Ben Swanson (producer)

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Ben Swanson
Born (1978-03-21) 21 March 1978 (age 43)
Fargo, North Dakota, United States
Occupation(s)
Instruments
  • Percussion
  • marimba
  • Keyboards
Years active1996-–present
Labels
  • Dead Oceans
  • Jagjaguwar
  • The Numero Group
  • Secretly Canadian
WebsiteDead Oceans

Jagjaguwar

The Numero Group

Secretly Canadian

Ben Swanson is one of the co-founders of Secretly Group, which includes independent record labels Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, The Numero Group and Secretly Canadian, as well as music publisher, Secretly Publishing. These labels are home to such acts as Bon Iver, The War On Drugs, Mitski, Moses Sumney, ANOHNI, Phoebe Bridgers, William Eggleston, Angel Olsen, Whitney, The Tallest Man on Earth, comedian Tig Notaro, Khruangbin, Dinosaur Jr., Phosphorescent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Jens Lekman [1], and Sharon Van Etten. In 2016, Swanson help launch an expansive re-issue campaign of Yoko Ono's discography from the 1960s through the 1980s. Quoted in the New York Times, "A lot of Yoko’s past albums are like Kraftwerk’s. They always sound contemporary; they still sound like the future.”[2]

In 2018, he has taken on the role of Chief Operating Officer of Secretly Group.[3]

In June 2019, Swanson was named one of 80 executives of Billboard's "Indie Power Players" list [4]. He was quoted "Independence is having the luxury of not being beholden to shareholders that couldn’t care less about the music or its place in the world. As an independent, we show up every day for our artists."

Swanson also co-founded Secretly Distribution in 1998, which has since grown into the preeminent independent label distributor in the U.S. [5]. In 2011, Swanson went on to co-found Fort William Artist Management[6], which represents such talents as The War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Beirut, Jens Lekman, and producers John Congleton, Joe Chiccarelli, and Joey Waronker, among others [7].

He was also an executive producer on four Rick Alverson films, including Entertainment[8], starring Michael Cera and John C. Reilly, and the award-winning The Comedy[9], starring Tim Heidecker [10]. Swanson has acted as music supervisor for the film The Good Catholic, Netflix's documentary “Tig,” and seasons 1 & 2 of One Mississippi, starring Tig Notaro. He has recently wrapped the music for Ms. White Light [11], which premiered at 2019's SXSW.

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Ben graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Ethnomusicology. He now resides in Bloomington, Indiana, having helped turn the Midwestern city into a launching pad for indie artists[12]. In addition to his work in the music industry, he is also a board member of The Dimension Mill, a large coworking and business incubator space located in downtown Bloomington, Indiana [13]

References[edit]

  1. "Jens Lekman Will See Himself Now". npr.org. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  2. "Yoko Ono's Vintage Sonic Blasts Still Sound Like the Future". nytimes.com. 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
  3. "'Fresh Energy' Keeps Bloomington Indie Music Label Moving". insideindianabusiness.com. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  4. "Billboard's 2019 Indie Power Players: The Execs Behind Drake, John Prine, Lauren Daigle and BTS=". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  5. "Bloomington music group expands mail-order business to serve artists, fans with more than music". hoosiertimes.com. 2013-03-29. Retrieved 2013-03-29.
  6. "Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Ocean Co-Founders Launch Fort William Artist Management". billboard.com. 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  7. "FORT WILLIAM ARTIST MANAGEMENT WELCOMES THREE MANAGERS". musicconnection.com. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  8. "Sundance Film Review: 'Entertainment'". variety.com. 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2015-01-25.
  9. "The Comedy: Sundance Film Review". www.hollywoodreporter.com. 2012-01-22. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  10. "IMDB - Ben Swanson". imdb.com.
  11. "Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez to Star in Drama 'Ms. White Light'". variety.com. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  12. "Putting Bloomington, Indiana on the indie-rock map". www.prefixmag.com. Retrieved 2006-08-03.
  13. "The Mill is open and fully occupied". hoosiertimes.com. Retrieved 2018-10-31.


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