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The New Bosses 2021: Theo Quiblier, Two Gentlemen

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Tessie Lammle, booking agent at UTA in the US here.

Theo Quiblier started like a lot of people in the industry – in a band with classmates – but quickly realised he was better at finding shows than playing them. He began promoting shows at La Parenthèse in his hometown of Nyon, Switzerland, aged just 16, while also working for festivals such as Montreux Jazz and Antigel.

Spending more time booking shows than studying at university in Geneva, Quiblier was approached by Two Gentlemen’s Patrick David, who offered him a job as a junior booker.

Fast-forward a few years and he is the company’s head of concerts and touring and works with a roster that includes The National, Angel Olsen, The War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Squid, Fontaines D.C., Father John Misty, Viagra Boys, as well as powerhouse Swiss supergroup Brandão Faber Hunger. Quiblier also manages Dino Brandão.

 


You’re a promoter, an agent, and an artist manager – which role is your favourite?
It’s the diversity of roles. Being able to work every day with everyone in the team on so many different topics is thrilling. The more you understand each aspect of the industry, the better you can service your clients and partners.

As you began working in the business as a teenager, do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Patrick David. His experience and knowledge are an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me. If we don’t spend at least one hour on the phone a day debating, it’s probably because one of us is sick. Also, Sébastien Vuignier who has always given me his time. A true legend!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
The National at Samsung Hall in Zürich in 2019. When you do this job you secretly dream of promoting your absolute favourite band.

“You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it”

What are you most looking forward to as the pandemic restrictions are lifted?
Sweaty gigs in small rooms with people flying all over the place! The band comes on stage and the show hasn’t even started yet you already know the night’s going to be electric. I miss that so badly…

Also finally being able to see live some artists we’ve been working with for more than three years and who still have not been able to come over and perform for the reasons we all know.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Never be afraid to make mistakes. You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it. That’s so valuable and entirely part of the process.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and Two Gentlemen are taking out of it?
Being able to press pause, sit down together as a company and ask “How are we feeling? How are we doing? How can we improve?”, has been a gift. Also, cooperation with others has never been so good. I can definitely feel a real sense of togetherness.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Tessie Lammle, UTA

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Dan Roberts, promoter at Live Nation in the UK here.

After graduating from Bentley University, Tessie Lammle began her career in the mailroom at UTA, rising through the ranks to become an agent who represents artists including The Aces, Tierra Whack, TLC, Pussycat Dolls, Lil Wayne, SAINt JHN and many more.

When traditional touring paused due to Covid-19, Lammle re-thought how artists could reach their fans and collaborated with UTA’s Music Innovation division to book various virtual performances and showcases.

A passionate advocate for other women in the music industry, Lammle is a founding member of UTA’s La Femme Majeure event series and is on the leadership board of the company’s Justice Now task force. Outside of UTA, she is a member of the MusiCares Next Generation Board, and she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.


Can you tell us how you got involved with La Femme Majeure (LFM) and what its goals are?
A group of colleagues and I founded LFM in 2018. We wanted to create a space for young women in the industry where we could be ourselves and network comfortably. Our main goal is to focus on music’s next era of women leaders.

You interned at Universal Music and ICM – what advice would you give to others when it comes to landing meaningful internships?
There’s a common misconception that you must know someone to break into the industry. The best thing I did to get my foot in the door was to network. It also helps to remember that everyone was in the same situation in the beginning, so you might as well say hello, send an email, and reach out to your potential mentors on LinkedIn. Always lead with kindness.

The pandemic ‘pause’ narrowed the avenues for artists to connect with fans. Can you explain what you did to maximize opportunities for some of your acts?
Throughout the pandemic, UTA has driven success for our clients with our collaborative, 360-degree approach. As a full-service agency, our divisions are constantly communicating with each other.

