Loud and Proud: IQ pride playlist now live
IQ Magazine’s second annual Pride edition sees the return of the Loud & Proud playlist and feature, for which our agency partners profile some of the most exciting queer acts on their rosters.
13 Artists, ATC Live, CAA, FMLY, Hometown Talent, Progressive Artists, Wasserman Music, and X-ray Touring are among the contributing agencies.
Read about the agencies’ standout queer acts and listen to their key tracks below. Scroll down for the full Loud and Proud playlist.
Agent: Darren James-Thomas | FMLY Agency
Eliza Legzdina was picked by NME as one of the highlights at Eurosonic Festival 2022. A queer, London-based, Latvian, R&B “star in the making” (Crack Mag), she performed with Rudimental at Brixton Academy in June and features on one of their forthcoming singles.
Legzdina featured on lau.ra’s track, Blow, which was selected by BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders as tune of the week; while her collaboration with the same artist on Wicked also saw her placed on the 6 Music B-List. She has also worked with Idris Elba on the track Fudge.
Other recent shows include supporting Princess Nokia at EartH in London, while festival appearances have seen her take to the stages at Europavox, The Great Escape, and Pride Porto. Later this summer, she is confirmed to perform at Brighton Pride, Manchester Pride, and Latitude Festival.
Agent: Jake Nevens | 13 Artists
Raised on classical music in Hampshire without context for what was popular, 24-year-old Jemima Coulter has developed a sound meticulously their own. Previously having cut their teeth as one-half of the Hailaker project, which has seen co-signs from the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Novo Amor, and many others, Jemima’s debut album Grace After A Party releases in July via Hand In Hive, boasting an enviable cast of guest appearances from the world of indie music.
Agent: Rob Gibbs | Progressive Artists
Paige Kennedy is an artist and producer from Kent, UK, with an energetic alt-pop sound, drawing on a mix of funk, electronic, and indie. Their recent EP, 4 Degrees, has gained recognition from 6 Music, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Kent, and Spotify’s Fresh Finds and young & free editorial playlists.
They’ve been gigging regularly in London and Manchester, supporting Peaness and BC Camplight, and have some exciting slots lined up for 2022. Paige also made the top five out of over 3,000 applicants for the Green Man Rising competition 2021, performing at the live-streamed finals. Paige is currently working on new material that will be released later this year.
Agent: Chris Ibbs | CAA
UK cultural icon Jodie Harsh returned with her new single Shock, released 1 July on Warner Records. An irresistible club jam, the track combines rousing vocals and anthemic hooks with a deep, infectious bassline. It follows on from Good Time, an acclaimed release that was crowned BBC Radio 1 Hottest Record in the World by Charlie Hedges.
Kicking off the year with remixes for Kylie Minogue, Years & Years, Sonny Fodera, and most recently Charli XCX & Rina Sawayama, 2022 has been huge for nightlife icon Jodie Harsh. Fresh from supporting Jessie Ware on tour, she is currently in the middle of a hectic festival run with appearances at Creamfields North & South, Elrow, Mighty Hoopla, and Radio 1 Big Weekend, as well as starting residencies alongside Becky Hill at Ibiza Rocks and Danny Howard at Amnesia in Ibiza.
A legendary face of the London club scene, she is currently curating new queer club night Feel It at Omeara alongside Little Gay Brother. Adding another string to her huge bow, Jodie also hosts her own podcast, Life of The Party, with guests on the latest series so far including Joel Corry, Tom Grennan, Fat Tony, The Blessed Madonna, and Jessie Ware.
Agents: Roxane Dumoulin & Suzy Noel | ATC Live
Brighton three-piece Lambrini Girls are: Phoebe (vocals/guitar), Lilly (bass), and Catt (drums). Influenced by Le Tigre and Bikini Kill but served with a tongue-in-cheek style all their own, Lambrini Girls are here to take over the scene, one bottle at a time.
