well as partnership management focused on creative music concepts at BMF Media, an experiential marketing company in New York. It allowed me to gain first hand professional insights into the world of entertainment. So I always try to bring the artist perspective and make them the forefront of every decision we make at KALAB. While Talitha is a dreamer and the sky is her limit, I am more of a realist, you can think of me as the anchor that keeps us grounded! Working on KALAB we noticed that this contrast is one of our biggest advantages. Talitha comes up with incredible ideas and combined with my more realistic approach, we can take risky yet feasible future steps for KALAB.

What kind of artists do you work with? Are there specific profiles you are looking for?

Currently, we dedicate all our time to musicians. We generally work with any type of emerging musician who is passionate, talented and motivated to share their talent. While we would love to help everybody, we do require a certain standard and therefore conduct a small quality check with each musician who applies to join us. This check consists of reviewing music samples and videos the artists provide us with. Apart from the musical talent, it is also important for us to see that the musician is ambitious, professional and above all, someone we can rely on. We accept all kinds of genres on our platform. While some genres are definitely more likely to be booked by the wider audience, we still would like to be able to offer this platform to all musicians.

Why and how are you collaborating with the Firestarter Summit?

Both Talitha and I previously volunteered for the GoodFestival and met Rajiv and the team a few years ago. Rajiv’s tireless drive to make the world a better place really resonated with the both of us, and therefore,we just couldn’t say no! We also believe that the introduction of the Firestarter Summit, which is a project supporting young creatives in ethical fashion, film and music, is an important initiative and wanted to be part of it in some way. Our responsibility was to find a diverse pool of local musicians willing to showcase all kinds of styles of music. We would love thank the GoodFestival Team for enabling us to provide our KALAB artists with such a nice opportunity. We are looking forward to discovering many great projects, meeting inspiring people and hearing the performances of our great KALAB artists Gareth James Hall, Lil Jay, Bable’s, S e l e n n, MOI, Balezco, Chelan Muller, Marzella and Liana Menétrey.