“I thought that I had to see a live show to truly understand an artist and their potential, but this year has forced me to adapt”

When traditional touring was paused, we worked across all our departments and with new buyers to offer innovative opportunities to our artists. As a result, the agency was able to secure brand partnerships, drive-through concerts, livestreamed performances, publishing deals, film and TV roles, gaming collaborations, podcast hosting gigs, and more for our clients.

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change or introduce to improve the live music industry?
More diversity, equity, and inclusion across the board. There has been some great forward momentum and that’s what makes our industry exciting and forever evolving.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’m not sure where I’ll be living in five years, or which new artists I’ll be representing, but I do hope to be working with an even bigger roster at UTA. I know I’ll still have a hunger to be constantly finding out-of-the-box opportunities for my clients that leverage all the company’s resources. I also hope in five years I will be able to keep a plant alive for more than three days and will be working my way towards having a family!

You signed a number of artists during lockdown. Were those difficult pitches, and can you say anything about how you tailor your career plan strategies depending on the artist and genre?
I always thought that I had to see a live show to truly understand an artist and their potential, but this past year has forced me to adapt. No two artists ever have the same goals, even within the same genre. I am a firm believer that you must cater to the artist first and hear their visions before you set a strategy.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Dan Roberts, Live Nation

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant at Paradigm in the UK here.

Dan Roberts was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but brought up in Nottinghamshire in the UK. His introduction to live music began, aged 16, when Liars Club [in Manchester] owner Ricky Haley paid him to put up posters. From there Roberts moved to Leeds to study biology, while local entrepreneur Ash Kollakowski taught him how to rep shows and book local supports.

When he completed his studies, he found a job at DHP, where he learned to be a national promoter, and five years later he moved to Metropolis Music and the Live Nation family.


You studied biology – are there any parallels at all with your work, or did any of the disciplines learned at university help you?
Communicating concisely in writing and applying a functional, transactional mindset to the processes that go into building a show. You can’t teach taste though.

Having a US passport can be very useful in this business – have you been able to take advantage of that for your work, as yet?
I once went to the Hamptons with Matt Bates, which was very nice. Aside from that and a trip to NYC to see Partisan Records and Cigarettes After Sex team, I look forward to building my US network further as we return to full business.

You started working on shows while you were a student: do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Ricky Haley, Dan McEvoy, Ash Kollakowski, Dan Ealam, George Akins, Anton Lockwood, Raye Cosbert, Will Marshall, Bob Angus, Denis Desmond, Melvin Benn… What Denis, Raye and Bob can communicate with ten words would take most people a hundred.

Learning how to rep shows and book local support acts in Nottingham has obviously served you well. Does that experience help when it comes to choosing who to work with in cities around the UK?
A good network of reps is useful. As an industry, we’ve lost a lot of freelancers on the production side over this period which is a travesty.

“Taking acts from 200-cap rooms to Brixton Academy is incredibly rewarding”

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
Taking acts from 200-cap rooms to Brixton Academy is incredibly rewarding. Show-wise it would have to be The Strokes at the Roundhouse in February 2020, which I worked on with Bob. Implementing 100% digital ticketing with Ticketmaster was an operational win.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you are taking out of it?
This time has given me a chance to get closer to the teams at Metropolis, Live Nation, Festival Republic and Ticketmaster.

What are you most looking forward to as restrictions lift?
Fontaines D.C. playing A Lucid Dream to 10,250 people at Ally Pally. More specifically, the bit at the start where Grian goes “shew”. That on a big L-Acoustics or d&b rig at about 103db, with their wonderful team around me at FOH, that would be nice.

What’s the biggest challenge for you and your colleagues now that the business is emerging from lockdown restrictions?
Everyone is coming back to shows from different places and from different experiences during lockdown, so empathy is a must. Our communal mental health is very important as we return.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Flo Noseda-Littler, Paradigm

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview Age Versluis, promoter at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands here.

Born in London’s Waterloo area, Noseda-Littler was brought up around jazz and soul music by a family of entertainers – her mum is a singer, granddad a pianist, and grandmother a dancer.