Kerrang! describes them as, “A cornerstone of Brighton’’ queer music scene,” while Gigwise opts for “Raucously untamed, feral punk; a frenetic and fiery blast of thrashy mayhem that takes no shit.”
As for the band themselves, they prefer: “The best band in the world. Imagine your nan is in the boot of your car with a croissant in her mouth and hears Bikini Kill for the first time. That could be you. It will never be us, as we are not Bikini Kill, and we are not your nan. We are Lambrini Girls. Bon appétit.”
Agent: Shaun Faulkner | X-ray Touring
Uninvited formed after vocalist and bassist Taylor-Ray Dillon (she/her) and vocalist and guitarist Gillian Dhlakama (they/them), previously based in Dundee, met as solo acoustic artists. With a little help from Instagram, the pair later became connected with guitarist Bex Young (they/them) and drummer Fiorenza Cocozza (she/her). They officially became Uninvited in August 2020 and joined 7 West Music Management (The Dunts, Spyres, As December Falls, The Roly Mo).
Their latest offering, Behind The Black Door, is yet another defiant single that Uninvited are becoming known for. Their debut single, Tomboy, was an important landmark for the band, who became aware that they themselves could be the change they wanted to see, writing music that pushes the LGBTQ+ conversation into the male-dominated indie atmosphere – a multidimensional reclamation of their early queer experiences in a shimmering indie-pop package.
Although their live career has been affected by Covid and subsequent restrictions, Uninvited made their debut live performance in the summer of 2021, supporting Dead Pony at a sold-out King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow. Their streak of supporting the hottest bands from the Glasgow scene continued as they opened for Baby Strange at SWG3 and Spyres at Stereo.
The band had the honour of playing the Tiny Changes fund-raiser, appearing alongside The Twilight Sad and Carla J. Easton. And, in early 2022, they supported BBC Introducing Scottish Act of the Year winner Bemz and London-based Dream Wife.
Agent: Alex Hardee | Wasserman Music
Cat Burns is a 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Streatham in London. The former BRIT School student went from busking on the Southbank to mastering TikTok in lockdown, singing a mix of her favourite covers and original music. As a result, she rapidly amassed around half a million followers in just three months and now sits on over 1 million followers on the platform.
Cat is not only an astounding vocal talent but also an incredibly talented songwriter offering acute observations on life and love with a fresh perspective. She draws upon gospel influences, pop inspirations, and a love of guitar-led and indie music, too. She proudly cites Ed Sheeran, India.Arie, and Tori Kelly as a few of her biggest inspirations.
Her highly anticipated EP, Emotionally Unavailable, was released in May, and performance-wise she has supported Mae Muller and Years & Years on tour, while in August she will appear at Boardmasters Festival.
Agent: Joren Heuvels | Hometown Talent
As one-quarter of Luna Luna, Kaylin Martinez is a 26-year- old artist/musician who lives in Austin, Texas. Since discovering her love for the drums at the age of 11, Kaylin has seen her drum career change many times. She was in a marching band throughout high school, played in worship bands, and even went on to earn a Minor in Music.
After years of playing unfulfilling gigs, Kaylin finally found her perfect fit with Luna Luna. She has played all over the United States and eventually will play around the world. While playing with Luna Luna, Kaylin has been able to establish herself as a professional musician, allowing her to express herself through her first love: music.
Listen to the full Loud and Proud playlist below:
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Angus Baskerville to launch new indie agency
Angus Baskerville, the longstanding 13 Artists director and booking agent is moving to new independent agency Pure from 1 January 2022.
The move was announced in an email circulated this afternoon. Others CC’d on the email with a Pure Represents email address include Simon O’ Neill, Brooke Rayner, Hayley Morrison and Aimee Burn – all of whom were previously known to be working for 13 Artists.
Artist manager and Baskerville’s wife Jodie Harkins was also copied in on the email with a Pure Represents email address.
