Modeling agencies and talent scouts have been doing it for years… It was only a matter of time before crooks cooked up a way to tap into EDM culture’s rise in popularity.
Tip of the hat to Mixmag for breaking this story regarding a couple of DJ agencies on their side of the pond that have been taking advantage of up and coming talent with stars in their eyes. The scam is right out of the modeling agency playbook, but rather than paying for headshots, these unsuspecting DJs are asked to pay to join an agency with promises of a steady stream of lucrative gigs and publicity for a £500 up-front fee.
The Paul Hauer Agency is the company in question, which has since closed its doors (err, forced by the financial authorities to cease business) and is suspected of opening a new agency under a different name, DN4 DJS. Suspected because the two firms share the same company director, Janet Sally Baker, the same “music manager,” Riki Matthews and office worker Jasmine Clifford. New name, same people, it’s the same scam.
Although DN4 DJS have added a clause in their new contracts stipulating that DJs may be sued if they “Slander the company verbally or written or in any form of communication causing defamation of character.”
Bill Brewster, co-author of How To DJ (Properly): The Art And Science Of Playing Records hit the nail on the head:
The advice I give people is very simple. One: throw your own parties, build your own crowd. Two: make music. You look at all the most popular DJs and almost all of them started out with a party of their own somewhere. There are no shortcuts to getting a name.
Mixmag also points out that DN4’s habit of threatening and harassing clients has appeared to intensify once it became known that Mixmag was carrying out this investigation.
“Several DJs, as well as the author of this article, were sent threatening messages over the phone or by text from Riki. One DJ was told that he was ‘Going to be got’, and it was made clear that they knew how to find him…"
What’s the take away from this? If someone asks you to pay a fee to join an agency don’t do it, it’s not how the business works. Just like in the fashion world, these people make their money (a good percentage too) on commission. A commission from the model and another chunk of money from the client.
Read the full article via Mixmag here.