At university, where she studied civil engineering, Noseda-Littler started booking musician friends into venues and festivals around the UK, and after graduating she started working under the wing of her cousin at Academy Music Group (AMG), which also provided her with a chance to work at Wireless Festival.

An internship at Brixton Academy followed, before, in 2015, she found herself a job as general agency assistant at Paradigm, where for the last three years she has been on several committees and task forces to bridge the gap between support staff and agency management.


You come from a musical family. What’s the first gig you can remember going to – and when did you decide you should pursue a career in the business?
My first memory was at 8 when we went to Party in the Park, Hyde Park. It was a magical experience seeing live music, and going to a festival for the first time with thousands of people.

What set you on your path in the industry?
At university, I fell into booking my boyfriend’s band. I started a database of contacts and soon managed to get gigs at cool UK venues and festivals. Something ignited in me and I knew I had to do this full-time!

Do you think working on the venues side of the business has helped you in your career on the agency side?
Working at Brixton and AMG gave me the building blocks to understand live shows, from promotion and ticketing to backstage issues and settlements. I got to shadow lots of different staff, which showed me the practicalities of how much it takes to execute a show onsite. It was so useful to draw on those experiences when learning the agency world and routing shows together.

“It’s been vital for both agent and promoter to be transparent and flexible in order to protect the longevity of the industry”

We’ve heard a lot about the closer collaboration between agents and promoters during the past year. What’s your experience of that been, and how do you see it benefitting Paradigm’s clients as the business reopens?
Promoters are usually the first to take big financial risks on a tour, which has never been more to their detriment than in the past 17 months. During these ever-changing times, it’s been vital for both agent and promoter to be transparent and flexible in order to protect the longevity of the live industry. In demanding less from our promoters in the short term, it supports the recovery and prospects of our clients’ live careers. We are all in this together and just want to see the business thriving again!

You’ve become one of the go-to people for younger staff at Paradigm. What advice would you give to other young people who are trying to break into the live music business?
Festivals offer a range of volunteering roles so it’s worth checking them out to gain experience and meet people if there’s nothing music related on your CV. Internships often involve being thrown into the deep end, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. What really gets noticed is an eagerness to learn and integrity of work.

“A bigger effort is needed across the industry to reduce waste, lower emissions, and protect the future of our planet”

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
Booking tours in an industry that has fully recovered and is booming once more!

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you can take out of the last 17 months?
During furlough, I discovered a love of running and went on to complete my first half marathon. This new hobby has been a freeing and stress-busting tool for me, that I hadn’t been able to try in my old routine.

Mental health has been a hot topic during the pandemic worldwide which has filtered across the workplace. These unprecedented times have allowed us to make our well-being a higher priority and feel more comfortable in vocalising how we feel. I’m hopeful mental health will remain high on the agenda when touring returns to a normal pace. It’ll result in a healthier and happier industry!

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
One of the most urgent issues is energy consumption. There are some great initiatives, like The Green Rider, but a bigger effort is needed across the industry to reduce waste, lower emissions, and protect the future of our planet.


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The New Bosses 2021: Age Versluis, Friendly Fire

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Jenna Dooling, agent at WME in the UK here.

As one of the worst drummers in his hometown, Utrecht, Age Versluis realised that organising shows was a better option. During his music management studies, he interned for a festival, a venue, a record label and a promoter to help him decide what his next step would be.

Having interned at the first edition of Best Kept Secret festival in 2013, Versluis remained at Friendly Fire, where he became a promoter five years ago. He has since developed a roster that includes Khruangbin, Fontaines D.C., Black Pumas, Cigarettes After Sex, Phoebe Bridgers and many others.

Friendly Fire also runs an open-air venue in Amsterdam throughout the summer, which Versluis operates.


Do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Roel Coppen [agent, promoter, co-owner, Friendly Fire] has taught me everything about spotting talent and working out a long-term approach for an artist. For the last couple of years, I have been learning more about bigger shows and collaborations from Rense van Kessel and Lauri van Ommen in our office.

