Analog is a house and techno agency founded by Jan Hindmarsh — former Safehouse manager — in October 2016 with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Punta del Este, Mexico City and now in Madrid and Barcelona. The roster includes global bookings of Nic Fanciulli, Monika Kruse, Carl Cox, Heidi, Yousef and more, as well as over 50 South American DJs and representation of Sasha & John Digweed during their joint tours. Magnum Bookings also organizes events specializing in avant-garde music after we have worked with major events at our borders. In this interview, we will talk with a partner of a large international agency Analog — Alex Montoya.
As we know, you are a partner of a major international DJ booking agency. Tell us about it, what do you do when you work with artists?
Besides the fact that I cry every day and pull out my hair? Good question. My job at the agency is to coordinate teams so that artists get the best possible service. I have my own roster of artists, we run an office with over 15 people and 60 musicians; We are looking for new talents…. It should work like clockwork.
Under what conditions do you sign artists to Analog?
Here I would share 3 artist profiles. For beginner artists, I look at what they have done themselves. Their self-management, their relationships with people in the industry, their music and whether they have any distinctive value. With artists who already have a certain profile, I study their values, the state of their brand, and their plans for the future. It is very important that the artist has ideas and content and does not come to the agency thinking that we will look for concerts for him if we do not have them. Tools that help us get information about their profile. I personally prefer to inform than to sell. In the case of headliners, I look at their brand and, above all, that they do not have a bad reputation among promoters. This is very important, managing a difficult artist could be the end of your career.
What work are you doing with the artist to make them more attractive to event planners?
The main thing is that the artist does his part of the work (creates content), and the agent actively and strategically searches for dates. My job is to communicate what the artist is doing and try not to sell, but to excite or create interest. I have to make the artist understand that we have to generate demand through interesting content.
How do you motivate an artist these days?
It is important that artists communicate with their agents or managers on a regular basis and that they know that we are actively looking for opportunities. First of all, to make them feel that we are working (while they are also working).
What should an artist do if there are no performances?
An artist can do a lot. The main thing is to constantly generate content and maintain your brand. Other ways to monetize need to be explored.
What problems does the agent face while working?
There are many problems at present. In the old days, you could have problems due to non-compliance with payment agreements, billing agreements … but today we must closely monitor changes and country restrictions.
What countries are you currently working with?
We work all over the world with my artists. This year, we’re doing our best to get to know the restrictions and countries where you can work.
The competition in the music market is getting tougher and tougher. What has changed in the last 5 years (what has improved and what has become more difficult to do).
I totally agree. The digital market has opened up many opportunities, but with it, fierce competition has also increased. This improved the possibility of independent brand development or networking. The challenge lies in planning a good content strategy that will engage your followers. The sheer amount of information and choice at our disposal means we quickly lose focus or miss a brand if it doesn’t appeal to us.
As already mentioned, the market is full of booking agencies, how to choose the right booking agency without succumbing to deceit and promises that everything will be fine, the main thing is to pay ……
I think it’s very important to look your agent in the eyes and see that he/she trusts the project and understands what you are fighting for. It is not so much the agency that is important as the person who will work next to you. I have seen great agencies where an agent ruined an artist’s career, and unknown agencies where amazing things have been done through enthusiasm and passion. If your agent has no contacts and «hunger», it is better to forget about him.
What do you think determines the success of a booking agency?
About the values of the agency and passion for it. It’s not an 8 hour job, it’s your life or you can’t handle it. In addition, we have a good squad. Money is the result of perseverance and good work, not the main motivation.
What famous artists are you currently working with and what famous artists have been through your booking agency?
What high-level events can you already announce for 2022?
At the moment we have several artists invited to festivals such as Tomorrowlands, Medusa, Dreambeach, Timewarp, A Summer Story…
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an agent?
The first is to study and do an internship in a good agency. The second is to have a lot of patience and the third is to learn English.