Publicists are among the unsung heroes of the entertainment world. Behind every artist worth his or her salt is a team of people making sure that every facet of their brand works like a well-oiled machine, and including the members of whatever PR firm has been enlisted to cull their public image.
In the electronic music subset of the entertainment industry, few such firms have risen as quickly as Lindsay Cabrera Public Relations (LCPR), a Toronto-based PR firm that represents Dj/producers like Ellen Allien and Justin James as well as event brands as big as Bestival Toronto, CODA and Electric Island.
Cabrera recently caught up with us to talk about the good, bad and ugly of electronic music public relations. You can also take a look at her website here.
How did you start your career in the electronic music business industry?
Initially, I thought I wanted to be involved with celebrity PR - and had completed an internship over in Los Angeles at Rogers and Cowan back in 2010. It was a unique, special experience to say the least, but my training Visa was only valid for six months, so back to Canada I went.
I made the move to Toronto (from London, Ontario) and started an internship with lifestyle PR firm Natasha Koifman Public Relations (NKPR). That very summer I had also fallen in love with dance music, and had discovered the underground scene - when I was introduced to the beloved Footwork Nightclub (R.I.P.), which opened my eyes to a whole new world. When my internship with NKPR was coming to an end that September, I remember thinking, “I need to do PR for dance music.”
I searched high and low for PR jobs in Toronto within the dance music industry, but there was nothing. I happened to meet the right people at the right time, who introduced me to some really great contacts in the scene. One morning I woke up to an email from a DJ duo in Argentina called HIIO asking if I would be interested in working with them on some of the releases they had coming up. Right then and there I had my very first client, which lasted for three years. From there, I was taking on different clients as a freelance publicist. Before I knew it, I had four or five artists I was working with, and decided it was time to build my brand.
I launched LCPR officially in 2014, and its been an amazing ride. I now have the most extraordinary team and I’m grateful for their dedication everyday. Big thank you to my ladies Samantha McMeekin and Carlene McDavid.
What is the best part of the business?
For me, it’s all the incredible people I get to meet and interact with on a day-to-day basis. I love my colleagues and the like-minded people I get to share my visions with.
It’s especially the best when we’re all in one place such as the Amsterdam Dance Event, The BPM Festival, Miami Music Week, International Music Summit LA or Ibiza, or other conferences like these, because it’s a chance to have real face time with one another. We’re all coming from so many different parts of the world, but stay connected because of events like this. Those are the moments I look forward to, and of course the traveling is a bonus!
What are the biggest challenges of the business?
I am basically on call 24/7, so sometimes it’s difficult to turn off completely. I think it’s important to give yourself some down time and recharge. This industry is nonstop and with all the events, traveling and late nights, and you can burn out easily.
What career advice would you recommend to someone just starting out?
Get involved with the industry by interning, volunteering, attending events and introducing yourself to people. Find a mentor, and make new contacts by being present and always be yourself. If this is something you love, it will show in your aura.
As the EDM industry continues to grow, what do you think the secrets to longevity in this business will be?
I think you need to learn how to grow beyond your comfort zone and embrace change. Clients will come and go as need be, and you have to learn that you did what you could for them, and learn from every experience. I think it’s important to travel to other countries to connect with peers around the world, and most importantly, you must always be in love with it.
What does electronic music mean to you?
Electronic music is many things to me. It brings people together and creates something so beautiful: an energy which is contagious with smiling faces all around you. There’s nothing better than that feeling of unity whether you’re with 100 people or 100,000 people dancing to the same beat and enjoying life. These are feelings of freedom, love and togetherness. Electronic music is with me while I am working, relaxing on the couch, traveling, enjoying time with friends. It is a part of who I am. It’s truly a lifestyle, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What cities/regions do you think electronic dance music is best thriving?
I have to say that Toronto, Ontario in Canada is certainly thriving at the moment. Five years ago, the city had no dance music festivals in sight. Now we have international festivals like Bestival coming to town, bringing something truly different to the market. Electric Island is a concert and picnic series throughout the summer, which is a really special event on the Toronto Islands, with the best vibe. CODA hit number #95 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs list this year - and they truly bring the best artists to town all year round. We are so spoiled here in Toronto. Collectively, Toronto has a solid team behind the variety of events in the city - Coda, Platform, Embrace, Destiny, Way of Acting, Ozmozis, Mahdavi and SummerDaze - each creating unique experiences for music lovers.