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
The biggest highlight is convincing an artist to trust and play multiple shows in the Netherlands early on in their career and then to see that confidence pay off. For example, with two amazing sold-out nights for Khruangbin in Paradiso, December 2020.

“Go to shows, lots of them, talk with the people at the door, at the stand, at the FOH, production staff, everyone”

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Go to shows, lots of them, talk with the people at the door, at the stand, at the FOH, production staff, everyone. Volunteer for as many things as you can sustain. Go to conferences, panels, and try to get a quick meeting in for some advice/feedback with someone that inspires you.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and Friendly Fire are taking out of it?
Yes, it’s been hard but we’ve also seen relationships improve with the people we work with. We’ve tried out new things, dipped our toes into livestreaming, have unwillingly learned everything on socially distanced shows and have kept on a few of those new things.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
Several things. We should work to diversify the people we work with and in all aspects of what we do, in regards to underrepresentation.

“We have all been busy juggling shows and limitations, now it’s important that we plan for shows that are actually happening”

Also, accommodating and setting boundaries for work and personal life – although that’s been getting a lot better the past years. As a young new promoter with no network, I loved gaining managers’ and agents’ trust at that earliest stage. I believe in spreading out who you work with, so you can learn from all sorts of people.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’d love to work on new outdoor concepts and specialise in that part of live music, as I really like the novelty of it. So far the majority of my shows were in the Netherlands, but we are doing more outside our territory now, and that’s something that I hope is going to stick.

What’s the biggest challenge for you and the Friendly Fire team now that the business is emerging from lockdown restrictions?
We have all been very busy juggling shows and limitations, now it’s important that we focus and plan a workflow for shows that are actually happening. The biggest challenge will be building up customer trust to buy tickets again.


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The New Bosses 2021: Jenna Dooling, WME

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Arjun Mehta, founder and CEO at Moment House in the US here.

Jenna Dooling’s path into the music industry began in her hometown of Liverpool, where she first began working for a club promoter. This prompted her to apply for a course at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), for a degree in music, theatre and entertainment management.

During her studies she also worked for various promoters and realised she wanted to be in London to pursue a career in the music industry, and just months after graduating she began working at WME.

Five years later she is an agent at WME having worked her way up from mailroom assistant in 2015. She is now handling all club bookings across the UK and Ireland for the agency’s electronic roster, while her own roster includes Black Coffee, Fatboy Slim, and Damian Lazarus (alongside David Levy).

 


WME’s mailroom programme is legendary. Can you tell us a bit about it and how it helped set you up for a path into being an agent?

Although my job title was ‘mailroom assistant’, I worked on the front desk so my role also included duties of a receptionist. You are the first and last person that anyone sees when entering the office, so you have to take pride in your role and present yourself in a professional way, with a warm welcome.

Whilst greeting agents and assistants from all departments and learning about the clients they represent, I started to picture my career path and formulate a plan as to how I was going to get there. My main focus was to progress into the music department.

Like any job, you have to start from the bottom and work your way up. From answering calls, handling the mail, to tea/coffee runs, ordering cabs, you have to think of the end goal and that this is only temporary until you have proven yourself.

“Being a former promoter has given me a real appreciation of how hard they work in order to help deliver a successful show”

You had some experience working on the promoter side when you were younger – do you think that’s helped make you a better agent?
Being a former promoter, I understand what it’s like being on the other side of the fence. It’s given me a real appreciation of how hard [promoters] work in order to help deliver a successful show for our clients.

We’ve heard a lot about the closer collaboration between agents and promoters during the past year. What’s your experience of that been, and how do you see it benefitting your clients as the business reopens?
Throughout the pandemic I’ve built closer relationships with promoters by just keeping the conversations rolling, checking in seeing how people are, even when there were no shows happening that needed to be discussed.

We’ve all faced difficult challenges, so working together through these tough times has helped us put our best foot forward. By being proactive, we have implemented backup plans and been constantly flexible across the board with reschedules and cancellations.

