Nearly four years ago, we did an industry focus on leading talent agency MN2S boss Sharron Elkabas, and discussed his company's rise from a local party promoter, to one of the industry's finest companies. So much can change in just a day, let alone four years, so we decided to check in on Sharron to see how both he and his company have been doing, and what the future has in store for them.
Since we last caught up with you, MN2S have gone global and have launched an office in Miami. Congratulations on the expansion. How is it going in the states?
Things are going extremely well; we are well ahead of where we thought we would be at this point. We are actively booking talent in both South and North America and have nearly doubled our staff numbers moving from seven to now twelve employees, and we have a solid business plan moving forward.
Why did you choose to open a location in Miami as opposed to say, New York or Los Angeles?
Miami appealed to us for a few different reasons. The first being that we geographically wanted to be accessible to the Latin American markets as well as the North American markets as they hold equal importance to our business. Miami is well centered between both markets, so it made a lot of sense from that standpoint.
Another reason is that New York and Los Angeles are really congested with many other agencies. Accordingly, we enjoyed the fact that Miami really allows for us to stamp our authority as one of the larger agencies in a short period of time.
Our company has historical ties to Miami dating back to the early 2000s when we were running MN2S events here. Each of our events had major success at clubs and House venues here such as Amika, Opium (now called Story) and Nikki Beach.
So, our choice was based on a combination of these factors, we have a real love for this city and what it has done for us, and we continue to embrace its presence as a recognized music hub.
While at first glance, it would appear that Miami and London are worlds apart. Have you found there to be any overlapping similarities, either culturally or musically?
Miami has a lot to offer. There are lots of different sounds, genres, and niches catering to many different musical tastes. Obviously, Latin music is extremely popular here because there is such a strong rooted connection to Latin America. Then if you look at Miami Music Week, for instance, Ultra, and everything else, there comes that whole breadth of House music and EDM and you see that along with all different lights of music. Space is one of the staple clubs here which is always at capacity and just serves as a testament to the demand for House music and reiterates that there is a strong scene down here.
London and Miami are similar in the sense that they are both extremely diverse and modern cities that are melting pots of multiple cultures. I encounter people daily in Miami with Latin, Russian, American, and British roots. We even have a few fellow British people in our building, so it is cool to see all these cultures collide.
What is one thing that you think people from London could benefit from the culture or way of life in Miami?
I think in recent years there has been a real focus globally on healthy living. While that exists in the UK, it certainly exists here in Miami to a further extent. It could be because we live by the beach, serving as a motivator for everyone to look good, but there’s a real health culture down here and a sense of pride in looking good.
There are all sorts of classes and clubs everywhere you turn emphasizing healthy living.
The MN2S roster is extremely diverse and filled with huge names. Are there any newly acquired talents that you are extremely excited to be working with?
I’m extremely proud of how our Hip-hop Roster has evolved upon our US expansion. We proudly book shows for some of the biggest names in Hip-hop.
We are adding names to our roster daily and expanding to different genres of talent. We have recently launched Country, Mixed Martial Arts, Racing Drivers, and Wrestling Rosters.
MN2S’ London base moved to The Ministry in February – what made you decide on this location?
Well, the Building itself is stunning and has amazing facilities. It is full of like-minded media and creative businesses. So, we liked that there is a lot of synergy and networking possibilities.
When we were invited to come to tour the building, we were enamored by how high the standard of working conditions, and how the building had been modeled. It was really a no brainer. We liked our last office a lot but the advantages of the Ministry definitely proved to be the right choice for what we are doing going forward.
We have a New York style top floor with lots of natural daylight flooding in.
Everyone is really happy and there’s been a lot of networking and positive relationships that we’ve forged.
The Ministry shares ownership with the nightclub of the same name and is a vast historic building so that connection to entertainment is another thing that pushed us to go forward with the move.
Managing artists and talent of the caliber on your roster requires a certain type of person. When looking to hire new staff, what are some key features you look for?
I totally agree that does take a certain type of individual. When looking for new team members we look for people who are articulate, committed, ambitious, enthused, hardworking, and driven. Drive is always a lead component; having people around us who really want to succeed. Another key attribute is having extraordinary communication skills. Communication is crucial both for the client and talent side of the business.
We have a real mix of different personalities which I think is great. It always keeps the office very interesting having people with different strengths and skill sets, different language skills, so everyone is very diverse with those common denominators which we talked about.
Your company has achieved quite a lot since its inception. Where would you like to see MN2S in 10 years’ time?
It’s always difficult to predict the future, however, we do have a plan for the next 5 years. I don’t think it's wise to plan much further than that because you never know what is going to happen in this business.
Some of our plans we're going to hold close to our chest, but our general consensus is to continue growing our market share within North and South America.
As far as the Miami office goes, we want to continue to keep growing and diversifying our rosters. We also plan to grow our team, we are planning to launch our services team here in the US imminently: covering PR Services, Social Media Management, and Music Distribution.
After over 20 years building MN2S into the company it is today, what do you owe your success to?
Perseverance, drive, and determination to succeed and grow. Growth across the company and unmatched service to every client we work with is the product of these factors, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to see our hard work pay off firsthand.
Building off the last question, it's safe to assume that stress is something that someone is very familiar with. When you are feeling stressed, or extremely overwhelmed, how do reel it back in and get back on the horse?
There is a lot of stress in this business and its important to counter that with anti-stress measures. I think keeping fit and exercising is atop that list of methods for me, along with having a good diet and getting sleep.
Running or playing tennis for me is the best way to combat stress. It is one of the few times where I’m completely switched off from work. Both are great stress busters and I would recommend them to anyone.
To expand on stress relief, just taking care of yourself and taking stress in your stride is life-changing as well. The key is staying focused and withstanding the stress that comes with the job because everything always works out in the end.
For more information on MN2S, click here.