Meeting with Manager of Enigma and Sandra Summary
January 15 1996
While visiting Europe in January I decided to try and arrange a meeting with the manager of Enigma and Sandra in Munich, Germany. I was lucky enough to get him on the one day during the whole of January that he'd actually be in the office! Due to time restrictions he said that he'd be able to spend no more than 30 minutes with me but the meeting ended up going for 45 minutes. Below is a summary of the information learnt.
- Currently manages Michael Cretu and Sandra Cretu. He also managed Hubert KaH until 2 years ago.
- Lives in Munich and has done so for many years.
- Met Michael when he lived in Munich during the 1980s. He used to go to local bars and clubs and it is here that he met Michael and became friends with him. Things followed through and he became his manager.
- Has been Michael's manager for 12 years now.
- It is here that all Enigma and Sandra's management and representation is done. It is located in Munich, Germany.
- The company was recently sold off to Sony (I'm not sure if it's in part or whole). Sony does not work quite the way that Mambo does and it was expected that Michael and Sandra would lose their manager as a result. As this was a big issue to them, part of the sale was became based on Michael and Sandra retaining their manager, showing the closeness they have.
- The offices are layered with gold albums, cassettes, and CDs, 80% of which are of Sandra or Enigma (Mambo represents other artists too). Every time a gold CD or whatever is released the Cretu's will have one in their house and Mambo will have one in their offices. Anyone who's seen Enigma specials on TV will appreciate how many gold issues exist!
- The only evidence of Sandra or Enigma in their manager's office is a poster from Sandra's Close to Seven album and various folders labelled Enigma Audit, Enigma II, Enigma Master + Publishing, and Enigma III. The last of these is the one we'd all love to have a look at right now!
Enigma I and II
- Contrary to popular belief these albums were not planned as concept albums until the media jumped on a bandwagon and said they were! It was then decided that they would promote it this way.
- For the release of each of these albums the media were given a period of roughly 14 days to interview Michael. They had to fly themselves out to Ibiza (where he lives) and they were only given half an hour. Michael would do one or two of them daily, with journalists from a particular country each day. The same will be occurring for Enigma III. Other than this, Michael does not give interviews!
- Unfortunately things are still very tight-lipped about its release. However it is now known that the title of the album has been determined, as have the song titles, the overall concept of the album, cover artwork, and so on. Joking around about hassling Enigma and Sandra's manager in April (which is when he will be willing to release information), he seemed quite willing to let us know of what he has to offer and help as best he can.
- Hubert KaH is not dead! As some of you know, a single was released late last year and a new album is due out this year. It will be on Polygram records.
Michael Cretu's Relationships
- It is now confirmed that Michael Cretu and Frank Peterson are not doing any work for each other anymore. They had a big split after the release of MCMXC a.D. The only information I got about it was that it was because of major artistic differences.
- Michael is good friends with Peter Cornelius who helps him a lot with the guitar aspects of his songs. He would not elaborate how much so this was in Enigma III!
- The issue of sampling is very important to Mambo Musik. They acknowledged that some samples are not mentioned in the CD booklets but this is because of license agreements stating that they do not have to. Their major concern is of commercial rip-off artists who steal the samples and try to quickly release a song to 'cash in' on the popularity of the first single from a new album. Evidence of this was apparent with the release of MCMXC a.D. and Mambo does not want to see it happen again. Linked with this Mambo raised some concerns with the Enigma Mailing List which will be discussed in another forum.
- As Mambo is not currently on the Internet they are fairly blind of the potential of World Wide Web sites and the possibility to sample full songs and so on. However it seems apparent that this will be of concern to them and will be discussed with them in future as it is believed that they may be looking into getting into this area.
- Sandra's Fading Shades album was a pretty major flop in Europe. I'm sure that people on the Enigma Mailing List have their theories for why this happened!
- Michael and Sandra visited Australia in early 1995 (at the time when New South Wales was having major bushfires). They were here for 3 weeks staying with an architect/interior designer friend in Sydney and also visiting the Northern Territory (Kakadu, Ayers Rock, etc.). They enjoyed their time greatly and plan on returning.
- The house that the Cretu family currently live in is a relatively small 16th century place. With the new children and the need for more room they are currently building a bigger house 20kms away from their old one. It is being designed and built with the help of their friend in Sydney mentioned above.
Well that's all the information I have written down and can remember! The whole meeting was very positive and I left the building feeling that I had a good relationship with the manager. He made it known that our presence is well known to both himself and the Cretu family (he joked that when they read the FAQ that they were reading about things that even they didn't remember!) and that they are more than willing to support us in the future. I was glad that he raised some issues with me and asked some questions of me. Overall I think the support that Mambo is offering is strong and will continue that way.