After working as an artist manager and in A&R at London Records, Baskerville joined 13 Artists as an agent in 2004, becoming a partner in 2010. In 2019, Baskerville opened a second 13 Artists office in London, at Tileyard Studios.
Speaking to IQ last year, he said: “I do believe the independent sector has the possibility of thriving in 2021 and beyond, as we’re required to modernise and refresh approaches to the way we work – and do that quickly.”
IQ has contacted Baskerville for comment.
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October New Music playlist out now
The latest edition of the IQ New Music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by international booking agencies, is now live.
The playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents. Click here to read the latest issue of IQ now.
The October edition of the New Music playlist features tracks hand-picked by agents at CAA, ICM, ITB, Paradigm, 13 Artists, ATC, WME and Mother Artists.
Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on last month’s playlist first.
Separated by agency, the full track list for the October playlist is:
|CAA||Laurel||Scream Drive Faster|
|CAA||Gabby Martin||Me & You|
|ICM||J.I the Prince of N.Y||Morning|
|ITB||W.H. Lung||Figure With Flowers|
|Paradigm||Dora Jar||Scab Song|
|Paradigm||Nala Sinephro||Space 2|
|13 Artists||Orlando Weeks||Look Who's Talking Now|
|13 Artists||Holly Humberstone||Scarlett|
|13 Artists||Kid Brunswick||Biploar Rhapsody|
|13 Artists||Helve||Cabin Fever|
|ATC||Metronomy, Pinty||Half an Inch|
|ATC||Joe & The Shitboys||Manspredator|
|ATC||Rosie Alena||God's Garden|
|WME||Sam Smith, Summer Walker||You Will Be Found|
|WME||Steve Aoki, Armin van Buuren||Music Means Love Forever|
|WME||Camila Cabello||Don't Go Yet (Major Lazer remix)|
|WME||Zac Brown Band||Fun Having Fun|
|WME||Carly Pearce, Ashley Mcbryd||Never Wanted To Be That Girl|
|Mother Artists||Thomas Headon||Nobody Has To Know|
|Mother Artists||Unknown Mortal Orchestra||That Life|
|Mother Artists||Cheap Teeth||I Am The Mud|
|Mother Artists||Kills Birds||Glisten|
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New signings and rising stars: August 2021
UK duo Wet Leg, a new signing for Paradigm’s Adele Slater, and Brooke Combe, repped by Lola Mitchell at 13 Artists, are among the latest acts to have been added to the rosters of international agents.
Find out more, and check out the full artist listings for August, in the digital edition of IQ 102 below. Plus, if you haven’t already, make sure to listen to the latest IQ New Music playlist, which complements the page in the magazine and features even more up-and-coming talent…
Wet Leg (UK)
Agent: Adele Slater, Paradigm
Amid a night of hazy scenes in their native Isle of Wight, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers found themselves at the summit of a ferris wheel. They decided to start a band. The band is called Wet Leg.
Arming themselves with guitars, a penchant for French disco, effervescent imaginations, and a shared love of the Ronettes and Jane Birkin through to Ty Segall and Björk, they set about making some recordings of their own.
Enter their debut single, ‘Chaise Longue’, and a deal with legendary indie label Domino, while forthcoming live appearances include support slots with Jungle and Inhaler.
Brooke Combe (UK)
Agent: Lola Mitchell, 13 Artists
Edinburgh-born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brooke Combe recently released her new single ‘A-Game’. Already familiar to legions of fans on social media through viral covers of the likes of Marvin Gaye, her acclaimed debut single ‘Are You With Me?’ arrived in May to a rapturous response, while her latest track provides another tantalising window into the world of a singularly talented young artist.
Combe played her first Glasgow headline show at the legendary King Tut’s on 5 August, and tickets sold out in a matter of hours, highlighting the buzz surrounding the soulful newcomer.
Combe discovered a love for music aged just five, after getting her first toy drum kit. Now aged 21, she has added saxophone, trombone, guitar, bass and piano to her repertoire, and taken influences from the 90s R&B played in her parents’ house, as well as the Motown her grandparents would play for her in order to help develop her songwriting skills.
