In a world of experts where all you have to do is ask, we are pleased to bring you a brand new and exciting section to Tipping Point’s blog…. Ask The Industry! Over the coming months we'll be asking of music professionals what it is that they do, what they think you, the artist, should do and what they are currently into (musically of course!).
First up, we ask the young and ambitious Josh Ergatoudis, booking agent at Coda Music Agency for the likes of Kenny Allstar, Fekky and PLAZA.
Tell us a bit about yourself Josh!
I started at Coda Agency in 2014 as an intern aged 18. I had always been particularly passionate about live music, and had a basic idea of what an agent’s job entailed, but it wasn’t until I started that I realised how much I had to learn.
I dedicated myself to observing the agents and attending the weekly agents’ meetings held here every Tuesday, and towards the end of 2017 I finally felt ready to start putting together a roster of my own.
Coda has been a fantastic place to grow and I feel very proud to be part of a forward-thinking company that isn’t afraid to give its younger employees a shot. I am still learning new things every day!
What does your day to day work look like?
I divide the days of the week up between my artists so I can devote the proper time needed to focus on each. Between routing tours and pitching for festivals, I spend most of my time looking for new artists to sign and going to gigs.
How do you generally discover new music?
I use websites like Indify, Wonder FM, Hype Machine and Music-Map. The wealth of data available on these platforms accurately predicts what’s going to break next. I also use playlists on Spotify and Apple Music to work out which genres are growing fastest, and which artists from those scenes look most likely to break. And then I attend a lot of gigs.
What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
Don’t try to rush anything. Focus on creating a large body of work before you release anything. People always used to dread their second album, but nowadays it’s all about singles, so if you build up a large collection of singles you can release them at your own pace and never need to panic. Another bonus is if you release a track that doesn’t get received well, you can just cover it up with the next single a few weeks later. One of the reasons Hip Hop is doing so well in 2018 is the artists have an insane work rate and focus on staying in the public eye with constant releases.
The problem with the album in this streaming generation is that once you drop it, it just sits there as this intimidating mass of music. Nowadays with the abundance of choice, most people don’t have the time to dig through an album to find the 3 or 4 tracks they really connect with.
I see it like this, if you try to eat a whole steak you will choke and won’t digest it properly, but if you cut the steak into into bite-sized pieces, you will have the time to digest them and be left hungry for more.
When would you look to take on an act? What do you look for? How do you know they are ready?
There are many things I look for before deciding to take on an act, but by far the most important is the quality of the music itself. After that, does the artist have any profile, do they have an engaged fanbase? Are they being playlisted at all? How is their work rate? Are they part of an emerging genre? I try to factor in all of these things before I look at signing an artist.
Finally, what track do you have on repeat at the moment?
Riz La Vie’s track ‘Pisces’ has caught my attention recently. The Anti Pop genre he belongs to is one of the fastest growing at the moment, along with SoundCloud Rap.