by Ray Brown
I've traveled throughout North America, South America, Asia and Europe for over 10 years as a musician, songwriter and producer. When I first set foot in London, I knew early on I would experience long term stays in Europe. In the year of 2001, an American-Hungarian friend came to visit me during my US concert tour. Having worked in the music industry for so long, I was losing interested and wanted to pursue other ventures in life. My friend asked if I would like to come visit Hungary. Living in Hungary for over a year, he had nothing but great things to say about the country. Since I've always wanted to experience Europe "independent of a band" and had never been to Hungary before, I gladly accepted the invite. Months later, I was on a plane bound for Central Europe. My idea was to stay for a few weeks just to see how much I'd enjoy it. From Budapest to Bucharest, from Vienna to Zagreb, I found the lifestyle, cultures and the people I met to be amazing. The few weeks I planned to stay, turned into a few months. Over the last decade, I traveled back and forth, from my hometown of Los Angeles to my adopted city of Budapest, every opportunity.
Coming from a creative background with extensive experience in the inner workings of the Internet, I have often wondered how, in this day and age of Social Media, so much undiscovered talent exist in Hungary and other Central European countries. With successful European bands like The Carbonfools, Cloud 9+, Ivan & The Parazol (and other music artist) as well as outstanding fashion designers such as Zoltan Herczeg, Eszter Aron and Aarion Clothing to name a few, I've asked myself why is it so difficult for talent (and their products) to break into the global marketplace, especially in my country - United States of America. After building relationships with various talent across the local Hungarian music, film and fashion scene, I've come to the conclusion that the lack of access and availability to the International marketplace is part of the problem. Another challenge seems to be 'messages' getting lost in languages. Before coming to Budapest, I did most of my research on the internet to learn more about Hungary. I wasn't interested in obtaining knowledge from US websites or books from a US bookstore, but from real people living in Hungary. However, the deeper I researched, the more the language changed from English to Hungarian (Magyar). Few of the social media sites including Facebook and Twitter, had any English content to offer non-Hungarian speaking people. It makes complete sense to have literature (physical print or Internet) in the language of a particular country. From an international standpoint, however, the lack of English can be the deciding factor why much of the great talent never reaches the eyes and ears of Americans (myself included). Furthermore, the literature that is available in English can sometimes feel like the author of the article isn't a native English speaker, which can also put-off native speakers from continuing to read such articles. Lack of success on a global scale has little to do with the level of talent and skill that exist in Central Europe, but more to do with the rest of the world not having access to the talent and engaging English-based literature or content.
For over a decade, I've invested my time, effort, experience and cash in the pursuit of creating a pathway of worldwide exposure and opportunity for talent. I've gained much experience from my lengthy stays in Central Europe, which has led me to the planning and building of my startup company NUQIK, LLC. (USA-based company). The objective of NUQIK is threefold:
1. Magazine - This site will share up-to-date news stories and information about top talent in music, fashion and film of Central Europe - in American English.
2. Web Shop (USA) - This site represents and facilitates the online sales of digital music downloads and Central European clothing directly to the North American consumer (United States, Canada, Mexico).
3. Collaboration - As the marketing and selling of Central European products to the American marketplace increase, interest in our products and services will inevitably cause major business opportunities for NUQIK.com partners. US-based companies expressing interest in doing business with their additional means of distribution and marketing, could be advantageous toward the success of the 'NUQIK partners' on a global scale. As these opportunities present themselves, we will work with the local management to build business relationships in the USA marketplace and beyond.
It is my belief that there is nothing impossible about having international success as a fashion designer or music artist or filmmaker living in Hungary and other parts of Central Europe. I believe NUQIK can be the gateway to making this a reality. Having said that, I can not do it alone. As much time and effort I've spent through the years with this clear objective in mind, successful people have to make investments in talent. Not just Hungarians living in Hungary, Austrians living in Austria, or Czechs living the Czech Republic, but also Europeans from all parts of the world should seriously consider supporting the creative people of their origin. Businesses and influential individuals must commit to providing these 'undiscovered diamonds' (talent) the tools they need to be placed on the International stage. Although I'm not Hungarian (or European for the that matter), I have a certain pride in wanting to see my friends from all of Central Europe reach their global potential. Feher Balazs is one of my great friends living in Budapest, Hungary. I also consider Balazs one of the most talented people I've ever met. The only reason why he has not had international success is because the industry doesn't know of his existence. I believe I can change all of that. Partnering with influential business people of Hungary and abroad is my goal in making Feher Balazs and his band The Carbonfools, (as well as other creatives) a household name in the United States and beyond.
If you have an interest in the activities described in this mission statement, send me an email anytime.
founder of NUQIK