Today for Magnetic’s Industry Focus, we highlight Neoteric founder and label head at Main Course. His music's been played by all the major players in EDM culture, from Aoki to Diplo to Skrillex. So when it comes to running the label, you know his ear can hold it down.
This is a series where we highlight the major players 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 the DJs on stage, 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 the light on the behind the scenes movers and shakers that are helping you making you move and shake.
Here are Neoteric's words:
How did you start your career in the electronic music business?
I started as a DJ in Vancouver, later moving into A&R for a couple labels, most notably Switch’s Dubsided. Those connections opened many doors for me, and eventually lead to being asked to manage Crookers (until 2012, when they broke up). All the while, DJing, doing a bit of production and other various projects.
What is the best part of the business?
The best part is meeting people, helping out young talent, working with legends and seeing the fruits of your work develop into something very real!
What are the biggest challenges?
Right now, with running the label is just figuring out how to adapt with the changing times, networks, delivery systems and the ever-evolving group of listeners. It can be an unforgiving business if you don’t stay on your toes. The other side is there is so much ‘noise’ out there, competing for plays and press, with fake stats and schemes to make people stand out. Unfortunately many promoters book by those metrics so it can be a struggle to watch a true talent go relatively unnoticed while others can flourish because they paid for plays or likes.
What career advice would you recommend to someone just starting off?
Honestly, have a back up plan, haha. Work with, or in, music because you have an insatiable need that has to be filled. Do it for the love. When you start making choices based around finances everything you do gets a little tainted.
As the EDM industry continues to grow, what do you think the secrets to longevity in this business will be?
Adaptation, being ahead of the curve, and a strong ear for talent. I don’t look at it from an EDM –centric point of view. We want to work with and sign anything good. Longevity will be the result of sound decisions and a strong ear. Maybe a bit of luck.
Did you start off as a fan of electronic music and then became involved on the business side, or did business bring you into the electronic music world? Describe that process.
I started off as a fan, and DJ, and kind of fell into A&R, and then management. After traveling the world a few times and meeting people and keeping in touch, I’d have artists of all sorts asking for help. I guess I always had the mind for business, organization and networking, much more so than the creative/production angle so it moved into business as a direct result of helping out others, having the word spread, and just being open to helping, hearing new ideas and connecting the dots via networking.
What does electronic music mean to you?
It’s all music to me. I love non electronic music too.
If you weren’t in the music biz, what would you be doing?
I don’t’ really know. I have a degree in Networking and Systems admin but I don’t think I could enjoy the IT world forever. I might have to find out the answer to that question if people don’t buy our records, haha
Where do you see the most innovation in the EDM industry (i.e. Music, experience, nightclubs, behind the scenes, etc) and why?
I see the most on the tech end. Smart young tastemakers creating massive Soundcloud followings and multi channel networks on YouTube. The ears they reach are so impressive. Maybe they exist in other scenes, but I work with talented 20-somethings all day who humble me with their power and reach.