One of the best things we have picked up from this is the sharing of information relevant to specific territories which has been invaluable. Throughout the last 18 months, we have built stronger relationships with our promoter partners that in turn will benefit our clients hugely as we work hand-in-hand to deliver the best possible shows and experiences for our careers.

“The most important aspect of the entertainment industry is building strong, long-standing relationships”

Your determination played a significant role in you getting your foot in the door. What advice would you give to others trying to break into the live music business?
The most important aspect of the entertainment industry is building strong, long-standing relationships. Attend as many events and conferences as possible, you never know who you will meet. There’s no harm in reaching out to people on email with a friendly introduction, asking for some advice etc. Don’t be put off when some people don’t respond, consistency is key, so don’t give up!

When I was at school, I didn’t know being a ‘music agent’ was even a thing – we didn’t get taught about all the creative roles in the entertainment industry. You have to do as much research as possible, but speaking to people that you look up to is the best place to start and never be afraid to ask questions! What has helped me through my time at WME is having a mentor, to be able to help guide me, explain things and just absorb information when sitting on calls, as you understand how that agent is thinking logistically and strategically.

What are the biggest challenges facing you and your WME colleagues as the industry starts to get back on its feet?
Diversity and inclusion have been and will continue to be major priorities for me. We continue to push for equality on line ups and open dialogue about how to have better representation.

“Logistically, one of the biggest challenges that we face at the moment is the congested schedule of festivals and tours”

Logistically, one of the biggest challenges that we face at the moment is the congested schedule of festivals and tours, with most artists having missed a full two years of touring. All of them are keen to get back on the road doing what they love best and playing for their fans. This is leading to limited availability at venues and festival slots with many having chosen to honour offers made for artists in 2020 and 2021.

What are you most looking forward to about the year ahead?
I can’t wait to get back to the office to be with my colleagues and friends. Since everything reopened in the UK, it feels so good to be back, attending gigs and festivals – what we have all been waiting (patiently) for and hoping it continues back to normal across the world.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
Like any aspiring agent, I want to see myself continue to expand my roster with exciting new talent. Focusing on building a diversified roster, representing artists from the developmental stage to headline level both in the live space and electronic world. I want to look back at the end of each year and be proud of my clients and the team around me for putting together a great run of shows and headline tours.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Arjun Mehta, Moment House

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Emma Greco, promoter at AEG Presents France here.

Born and raised in Fremont, California, Arjun Mehta graduated from USC’s Iovine and Young Academy in Los Angeles. Moment House was his first endeavour coming out of college.


Tell us a bit about Moment House and some of the challenges you’ve experienced in developing it?
Fandom is increasingly globalising. For the artists and creators we love the most, we don’t want to only receive content, we also want to participate in experiences. The problem is that fans are everywhere, while artists and creators can’t regularly go everywhere.

The biggest challenge is that the music industry is filled with people that think short-term. We deal with this by identifying the forward thinkers in the business, partnering with them, and paving the new normal for everyone else.

As someone with no family connections in music, did attending your specific academy at USC open any doors into the industry for you?
I was very fortunate to have Jimmy Iovine as a mentor, which was made possible by attending the school. He made a few key introductions at the start of the Moment House journey that were impactful.

Has music always been your goal, or did you see yourself doing something else when you were younger?
I’m passionate about music, but my goal, in general, has always been to create. What I am doing now is pretty much exactly what I wanted my future self to be doing when I was younger.

“Jimmy Iovine made a few key introductions at the start of the Moment House journey that were impactful”

What advice would you give anyone who wants to get their foot in the door to the music business?
Talk to everyone you possibly can and always think in any situation, how can I add value here? Be persistent without being annoying.

What are the biggest challenges facing you and your colleagues as the live music industry starts to get back on its feet?
Growing the team fast enough. It might seem counterintuitive, but our business is growing faster in a post-Covid world. It’s logistically easier to travel, rehearse, film, etc. and the global fan engagement and digital ticket/merch revenue opportunities are too compelling to ignore.