Full artist listings, including new signings for Paradigm, ITB, UTA, Earth, Fmly, 13 Artists, ATC Live, Playbook, Primary and Progressive Artists, are available in issue 102 of IQ Magazine:
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Agents of Change: The agency business in transition
On 20 October, five US agents, all formerly of Paradigm Talent Agency, announced the formation of Arrival Artists – a brand-new booking agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, a roster that includes the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Khruangbin and BadBadNotGood, and a partnership with European agency ATC Live for global representation of acts shared across both rosters.
Following the termination of hundreds of jobs by the Hollywood-headquartered global agencies since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the kind of news observers of the agency space have come to expect – a group of agents from one multinational join forces and go independent – and follows the launch of two other new US indies, TBA Agency and Mint Talent Group, in late August and mid-September, respectively, and the likes of Route One Booking and Jon Ollier’s One Fiinix Live in the UK earlier this month.
The resurgence of the independent agency, and the apparent fracturing of the corporate giants following years of consolidation, is being watched closely in the broader live music world, where rumours abound of further agency launches and rebrands – including in Europe – in the months ahead.
Nowhere is this more the case than in London, where recent mergers include Primary Talent with ICM Partners and K2 Agency with Artist Group International. And while uncertainty reins, takeovers, strategic pacts and new ventures will all be under consideration for every business.
“It’s clearly a very challenging time for anyone working in live music at the moment,” says ATC Live’s Alex Bruford, whose roster includes Nick Cave, The Lumineers, Metronomy, Black Pumas and Fontaines DC. “No matter the size of the business, if your company relies on live touring, and there is no touring, it’s very difficult.”
“The idea in agency culture has long been geared towards an idea of ‘the bigger the better’”
“Clearly, we all have had to face major challenges in 2020, and we will continue to have significant challenges thrown at us for some time,” agrees Angus Baskerville, partner at 13 Artists, who works with artists including George Ezra, Brittany Howard, Jamiroquai, Michael Kiwanuka, Benjamin Clementine and Paolo Nutini.
But are ATC Live, 13 Artists and other UK-based indies such as ITB, Asgard, Midnight Mango and smaller boutique firms, better placed than their corporate cousins to survive, and even thrive, during the current crisis? With concert activity on hold, is it actually a blessing to be free of the structure of a large company – and are we witnessing a new era of independence in live music booking, the likes of which we haven’t seen for the best part of a decade?
Bigger: not always better
The past seven months have done much to expose some of the myths of pre-Covid thinking within the business, according to Earth Agency’s Rebecca Prochnik, who represents artists including Skepta, JME, AJ Tracey and Nines. “The idea in agency culture has long been geared towards an idea of ‘the bigger the better’,” explains Prochnik. “For a long time, the structural strategy of the larger agencies has been upscaling teams around artists, to provide a more intensive job. While I understand the reasoning, the model creates a lot of employment volume, and in fact the potential for disconnection that has never made full sense to me.”
“Sometimes I look at some of the bigger agencies, and you have too many agents or bookers squabbling over every artist that comes in,” echoes Obi Asika, founder and CEO of Echo Location Talent (Marshmello, Da Baby, Wizkid, Chase & Status, Pendulum, Major Lazer, Giggs). “Many artists have multiple agents, in part to ensure no one agent has too much power over the wider agency. That’s not workable anymore. There’s no guarantee this [a concert-stopping pandemic] won’t happen again – you’ve got to be careful of your overheads.”
“Some large businesses will have been better protected than other large businesses going into this, and I’m sure it’s the same for the smaller ones,” adds Baskerville. “Saying that, I do believe the independent sector has the possibility of thriving in 2021 and beyond, as we’re required to modernise and refresh approaches to the way we work – and do that quickly.”
