Latin music executives predict next superstar
Some of the biggest executives in the Latin music industry have shared their predictions for acts that will break through on an international level.
2022 has been a seminal year for Latin America’s homegrown superstars, led by trap reggaeton artist-come-global superstar, Bad Bunny.
With the Puerto Rican star paving the way for others, IQ asked Bruce Moran (Live Nation Latin America), Phil Rodriguez (Move Concerts) and Carlos Geniso (DG Medios) who might be following in his footsteps.
“The world is ready for a female reggaeton superstar, and in my personal opinion she might be Karol G,” Bruce Moran, president of Latin America at Live Nation, tells IQ.
“Although she is known for her work in reggaeton and trap, she does perform in other genres like sertaneja and more. Her live shows are the stuff of current legend. We think Karol G may be “the next (really) big thing.”
“The world is ready for a female reggaeton superstar, and in my personal opinion she might be Karol G”
Just yesterday (9 October), Karol G’s live legacy was immortalised after her recent $trip Love outing became the highest-grossing US tour by a female Latin act in history.
The Colombian singer-songwriter grossed US$69.9 million across 33 arena shows in North America, during September and October, according to Billboard‘s Boxscore.
The 31-year-old, whose real name is Carolina Giraldo Navarro, is represented worldwide by Jbeau Lewis and Ryan Soroka at UTA, and managed by Noah Assad who also looks after Bad Bunny.
Karol G is also the name on Phil Rodriguez’s lips, who says: “Great talent, top line management. On her next tour she will be moving up to stadium level in various markets.”
The Move Concerts CEO also gave an honourable mention to “other new artists bubbling up such as Tiago PZK, Quevedo [20-year-old Spanish rapper], Eladio Carrion [27-year-old, Grammy Award-nominated American-Puerto Rican rapper] and others that are establishing themselves at arena level such as Rauw Alejandro [29-year-old Puerto Rican singer]”.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez discussed Tiago PZK’s burgeoning career with IQ, saying tickets to see the 21-year-old Argentine rapper and singer were flying off the shelf.
“We went on sale with an arena in Buenos Aires, we sold out in a half hour”
“We went on sale with an arena in Buenos Aires, we sold out in a half hour,” said Rodriguez. “We had to announce a second date, sold that out, too. His debut album hasn’t even dropped, but he’s amazing live and we want to build on that.”
Tiago is now part-way through his 37-date Portales tour – his first-ever – which comprises a mix of arena dates in Latin America, as well as clubs in Spain, England and the US.
The rising star signed to Warner Music Latina earlier this year via a partnership with Rodriguez’s Grand Move Records label.
The Move Concerts boss manages Tiago, while Agustina Cabo, one of IQ’s 2022 New Bosses, is his personal and tour manager.
While Rodriguez and Moran are betting on younger and newer artists to break through, Carlos Geniso of Chilean promoter DG Medios is hedging his bets with more established artists.
“There are many Latin artists who will be presenting new material next year and who will be touring again with world tours,” he tells IQ. “For example, Alejandro Sanz and Pablo Alborán are always a hit in Chile and sell-out venues. They have a loyal fan base that always follows them, and they are very well-liked.
“Another very important artist is Fito Paez, who is celebrating 30 years of his most successful album “El amor después del amor” – a milestone for rock music in Spanish. In addition, urban artists are in a spectacular moment for their rising careers, and I think that’s where we have to put the eye.”
Sanz, a Spanish musician, singer and composer, has already won 22 Latin Grammy Awards and four Grammy Awards, while fellow Spaniard singer-songwriter Pablo Alborán has got five studio albums under his belt. Fito Páez, meanwhile, is a 59-year-old Argentine popular rock and roll pianist, lyricist, singer-songwriter and film director.
Read more about Latin America’s rising stars and burgeoning touring market in IQ‘s recent market report.
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The New Bosses 2022: Agustina Cabo, Move Concerts
The 15th edition of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses was published in IQ 114 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.
To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2022’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Kicking off the series of interviews is Agustina Cabo, personal and tour manager of Tiago PZK under Move Concerts in Argentina.
Born in 1992, Agustina Cabo, a marketing graduate and professional event organiser, has been in the entertainment industry for over ten years. She started her career as a commercial assistant at the agency Generación de Ideas, then for more than seven years she was the marketing coordinator at Ozono Producciones for shows such as Fuerza Bruta, Violetta, SOY LUNA, Aladdin and Peter Pan. For the last year and a half, she has been the personal and tour manager of Tiago PZK with Move Concerts and under the supervision of Phil Rodriguez.
IQ: You say you are a professional event organiser – can you talk about some of the events that you started out working on, and how that helped you get a foot in the door with your first job?
AC: My career as a professional event organiser opened the door to the idea of studying something else that complements the organising of an event. I was very interested in how to sell events and so I decided to study marketing and oriented it to shows.
The first shows I worked with [when I began in marketing] were with the agency GDI; Ivette Sangalo, Joss Stone, Radio Disney Vivo, among others. They [taught] me that you should not take anything for granted; that you have to lose the fear of asking questions and making a fool of yourself and that above all, you have to have confidence in yourself and be more fair. What do I mean? To not judge yourself so much because life is hard enough [without] punishing us if we don’t know how to do something. Thanks to my first job, I understood the power of all these things.
“A while ago, somebody wrote to me via Instagram to offer to send me fried chicken!”
At Ozono, it sounds like you had a fun job in the family entertainment side of the business, which must have involved trying to sell shows to people of all ages. What’s the biggest lesson you took from working in that sector that helps you with your new job?
I learned the power of using the digital tools we have at our disposal to understand how different audiences consume, what they are looking for, what to offer them, and how to do it.
