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Mission Makers Podcast | London | UK





S4: EP 4




Recorded live from Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), we aired a live podcast recording delving into some of the hidden conversations that take place behind the scenes between agents and managers with Leticia van Riel and Jon Sax. 


Leticia van Riel is the owner of LvR Management, managing the techno artists ANNA and Wehbba. She is also an artist manager at Graphite, where she works alongside Ben Turner on the management of Richie Hawtin and Sama’ Abdulhadi. Joining her is Jon Sax from Liaison Artists, who represents an impressive roster of renowned artists from ANNA, Victor Ruiz, Pan Pot, and Guy J among others.


ADE serves not only as an empowering meeting ground for upcoming artists, but also as a place where negotiations, strategies, and the future of electronic music are shaped. We begin our conversation by understanding what a visit to ADE typically looks like for an agent and a manager. As Jon shares with us, “ADE is the center of the electronic music universe. With over 600,000 people attending from all over the world, there’s nothing like the energy of agents, managers, publicists, artists, label owners, and fans being in the same room, and it’s an important place for us to get aligned on the year ahead.”


If it’s your first time visiting ADE, we highly recommend listening back to our previous episode on how to maximize the most from your time on the ground.


The discussion journeys through the evolutionary currents of the music industry, dissecting the metamorphosis of an industry that thrives on constant reinvention. The pair share their perspectives on the many changes they have witnessed over the years, as well as the seismic impact of Covid-19 and the various factors impacting the rebuilding process.


One of the mysteries in the industry is often around pricing an artist’s market value. It’s a very sensitive line that needs to be balanced between under and over-valuing an artist’s worth, especially when an artist may be experiencing a level of hype around their career. Both Jon and Leticia emphasize the fact that long-term value does not come from over-inflating fees for short-term gains, this can damage relationships with promoters and ultimately take an artist 2 steps backward.


Throughout the conversation, the symbiotic relationship between agents and managers becomes evident. Leticia and Jon provide key insights into how their collaborative efforts form the backbone of successful negotiations, illustrating the interplay of strengths, the division of responsibilities, and the alchemy that enhances the overall deal-making process. Leticia also highlights that the team’s secret weapon is always the artist’s work ethic. The team can set up the best opportunities possible, but without strong values and discipline, their efforts will fail fast.


With the globalization and rapid growth of the industry, the conversation shifts to negotiations in emerging markets. Jon and Leticia shed light on the intricate dance between cultural differences, local music scenes, and the ever-changing pricing and demand dynamics for artists. An important point raised is that emerging markets can sometimes be subject to devaluation of currencies, and this is why top-tier agents often contract their shows in USD regardless of the region.


As the episode draws to a close, the pair provide profound insights into the pivotal roles their strategies play within the intricate chessboard of the music industry. They emerge as architects, meticulously crafting the very fabric that weaves the tapestry of an industry that thrives on collaboration, creativity, and an unwavering passion for music. With so much on the line, and as the stakes get higher and higher with the success of the artist,  it is crucial for each team member to collaborate in the most holistic way possible to craft the perfect stage for success.


We also uncover:

  • Negotiating a rise in fees

  • How fees work at after-parties

  • The areas that are crucial in negotiations

  • The role of social media in creating demand

  • Maintaining the integrity of the artist’s vision 

  • Protecting an artist’s mental health and wellbeing


If you’d like to listen, head to the Mission Makers podcast for the full conversation. 


This episode can be found in the video below and on iTunes and Spotify.


Be sure to like and subscribe to hear our future episodes.

Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
  • Focus on an artist's long-term value instead of the hype

  • Pay attention to the cultural intricacies of negotiating in emerging markets

  • Your work ethic is what binds the team together and motivates them to win


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