C3 is notably one of the most successful concert promotion, event production and artist management ventures out there. Hailing from Austin, Texas with offices in New York and Los Angeles, the company boasts a brilliant artist roster spread across all genres. The C3 team produces Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza (among many other small and large scale events) and have raised the bar for culturally rich festival experiences across the world.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in the music industry?
Alec:. Music had always been a consistent passion in my life. When I was 15, I took a road trip from my hometown of Houston, TX to see a concert in Austin, TX at Stubb’s. After the show, I realized instantly I wanted to be involved behind the scenes in the music industry. One great show had that effect on me.
Jay: I used to throw house parties when I was in High School (although I’m not sure my Dad knows that to this day), many of which featured DJ’s or Live Music. It was pretty clear to me (almost immediately) that organizing events and working around music was something that would continue to be a huge motivation in my life.
… And how did you get your foot in the door?
Alec: While at NYU, I studied business as well as music theory and political science. At the time, I made sure to intern whenever possible at a variety of different music companies in New York City. One summer, I landed an internship at C3 Management (after applying multiple years in a row to get my foot in the door). They offered me a job to head of their digital marketing when I graduated, and I’ve been here for almost 4 years and have since become a manager full time.
Jay: Through years of hard work and hustling. The short version…I started by teaching myself photography, which lead to a studio manager position (specializing in Live Music). I used the access the job gave me to make and develop contacts within the industry. From there I started managing and booking electronic acts which then lead me to start a marketing and events company (Mr. Bugsly Presents). I focused on growing the company and throwing events until I was approached by C3 Management 4 years ago and offered a position.
What attracted you to artist management?
Alec: I knew the industry would be changing within the next decade and wanted to be a part of figuring out the hard challenges to make artists truly succeed. Artist management was a clear opportunity to try new ideas and be firmly on the side of artists when taking on new opportunities to grow the industry.
Jay: The ability to work one on one with artists to help them reach their full potential was incredibly attractive to me. I love the idea that I’m able to make a real and positive impact on both the artist’s career and the music scene they exist in.
How do you find talent to represent?
Alec: By listening a lot, mainly via streaming such as Soundcloud, Spotify. Personal recommendations by artists and others in the industry are also very important.
Jay: Through a combination of listening to music (virtually every waking moment), paying close attention & communicating with select tastemakers, and committing to seeing a ton of live shows.
What is the best part of the job?
Alec: The people. Everyone is incredibly passionate. I’m lucky to have chosen a career where people truly care about the work they are doing. I’m in this business because I’m driven by a passion for music and want to be surrounded by other people who feel the same way.
Jay: I know this sounds cliche but being able to do what I love. My work is my passion and I feel the same about artist management as the musicians I work with feel about creating art and playing live.
….and the most challenging?
Alec: A constant challenge is keeping track of communication and prioritizing your inbound. Today, there is very little boundary to work communication these days. This is the case for most “nontraditional” careers. Our phones allow us to access an unlimited amount of information and to be productive anywhere. This is a miracle. But at the same time, this requires a new level of personal awareness and mental discipline.
Jay: Finding time for a life around the work. I tend to sacrifice things like working out and hanging with friends / family to spend more time working to achieve my goals.
Craziest experience so far?
Alec: This isn’t a music industry specific incident, but a coworker, who’s a female, accidentally punched me in the face during our company holiday party this year.
Jay: I don’t kiss and tell.
Tell us a bit about electronic versus live?
Alec: I think we’ll see a continued merging of the two. Many bands use computers as part of their live setup, and, concurrently, many DJs are picking up instruments. So, it’s very exciting to see where artists place themselves in this middle of this. Our acts GoldFish and Gramatik bring live instruments to DJ’ing and are great examples.
Any artists we should know about?
Alec: Obviously, our own acts Gramatik, G Jones, Chris McClenney, and GoldFish. Beyond that, some of my favorite acts of this year include Birocratic, Tom Misch, Promises Ltd, Brasstracks, Yotto, and Everything Everything.
Jay: Aside from the acts I work directly with (Gramatik, G Jones, GoldFish Chris McClenney), Lowtemp Music (Gramatik’s label filled with TONS of rising stars), Jordan Rakei, Cubicolor, Geotheory, MØME, and Sam Gellaitry.
What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
Alec: Our clients are all putting out new projects! And, the opportunity to keep bringing in and adding value to more acts.
Jay: I generally like to keep things pretty close to the vest when it comes to the projects I’m working on. LOTS to be excited for, but nothing I can reveal just yet.