“Independent companies have been able to be more nimble and adapt faster to new ways of working”
For many of the bigger, multinational agencies, the financial impact of this “surplus” is amplified by huge levels of corporate debt, which in some cases amounts to many times their annual revenues.
According to investment banker Lloyd Greif, Endeavor – the parent company of WME – is shouldering a staggering US$5.1 billion debt, while CAA has $1.15bn coming due in 2026, in addition to a $125 million revolving credit facility. Paradigm, meanwhile, is believed to owe around $80m, following multiple debt-financed acquisitions over the past decade.
Paul Boswell, of Free Trade Agency (The National, Tones and I, Wilco, Tash Sultana, Violent Femmes), says he believes that while the live entertainment shutdown is “clearly bad for all,” it will “hurt those that practice borrow-and-buy capitalism the most.”
“As an independent business, we’ve always been careful not to fall for the seductive culture of living beyond our means: even if money is flowing, we’ve stayed low to the ground on spend,” adds Prochnik. “We’ve always had a culture of working remotely – of needing an office solely for the wellbeing and connection of our staff community, rather than for external business. Throughout my career, I’ve taken my meetings in cars, in cafes, in parks, on the phone… It’s really only ever mattered that I can relate well and do a creative job for my clients as needed.
“What Covid’s done is blow away the myth that an independent attitude is a quirk. Big offices, gleaming receptions, plaques on walls, meeting rooms, games rooms, listening rooms… At the end of the day, those things are all just optics, and ones which suddenly seem tremendously outdated. None of those things shape business in a meaningful way…”
“When the dust settles, there are going to be huge changes”
“The importance of having an office as a status symbol – that, for me, has gone,” adds Asika. “You don’t need a shiny office, and you also don’t need people coming into work every day; if you don’t trust the people working for you, that’s a problem. I’ve enjoyed being at home with my family, and I want that flexibility for my business and staff.” “This virus is terrible, but there are potentially worse ones in the future,” he adds. “And when that comes, you want to be the little speedboat nipping around, not the big cruise liner…”
Agrees Prochnik: “Independent and smaller agencies tend to have a shared personality of sourcing and creating whatever there is to do, thinking outside the box, breaking moulds in order to make business work. I think this inherent culture of flexibility, nimbleness and creating value out of thin air is invaluable in these new times.”
“We’ve seen with companies across our sector, from agencies to promoters to ticketing companies, that often the larger the organisation – and therefore the higher the overheads – the harder hit they have been,” says Bruford. “In many cases, independent companies have been able to be more nimble and adapt faster to new ways of working, new opportunities and the changing landscape.”
The great equaliser
According to Asika, “When the dust settles, there are going to be huge changes” across the agency sector as a result of the current “correction.” “From the value of artists, to where people work, what people have started in this time, what new companies pop up… there are all these things happening in the background, and it’s going to have a long-term impact,” he predicts.
Booking agents unite for next IQ Focus
Continuing the weekly IQ Focus virtual panel discussions, this week sees a line-up of senior figures from the agency world step up.
Titled The Agency Business 3.0, the session streams live on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 11 June at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET.
For multinational agencies juggling investors, cashflow and large numbers of employees, the Covid-19 crisis has presented significant challenges. And for the smaller boutique outfits, the hiatus in touring is no less impactful.
But when the business does return, will this period have changed how agencies are structured, and how they work? What routes back do agents see working, and what new opportunities might emerge? In an industry fuelled by creative thinking, what comes next?
Joining chair and ILMC head Greg Parmley will be CAA’s Maria May, Paradigm’s Tom Schroeder, 13 Artists’ Angus Baskerville and United Talent Agency’s Jules de Lattre.
The popular IQ Focus sessions have run since April, with previous topics having included the festival summer, grassroots music venues, major venues, mental health and wellbeing during lockdown, and innovation in live music. All previous sessions can be watched here.
IQ launches monthly agency playlist
IQ has today launched a monthly new music playlist, with tracks curated by a selection of major booking agencies. The first playlist features contributions from agencies including CAA, Paradigm, ICM Partners, 13 Artists, X-ray Touring, United Talent, ITB and ATC Live.