What are you most looking forward to about the year ahead?
The last date of every tour should be a digital tour stop – a special digital media experience created for an at-home audience. Even if an artist does a 200-city tour, that’s a fraction of their fanbase.

“It might seem counterintuitive, but our business is growing faster in a post-Covid world”

There’s an incredible opportunity to engage with fans in a compelling way no matter where they live, and the team and I are very excited to establish digital tour stops as the new norm in the year ahead.

I am also excited for artists to start to realise that this is a new creative format – another outlet for their genius. This isn’t just a monetisation tool. It’s a new form of art.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
A version of me that has 20 years’ worth of personal growth!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
Building an incredible team full of genuinely good humans and getting to learn from them every day, particularly on our music growth side.

Hard to name everyone but Nigel Egrari, Sam Berger, Casey McCabe, Michele Bernstein, Michael Schneider, Randy Nichols, Edmund Singer-Kingsmith, Jordyn Orenstein, Clayton Barnes, Jon Rast, and many more. You are in great hands if you decide to work with us!

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Emma Greco, AEG Presents France

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Will Marshall, agent at Primary Talent/ICM Partners in the UK here.

After internships at the likes of Aiken Promotions in Ireland, and Nuits de Fourvière festival in Lyon, Emma Greco joined Le Periscope in her hometown of Grenoble, France, in 2015, having graduated with a BSc in economics and a Masters in culture from Grenoble University.

Working as a booking agent, she handled domestic acts such as Baden Baden, Joyce Jonathan and Fréro Delavega across Latin America, Asia and Russia, as well as working on productions from small clubs to arenas and festivals throughout France.

In 2018, she moved to Paris to become a promoter at Super, working on both domestic and international acts.

In 2019, Greco joined AEG Presents France and has developed the roster by signing new acts such as Rina Sawayama, Griff, Zoe Wees, Benee, Beabadoobee and Daði Freyr.


You found some amazing internships early on – what advice could you give to others on getting some good experience?
Getting an internship is not easy when you’re at university or when you’ve just graduated, but if you’re determined enough, you will get there. And when you do, make the most of it! Be curious, ask questions, seize every opportunity, talk to people, start building your network – it will take you places.

You’ve made the switch from agent to promoter. Was that a difficult learning curve?
I’ve had experienced colleagues to learn from and was given the freedom and trust to find my own place, which made the transition easier. It is important to have a good insight into everyone’s role in the industry, it has taught me to be more patient and understanding.

“It is important to have a good insight into everyone’s role in the industry”

Have you been able to do anything during the pandemic to strengthen your career credentials?
I had a career assessment toward the beginning of the pandemic and it really helped me work on strengths and weaknesses and set goals for the future, one of them being to make it onto the New Bosses list!

What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time?
Finding tomorrow’s best new artists and promoting arena shows.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
Finally seeing all the shows we’ve worked so hard on putting together. It has been so frustrating not to be able to see the results.

What one thing would you like to change to make the live music industry a better place?
I would like to see more women in leading positions. There’s still a long way to go but I believe we, especially the younger generation, have the power to change things.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Will Marshall, Primary/ICM

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Talissa Buhl, festival booker at FKP Scorpio in Germany here.

Born and raised in London, Will Marshall started out running monthly showcase events in the city’s East End, combined with spells working for Live Nation’s festival production team, while studying.

Earning a degree in architecture, in 2014 he dropped the books to join Metropolis Music before heading to Primary Talent in 2016 as an agent, working with Matt Bates. Marshall’s roster is as eclectic and wide-ranging as the London music scene he grew up admiring: alt-pop, electronic, rap, rock, folk and indie acts all garner attention.


A degree in architecture isn’t the traditional route into music – are there any parallels at all with being an agent?
Both have set me up for a life of late nights and impending deadlines, but in all seriousness, there is a problem-solving nature that connects the two, usually within a collaborative framework, and almost always with a slightly competitive drive.

