I think it is time I address a plethora of issues. The dance music scene is going through a massive transitional upheaval right now. If you don’t see this already (and are working in this space) then you are either already blinded by the dollars or need to find a new career path asap, respectfully.
What I have learned is if you manage and agent an artist properly and tick all the check boxes, go viral and have some luck, you will probably either kill them or their health will degenerate from a successful touring life (along with mental health issues).
For six years I pondered how to both fund the artists’ creative process while not spoiling the fruits of their labour and surviving and paying bills at the same time. Many have not found the answer and continue to tour and play the same old boring sets and set a trend that it is okay to play two to three year-old records. Just look at Tomorrowland’s mainstage.
I will admit it here first, more than 90% of DJs do not make money. I repeat, THEY DO NOT MAKE MONEY. Please think hard and well if you want to be a DJ orartist for money and fame or for the love of music.
This is an expensive and challenging career and also super taxing on your mental health. So many artist suicides and attempts have led me to deeply reflect on the current model that is feeding your weekly dose of pop, house and techno music at your local festivals and nightclubs. The patrons have no idea what is going on behind the scenes of course (just the way we like it) but things undoubtedly need to change.
Let’s try to find a new way forward. To all the gate keepers out there, both men and women, call your clients and artists frequently, ask them if they need anything outside of money. Counselling perhaps? A friend? An ear? Listen to their voice on your weekly calls, what is it telling you?
I am sick of reading these daily articles. Let’s put a stop to this horrific cycle of artists burning out and hitting rock bottom. Let’s catch them before that happens.
Reposted with permission from the author. Edited for publication.
by Badhaso Roubbo
Badhaso Roubbo is president of EMY Agency, a leading entertainment agency guiding the careers of some of the most recognized touring acts in the world, and Lithium Music Partners, representing an elite group of multi-award winning composers in interactive, film and television.