Starting out in A&R at Capitol Records while attending UCLA, Niels spent the bulk of his career as General Manager of Warner-distributed independent label, Surfdog Records. This was where he worked with such artists as Brian Setzer, Slightly Stooped, Dave Stewart, Butthole Surfers, and Jason Newsted. At Surfdog, he was also very active in its artist management, publishing, and lifestyle marketing divisions with clients that included Best Buy and Pepsi.

Following his 20-year stint with Surfdog, Niels left the company to expand his reach as an independent consultant, working with artists, athletes, actors, and startups with their music-related pursuits.

In 2014, he met Blue Élan Records’ founders, Kirk Pasich and Connor Pasich, who had just formed the company and was tasked with building its early infrastructure and marketing strategies. Today, the company has a staff of 12 and a roster of over 20 artists. Having brought seven acts to the label over the first six years of his consultancy (including Jesse Dayton, Red Wanting Blue, and Grammy-nominated Janiva Magness), Niels took on the full time position as Executive Director of A&R in late 2020. His first signing in the new role was legendary LA band, Ozomatli.

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Niels Schroeter
Niels Schroeter

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