You ran regular showcases when you were a student. How did you find the talent and has that experience helped you understand the job of promoters better?
In terms of the latter, definitely. When it comes to decision making and giving clear advice, the understanding and knowledge of those companies, their different departments and how they operate is key.

Regarding sourcing talent, it sounds simple but I would just put on events and book acts whose music I liked. The way in which music is consumed now means that everyone is their own curator; the tastes you are catering for have exploded exponentially. That is exciting, especially as we push for a more inclusive music scene.

“The advent of widespread livestreaming highlighted just how pivotal crowds are in creating the moments that we do this for”

Do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Probably too many to single out but I feel very lucky because my job requires me to connect with people in all different parts of the industry from all around the world, so they keep my view well rounded. My family and friends keep me grounded and remind me what is really important.

What are you most looking forward to as pandemic restrictions are lifted?
Crowds, and the energy, together with the artist, that they can create. Whilst the advent of widespread livestreaming presented artists and their teams and crew with much needed earning opportunities, it also highlighted just how pivotal crowds are in creating the special moments that we all do this for.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you are taking out of it?
We’ve seen a lot of people struggling in the slow down and the uncertainty. The pause has given us a moment to make decisions more consciously and in disrupting the pace there has been more time for conversations around sustainability, and gender and race equality. I hope these conversations continue and that they can further shape behaviour and action.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Paris Harding, SJM

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Anna Parry, programming manager at the O2, London, here.

Born and raised in Liverpool, Harding belongs to a family of musicians, artists and performers, with multiple generations of his family having a presence in and around the industry.

Influenced by the first grime wave, Harding learned to produce music and opened a small recording studio where he worked with local talent, and ultimately landed remix placements with the likes of Wiley, Sneakbo, Dappy, Steve Aoki, Iggy Azalea and others.

Stints as a club DJ introduced him to other emerging acts, prompting him to promote his own events and underground nights, which led to curating line-ups and securing talent for local festivals. His focus then switched to touring and concert promotion and in 2019 he began a new chapter at SJM Concerts.


What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
I’ve been lucky enough to have many, which have all been relatively important to where I was in life and what my goals were at that time.

I would say the present moment – even as we limp out from a global pandemic – feels like the highlight for me; the artists, tours and projects I’m able to work across on a daily basis whilst being such a fan and follower of the music and culture itself and be able to make a real contribution to it… incredible.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Think laterally; your specialities and skillset can be used and will be needed in numerous ways. Try not to become restricted to the idea of only having one role or path. Say yes to opportunities that feel uncomfortable, pick up the experience and aim to become the nucleus.

“Think laterally; your specialities and skillset can be used and will be needed in numerous ways”

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and SJM are taking out of it?
With so much uncertainty and changes made throughout the industry, it has definitely forced us all to be more introspective and compassionate. We’ve had to collectively help each other navigate our way towards normality on a business and personal level, and there’s a much greater sense of unity as a result of this.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
In the immediate future, maintaining a fluid mindset to how we build our way back to normal. What we’ve experienced in the last 16 months globally means the scaffolding will very likely need to be rebuilt somewhat differently, and we all need to be on board and willing to do that.

“[The industry needs to] maintain a fluid mindset to how we build our way back to normal”

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I want to continue to help bring through new artists and play my part in building their live career experience with the aim of taking them to the highest level possible (with a few arena-level tours under my belt by that time.) I’ve always been involved in the creative process from production, visuals, to release campaigns, so I’d also like to bring those aspects to the table as an all-round offering.

What’s the biggest challenge for you and SJM now that the business is emerging from lockdown restrictions?
I think helping everyone regain confidence in attending shows, managing crowds, performing and travelling safely and successfully. From this, we’ll be able to better play our role in helping the industry thrive again. To achieve this we need patience and a solid end to the year, but things are already looking really positive.

 


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