This is Magnetic’s Industry Focus, a series where we highlight those working behind the scenes of the EDM biz. These are the folks running the record labels, representing the artists, promoting the shows and just getting it done.
They may not get the shine of deadmau5 or Kaskade, but they work just as hard making sure the parties are packed, the music is perfect, and that the artists are where they need to be. We’ve decided to shine light on the behind the scenes movers and shakers that are helping you move and shake.
Today, we highlight George Karalexis, founder of FΔUX Entertainment, a forward thinking management, marketing, and events company based in Los Angeles. At 29, George Karalexis’ resumes boasts managing such artists as Roger Sanchez, Chad Hugo, fine artist Pilar Zeta, Jimmy Edgar, Blaqstarr, Fred Falke and more. Putting on and building such events and brands as Juicy Beach, BassRide, BassHaus and launching the Ultramajic label and Temple with Jimmy Edgar. Most recently he founded The Momentum Group (TMG for short) which is a marketing company providing services to artists and brands such as MAKJ, Sick Individuals, Cosmic Gate, Ultramajic, Groove Cruise, and more.
How did you start your career in the electronic music business?
When I was 18 I had an opportunity to move to Europe to pursue a music career and really got into dance music. After I moved back to Southern California I got involved with a few local friends and would throw parties and book DJs who played house and electro. They told war stories about these mega clubs in Europe (being from Orange County this was something that was foreign to all of us). But my legitimate start in the electronic music industry when I was 23 years old and had the opportunity to manage Roger Sanchez after starting FAUX Entertainment the previous year in 2007.
What is the best part of the business?
I think my favorite part of the business is how electronic music is consumed. Most fans look to blogs, soundcloud and what songs other artists are playing to discover new acts. This allows for new breakout tracks and stars to appear overnight without being subjected to the traditional model of radio and major record labels. It has a true entrepreneurial spirit to it and somewhat levels the playing field from when I was in a band trying to make it and be heard.
What are the biggest challenges?
The best part also tends to be a challenge as well. Now everyone wants to be a DJ, which creates an oversaturation of “artists” all making the same sounds. Because the barrier for entry is now lower if not non-existent there are too many artists all doing and looking the same. I guess this happens when any genre becomes so popular.
What career advice would you recommend to someone just starting off?
I think the best advice is to be creative and constantly evolve. Because you can break artists through self-owned labels, personal relationships and creative marketing, you have to think of yourself as your own corporation. You are the manager, social media manager, marketing company, etc until you are able to scale. Creativity and innovation is key.
As the EDM industry continues to grow, what do you think the secrets to longevity in this business will be?
I think the secret is consistent and creative hard work. When you become too comfortable you need to change and innovate, I am lucky to have learned this lesson at a young age.
If you weren’t in the music biz, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t in the music business I would most likely be an investment banker or corporate attorney, would have made my grandparents happy.
Where do you see the most innovation in the EDM industry (i.e. Music, experience, nightclubs, behind the scenes, etc) and why?
I think the most innovation in its current state lies in the live experience. No other genre of music uses the amount of production and technology at lives events to give the fans a true experience, this is the bread and butter of the scene. However, I think in the future the innovation will be in the marketing. Each artist and brand is essentially it’s own entity and since it’s become so easy to speak directly to the fans with the rapid growth of technology, I think and hope the innovation will come in the marketing and the way music and artists are presented.