We asked MN2S’ Natasha Guiotto to give us the inside info on when a DJ needs a booking agent, and how DJs can get the attention of a booking agent in the first place.
What does an artist need to have in place before they even consider a booking agent?
Music. You’d be surprised how many artists have approached me for representation without their own music, which is obviously pretty imperative in this game. It’s also important to have a long term plan or goal in mind. What sort of artist do you want to be?
Some people say “you don’t need an agent until you have so many bookings you can’t handle them yourself”. Is that true?
Not at all; sometimes it’s all about building an artist from scratch. I’ve taken on artists before that have only ever done a handful of shows, if you see potential in an artist, the number of shows they’ve done doesn’t make a difference. It’s all about finding that ‘hidden gem’. With these types of breaking acts, it’s almost better if they haven’t hammered out the shows before and over-exposed themselves. The overall perception of an artist is better when a booking agent is on board. It gives the promoters and venues confidence that there is a long term plan in place.
What else is a booking agent looking for in an artist in order to take them on?
The music is the most important thing for me. That and stage presence, It really is true when people say you’ve either got it or you haven’t. A strong social media presence is always a plus, and it’s always nice to have a good brand consistency across the channels. I’m always keen to get involved in a project when there is a plan in place – in terms of a release plan and schedule for me to build me live campaign around, An even bigger plus is if they already have a strong team around them – for example, a radio plugger and press team already on board. This usually comes later though.
What’s the best thing an artist can do to make a booking agent notice them and take interest?
Get their music out there, get on YouTube, upload to soundcloud and be active about it on social media. Get on the showcase circuit and get themselves seen by the right people.
I’ve spotted a lot of my artists at industry showcases or by clicking a Soundcloud link that someone on Twitter that I follow has retweeted.
Do people always expect immediate results? How do you manage expectations when working with a new artist?
A lot of artists expect a jam packed diary as soon as they sign up to an agent – obviously this is unrealistic. To have longevity and credibility in your career, things take time. It’s so much better to grow as an artist organically, and this means, the right shows at the right time. It’s better to be seen by the right audience and be associated with the right type of artists than it is just to do shows for the sake of doing shows. It’s all about building an artist in the right way. Patience is key in this industry. Some artists take years to break – so you have to have passion and work hard!