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Lullabye Factory’s Joren Heuvels joins Hometown Talent

Amsterdam-based booking agent Joren Heuvels has joined Hometown Talent Agency.

Acts represented by Heuvels, formerly of the Lullabye Factory agency, include the Beths, Deeper, Donny Benét, Hibou, Jerry Paper, Las Robertas, the Blank Tapes and Sugar Candy Mountain.

“I’m super happy to join forces with Joren and welcome him and his incredible roster at Hometown Talent,” says Hometown Talent co-founder Guillaume Brevers, who set up the agency in April after leaving ATC Live. “Joren is a super talented and highly skilled agent.

“Joren and I share a common vision of today’s music industry and how we would like to see it evolve”

“We share a common vision of today’s music industry and how we would like to see it evolve. Hometown now counts offices in Belgium and the Netherlands, right in the heart of Europe, a stone’s throw from many key markets, offering our artists the best opportunities and most efficient service.”

Adds Joren Heuvels: “I am very excited to join forces with Guillaume at Hometown Talent Agency. I’ve been following Guillaume for a couple of years when he was still working as an agent for BFOS and ATC Live.

“We share the same values, have a similar taste in music and both work independently on an international level, so I am looking forward to providing the best possible service and working together on the careers of our artists by combining our experiences and knowledge.”

 


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New signings continue during corona lockdown

Nearly three months into the shutdown of virtually all concert touring globally, booking agents and artist managers continue to discover and sign new talent, with many using the opportunity to bolster their rosters in anticipation of live music’s return, they tell IQ.

“Discovering new talent is a big part of the agent’s job, and since many of us are stuck at home with no shows happening currently, that gives us extra time to listen to new music and get interested in new artists, even more so than before,” says Belgian agent Guillaume Brevers, who left London’s ATC Live to set up his own agency, Hometown Talent, earlier this year.

“I believe it wasn’t the case in the first few weeks following [the outbreak of] the virus, as most of the agents were really busy postponing their tours, discussing festival cancellations, etc. But more recently, I personally have found I have more free time to focus on new music.”

Similarly, Dominik Meyer of Austria’s Cobra Agency tells IQ that while the early days of pandemic were largely spent dealing with cancellations and postponements, there is now definitely “more time to listen to music and explore new stuff”.

One London-based agent (who asked not be named) says he, too, has been signing new acts during the shutdown, as there are “things that I am definitely excited about and that I feel I need to sign now.” He adds that discovering new talent gives him a feeling of normality in strange times – as well as “a sense that there is a business to come back to.”

“Signing new talent is a good way for agents to remain proactive while no tours are taking place”

Also keeping calm and carrying on is Australian artist manager Andrew Stone, who leads Chugg Music, the management, publishing and label division of Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment. Chugg Music’s most recent signing is Mason Watts, who agreed a label deal with the influencer-focused City Pop Records late last month.

With City Pop, says Stone, “we’re looking to sign artists now more than ever. There’s a focus on artists who have developed in the influencer/social media space” – City Pop’s first signing was TikTok star Mia Rodriguez – “so we feel at least somewhat prepared for a more online model of artist development. I think it’s a good time to build catalogue and grow communities on streaming, socials and radio, so that when the artists are heading out on the road in the future they have more than two songs that people know.”

Signing new talent is “a good way [for agents] to remain proactive” while no tours are taking place, comments Brevers, “so when things hopefully get back to normal, agents will be effective immediately and ready to provide their clients with the service they deserve”.

“In an industry where everything happens especially fast, I’m taking advantage of this new free time to think about new ways to reinvent myself as an agent,” he adds, “as well as how this industry could evolve to meet the challenges we’re facing in today’s society.”

Stone says lockdown is “forcing us to get really good at online marketing and collaborations. We are collaborating more than ever with artists across Zoom, and having features from other countries and languages, so that our international audience development isn’t completely halted by our inability to tour.”

“As long as there are engaged audiences, there will be a creative and nimble industry that can make the most of connecting with them”

With the return to full-scale concert touring believed to still be some way off, it depends on the individual agent or manager – and their personal circumstances – whether they’re using their relative downtime to scout for new talent, or just trying to survive, says the London agent.

“I think it comes down to the people,” they say. “Some are nervous about the future and just holding on, and some are understanding that it will pass and that they have to check new things out.”

They’re in the latter camp, they say – and so is Stone. He concludes: “I hope we’re not in denial about the long-term outcomes, but I think that so long as there are engaged audiences, there will be a creative and nimble industry that can make the most of connecting with them – whatever the circumstances.”

IQ launched its monthly New Signings playlist, which features tracks curated by a selection of major booking agencies, last week. Listen here:

IQ launches monthly agency playlist


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Guillaume Brevers launches Hometown Talent

Booking agent Guillaume Brevers, formerly of ATC Live, has launched Hometown Talent Agency, returning to life as an independent after a year and a half at London-based ATC.

Brevers joined ATC Live in 2018, having spent the previous seven years operating his own booking agency, BFOS Booking, in Belgium.

“In early January, I made the choice to leave ATC Live and return to my first love, leading my very own agency,” he explains. “I’m grateful for the time I had at ATC, but this independent spirit I have since day one has always been strong, and I decided to go back to what has worked successfully over the years and position myself as an alternative on the agency map.”

“My goal is to represent an agency that is very unique and ideally placed for the multiple challenges our society is facing, while constantly adapting to today’s music industry changes,” Brevers adds. “I want to offer the artists I represent a safe and healthy home where they’ll be able to express all their creativity while fulfilling all their expectations. Say hello to Hometown Talent Agency…”

Hometown Talent’s roster includes Princess Nokia, Boy Pablo, Phum Viphurit, Pi’erre Bourne, C. Tangana and Sunset Rollercoaster, among others.

 


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Guillaume Brevers and Graham Clews join ATC Live

Respected booking agents Guillaume Brevers and Graham Clews have joined London-based ATC Live.

Brevers joins from his own BFOS Booking agency in Belgium, and brings an eclectic roster that includes Princess Nokia, Boy Pablo and A$AP Nast.

After a spell at Avocado Booking in Germany, Clews set up the Alexia Agency in Glasgow, representing rock acts including the Ataris, Soft Kill and Such Gold, and also brings his roster to ATC Live.

“Both Guillaume and Graham have successfully run their own agencies and embody the spirit of independent thinking we have here at ATC Live,” says ATC Live MD Alex Bruford. “We are delighted to welcome them to the company”.

“To be part of ATC’s team of agents is an honour”

“I’m looking forward to team up with all the great people at ATC, an agency that fits my roster and my vision of today’s music industry the best,” comments Brevers. “It felt like the natural next step in order to provide the artists I represent the best service possible as an agent.”

Clews adds: “I am very excited at what this move means for the future. I have always held ATC in high regard, so to be part of their team of agents is an honour.”

Brevers and Clews can be reached at guillaume@atc-live.com and graham@atc-live.com, respectively.

ATC will showcase Cosmo Sheldrake, Soak, Lucia and Black Midi at IFF in London later this month.

 


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