The playlist complements IQ’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agencies.
“Each track is handpicked by our agency partners…we want to spread the word on some of the best new music out there.”
“The touring and festival businesses may be at a standstill, but there’s no shortage of great music that’s being discovered and represented by the world’s leading booking agencies,” says IQ editor Gordon Masson.
“Each track is handpicked by our agency partners. By bringing together some of the most compelling emerging artists, and new tracks by established names, we want to spread the word on some of the best new music out there.”
The tracklisting for the first playlist, ordered by agency, is below…
|13 Artists||Holly Humberstone||Falling Asleep at the Wheel|
|Max Pope||Just Friends|
|Nito NB||Too Late|
|The Academic||Anything Could Happen?|
|Russ Millions||Out of Order|
|ATC Live||Lazarus Kane||Night Walking|
|Fontaines D.C.||Hero's Death|
|Chicano Batman||Color My Life|
|Rayowa||The Only Night|
|ICM Partners||India Shawn||NOT TOO DEEP (feat. 6LACK)|
|Flo Milli||Beef FloMix|
|Jelani Aryeh||Stella Brown|
|Anna of the North||Dream Girl|
|Emotional Oranges||West Coast Love|
|ITB||The White Buffalo||Problem Solution|
|Vincent Darby||Baby Oh I|
|Megan O’Neill||Devil You Know|
|Bad Touch||Too Much of a Good Thing|
|Lonely The Brave||Bound|
|Paradigm Agency||Lola Young||Same Bed|
|Remi Wolf||Photo ID|
|Bruno Major||The Most Beautiful Thing|
|Khurangbin||Time (You and I)|
|United Talent Agency||Arlo Parks||Black Dog|
|House of Pharaohs||AM to PM|
|Daði Freyr||Things About Things|
|Samantha Harvey||Get to Know You|
|X-Ray Touring||Kodaline||Saving Grace|
|Dead Pony||Everything is Easy|
|Chubby & The Gang||Speed Kills|
Biggest-ever IFF 2019 sells out
The fifth edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF) has sold out in advance of the 24 to 26 September event, with 800 delegates attending from 40 markets, 40 agency showcases and a keynote interview with Rock Werchter’s Herman Schueremans.
The invitation-only event for festival bookers and booking agents takes place in Camden, North London. This year’s edition has doubled the amount of networking space around the main venue, Dingwalls, and introduced pop-up agency offices on both days.
“We’ve grown a bit again this year, so have had to pay off a few market stall holders to make room,” says ILMC MD and IFF co-founder Greg Parmley. “Looking back over the last five years we’ve been very lucky – not just with the weather, but fortunate to have had tremendous support from our agency partners, many who’ve backed IFF since year one.”
Partner agencies on IFF include 13 Artists, ATC Live, CAA, ITB, Paradigm, Primary, Solo, WME, UTA and X-ray Touring. Artists confirmed to perform during the various agency showcases include Squid, Sports Team, Life, Happyness, Chinchilla, Niklas Paschburg, Easy Life and multi-platinum-selling rockers the Darkness.
“We’ve grown a bit again this year, so have had to pay off a few market stall holders to make room”
Conference topics at IFF 5 include festival billing, consolidation, competition from new market entrants, gender splits on line-ups, and niche events, while the IFF Keynote interview is Rock Werchter founder and Live Nation Belgium head Herman Schueremans.
With IFF reaching a milestone fifth edition, amongst the various dinners and events is a joint birthday party on Thursday 26 September with European metal festival behemoth Wacken Open Air (30 this year), and Japan’s Summer Sonic (20 this year).
Other new elements at the event include Knowledge and Green Hubs featuring innovative suppliers and sustainability experts, while hosted speed meetings and a delegate portal return for the third year, supported by the Department of International Trade.
Full event information is online at www.iff.rocks.