“There are some things even hard work and determination can’t guarantee you. A word often used but rarely honored – Legacy. That’s our aim.”
Launched in April 2018, NextGen Artists is a booking agency that employs several talented Trance, Tech Trance and Hard Trance artists including singer/songwriter and DJ, Clare Yates, who is well known for her collaborations with Giuseppe Ottaviani, Keyplayer, Alexander Popvov, Ashley Wallbridge, and Darren Porter. Also, London based Trance & Progressive duo of GXD who’ve been supported by many of the major players in the industry, and newcomer, Jak Aggas, just to name a few. “We have a fantastic team around us,” said the proud owner of NextGen, Mickey Marr. “We’ve armed ourselves with some of the best new breeds of producers/Dj’s who are really giving their all and are a great testament to the scene. We believe in them.”
Their business model is simple – to become a solid brand by implementing a no-nonsense approach of hard work and simple values. “We are driven by nothing but determination to make a mark on our own terms,” said a confident Mickey. The goal, of course, is to have as many of his crew in Trance events as possible and has brought on Davey Asprey to give NextGen more experience in the Trance scene as Mickey’s background comes from Hard Dance. “I’ve only been involved with Trance since we started,” admitted Mickey. “It’s great to have someone like Davey with us.”
Staying consistent is key in any industry and Mickey is holding steadfast on that philosophy with NextGen. “I’ve taken what I learned from the Hard Dance scene and literally mirrored it over to NextGen,” Mickey said. “Constant social media postings and bringing on new talent is crucial in giving people what they want, and we feel they’re appreciative in what we’re doing.”
Another aspect is collaborating with venues to have NextGen artists represented. Case in point, is Egg. Located in London, the club has hosted Egg London’s newest Trance Day Party and has agreed with NextGen to have their artist’s sets heard while securing Carl Nicholson and Mickey, himself as resident DJ’s.
“We could see from the very first event that they (Flotation) have something special,” said a smiling Mickey. “Their whole ethos and values are very similar to what we are trying to achieve in bringing back that ‘Trance experience’ for everybody, so that’s why we love working with the crew there. The parties there are easily some of the best ones we’ve ever been involved with.”
Coming off the heels of this past April’s inaugural Floatation event with NextGen artists that was headlined with the likes of Meeno de Jong, Ferry Tayle, and Alex M.O.R.P.H., Flotation is proving that they too can compete with some of the larger brands that have been staples in and around London for some time.
And, it doesn’t hurt that Egg is also their own promoter who regularly host varying House and Techno events throughout the year, so it was a no-brainer to enter the Trance scene with Flotation. It seems to be working because the Trance events are seemingly paying for themselves.
The ability to use each artist’s success throughout the world is paramount with NextGen’s plans for expansion, and with the signing of GXD, NextGen had a two-fold purpose. Mickey described, “With the duo smashing it in Asia, we told them that we’d give them the markets here that they need, and they do the same for us over in Asia,” It’s this continual back-scratching of networking with clubs and promoters around the globe that keeps their artists performing live.
But, with new representation-seeking artists continually knocking on NextGen’s door, Mickey is always honest with the hopefuls who wish to join an agency as it can sometimes have negative consequences toward their career. “If you’re not making an effort to build your own brand, then that’s not good enough for us,” Mickey declared. “We need people that invest in themselves to make our job a lot easier. We’re not going to get a gig for someone with two followers on Facebook.” He continued, “It’s just not in our best interest. I’d rather take an artist on who is getting results that we can maximize on rather than start from scratch with someone.”
Mickey also strongly suggests to new artists that they don’t join an agency straight away. With everyone wanting to achieve instant gratification by securing gigs from the get-go, the artist will likely become frustrated and hop from agency to agency, thus creating a bad reputation and a red flag on their Curriculum Vitae (resumé).
With that said, no artist is perfect, and each has their downfalls. For example, some are great producers/DJ’s with limited social media skills, and NextGen has procedures in place to help aid them in these and other common areas. “We work with them to where we think they are marketable,” Mickey explained. “We help them network in ways and give them a schedule that will give them more followers. The first thing a promoter looks at when they see an artist’s name is their Facebook page,” said a blunt Mickey. “They look at their engagement and frequency of posts. Without that, there’s no point in booking them.”
Note: That may sound unconventional or even unfair to some, but in this day and age of stiff competition and the over-saturation of the marketplace, it truly is all about the followers – true followers, that is. Not click-farm followers.
With Mickey located in the Midlands over in England and his artists strung out across Europe and the world and any given time, I asked him where he sees NextGen in the next year or so, and he was quick but careful to say, “I’m on a bit of a mission to tackle America. We’re in talks with some brands over there, but I’ve got to look into the visa situations with the DJ’s. Mickey continued, “I’ve heard a lot of stories about artists rocking over in America and then leaving, but if they ever get caught, it’s not a good thing.”
America has stringent visa laws that prohibit people from entering the country for contract work and not reporting it to the government. Failure to do so could result in their passport and visa being banned. While NextGen does have their LLC listed with the United States, individual visas for its performers can be a lengthy process.
With so much planned for the immediate future, Mickey is excited about the rest of 2019 and beyond. “There’s a lot of things I can’t say at this point, but things are definitely going in the right direction for everyone and fast!” With 2020 rapidly approaching, Mickey says, “The NextGen brand is really taking shape as we delve into the wonderful world of events again. This is something we looked at this year but decided the time just wasn’t right. So that’s a big goal for us next year.”
In closing, Mickey reflected back a bit and was very humble when saying, “When I first started the roster, I could not have dreamed things would look anything like they do now in such a short space of time. NextGen Artists continues to push boundaries forward, and while the artists we have are adding to the UK scene and internationally, we are always on the hunt for the next breakthrough producers.”
Next Gen Artists 2019 Roster: Project 8, Richard Tanselli, Billy Gillies, Davey Asprey (UK bookings) GXD, Jak Aggas, Clara Yates, HP Source, Millennial, Vision X, Renegade System, and Mickey Marr.
Tickets for the June 15, 2019 Flotation event at Egg can be purchased here.
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