The biggest lesson that applies today is that you have to be sensitive to the consumer, and I think that’s what makes them come back to choose to see a show, which is not only buying the ticket but the whole experience. It’s how they are treated when they arrive at the venue, from the moment they are in their seats, how the show goes on, how it ends, and how that person leaves the venue in an orderly way. It’s essential to know that if that person has any inconvenience, the solution is always to listen and give an answer, no matter how small, even if it is not the final answer. I think it is essential to let the other person know that you are concerned and that in this way they take a pleasant memory of the show [home with them] in spite of everything.
Being the manager of such a rising star as Tiago PZK must be a rollercoaster ride. Can you tell us about any of the crazy deals that you’ve turned down on behalf of your artist? (without naming any names or brands, obviously…)
A while ago, somebody wrote to me via Instagram to offer to send me fried chicken! Although we like it, we prefer baked chicken. It was very nice and funny because I really thought he was offering it to me! Hahaha! But yes, day by day we receive proposals of different kinds, from brands looking to generate a commercial agreement to developers who want to send their products as a gift, many times without expecting anything in return. But, of course, in my position I try to review what things to accept and then I discuss them internally with my team. Tiago in that way is very independent and if he likes something, he accepts it, and thanks you. It’s very natural.
“I must confess I owe almost 100% of my professional success to my first boss at Ozono Producciones, Jimena Montaña”
Tiago PZK’s tour involves arenas in Latin America, right down to clubs in London – how difficult is it to manage the expectations of an artist as you try to break into new markets?
In my case, I feel that the difficulty lies in taking a minute in the whirlwind to be able to empathetically transmit to the artist that [in order] to play in arenas, it is often necessary to first play in clubs and that playing in front of 10,000 people or 500 is just as important.
Tiago is a young artist, so [because of the pandemic] he had never before had the chance to perform live. Like all young people, he [puts a lot of pressure on himself.] Many times we talk about the importance of giving the same relevance to all types of show regardless of the numbers, and he understands this [and] gives the best show possible date after date.
Do you have a mentor or someone you rely on to turn to for advice?
Throughout my career, I have met many people who have been indispensable to my success so far. My first boss at Ozono Producciones, Jimena Montaña, to whom I must confess I owe almost 100% of my professional success, has been an inspiration to me, along with Monica Bega, who also shared a couple of years with me at Ozono.
Also my brothers, who are part of the industry, have been mentors, and I trust blindly in their opinions. I ask for their opinions [when facing the] challenges that my role poses daily.
“I got into this industry because I saw [my brothers] working in it”
Is anyone else in your family involved in music – or do they all think you are crazy for your choice of career?
Yes! Two of my four brothers are producers! In fact, I got into this industry because I saw them working in it. My twin brother, Ezequiel, was an indispensable actor in the push to make the decision to dedicate myself to this. And Leandro was the one who started this “legacy” that we are building today and who has also inspired us a lot.
At home, my father loved music, so it is no coincidence that we all chose to take this path, art in its various forms was always encouraged, and I think that was largely what made us who we are today.
We’ve all just been through an unprecedented couple of years but you actually switched roles during the pandemic. Tell us a bit about your Covid experience – what you were up to and how your ended up at Move Concerts?
At the end of 2019, while working at Ozono, I was advising a musician friend about the order of his career (records, singles release schedule, communication management, press, etc) and I felt that it was something that I liked and that generated me a lot of curiosity.
During 2020, the industry was totally slowed down and as the months went by I began to feel that I needed a change. While I continued advising my friend, I was adding different advisories from other emerging artists, just for fun. During September of 2020, my father, José, passed away from Covid and that was the trigger to take the courage to resign from Ozono [and leave] marketing.
“Tiago’s passion and his genuine way of being caught my attention”
[They contacted me] from Move Concerts, as I had provided marketing services for them in 2014. It was a matter of weeks before we sat down to talk with Enrique Battilana who told me about Tiago and trusted me to be part of the team. Flow de barrio had just come out and Tiago’s passion and his genuine way of being caught my attention. I agreed to join the project. The magic happened and since then we have released a movie, an album, and we have put on more than 16 live performances as part of #PortalesTour.
What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
A month ago, Phil Rodriguez presented me with the opportunity to go on tour with Tiago in the role of tour manager and although I consider myself organised, [the thought of] going on tour with 17 men was a challenge for me. I decided to accept the proposal and commit to doing my best whilst making it clear that it was a totally new position for me. Phil trusted me.
We have already played 15 dates and it has been the best decision of my life. I really enjoy every show, every new trip, every new experience, getting to know places and people, and cultures and audiences that totally different. I think my biggest achievement has been not letting myself be carried away by the uncertainty and being brave enough to dare to do something totally new for me, to get out of my comfort zone.
“[Taking on the role of tour manager for Tiago] has been the best decision of my life”
As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
I would propose that all companies give the opportunity to new talents, to inexperienced but hungry people, young people who perhaps have not yet had an opportunity. I would trust in the power that the freshness and innocence of these young people has to contribute to this industry and I would be patient with them. I would give them tools and encourage them not to be afraid of the difficulties that this medium presents us with. And at the same time, I would like to see more women in technical production roles and areas that perhaps are not so common, I think it would enrich [the industry] a lot.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I can hardly say where I see myself tomorrow! If you asked me five years ago where I saw myself, I can guarantee it wasn’t here! But life is full of surprises, and I think this industry is a constant journey; you never know where it will take you but it always ends up being fun if you put love into what you do.
I hope to keep growing hand in hand with entertainment; always keep the power of surprise, that nothing becomes a habit but that every day I learn something new; and to continue developing this passion I have for management and promoting the careers of other artists besides Tiago who have a great future and I hope to be part of it.
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