The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) has been formed as a global advocacy and lobbying group for the dance music community.
The news of the creation of the trade body was announced today (January 28) at the Midem music convention.
The new organisation will bring together representatives of artists, DJs, managers, labels, promoters, publishers, agents, retailers and broadcasters with the aim to advance the cause of electronic music, which was valued as a genre to be worth $4bn worldwide in 2012.
Legendary producer and dance music pioneer Nile Rodgers has agreed to serve as an AFEM Ambassador. Meanwhile, the following have already confirmed their position on the Board of Advisors:
· Matthew Adell, Beatport, CEO, retailer
· James Barton, President of Electronic Music, Live Nation
· Carlos Correal, Insomniac (music director for Electric Daisy festivals)
· Jason Ellis, Positiva / Virgin Records
· Stephanie LaFera, Little Empire Music
· David Levy, WME: William Morris Endeavor
· Maria May, CAA: Creative Artists Agency (agent for David Guetta)
· Liz Miller, Big Beat / Atlantic
· Paul Morris, AM Only (agent for Tiesto and Richie Hawtin)
· Patrick Moxey from Ultra Records/President of Electronic Music for Sony Music, label
· Maykel Piron, Armada Music
· Duncan Stutterheim, ID&T
· Amy Thomson, ATM Artists (manager for Swedish House Mafia)
· John Truelove, Truelove
· Danny Whittle, Promoter (IBZ Entertainment)
· Tom Windish. Windish Agency.
The coordinators of AFEM are Ben Turner, a partner in the International Music Summit (IMS) and manager of Richie Hawtin, and entertainment industry lawyer Kurosh Nasseri, who has specialised in the electronic music genre for 20 years, and whose clients include Afrojack, Basto, Deep Dish, Lazy Jay and Paul van Dyk.
AFEM will be a not-for-profit company with offices initially in the US and UK.
Kurosh Nasseri said: “This is an historic day, the launch of the first international trade body representing a single genre since the Country Music Association began in 1958. Our motivation is wholly positive – to ensure electronic music gets the recognition and status it deserves.
“It is time for the many companies and individuals involved in our business to speak with a unified voice to represent the genre and to address the issues. And that is the mission of the Association for Electronic Music.
"Over twenty years ago I was told that I was crazy for focusing my career as a lawyer on electronic dance music, that it was a flash in the pan and will be done and gone in two years. The naysayers have thankfully long been proven wrong. However, despite the success and longevity of electronic dance music, many brands, governments, the media and industry bodies still do not give it the recognition it deserves.”
Ben Turner added: "These are extraordinary times for electronic music. We have seen it break through into the mainstream in the US and become the backbone of modern pop music. Yet despite such success, it feels like there is an even bigger need for an Association for Electronic Music to exist and speak with one voice.
"Now that our time is here, it is essential we take the opportunity and develop the long-term infrastructure that it needs to flourish. The initial team we have assembled was easy to identity: people who really care about where this genre goes, and how it gets there. It is a future alliance for future music."
Nile Rodgers commented: "I am honoured to be invited to be an Ambassador of the newly-formed Association for electronic music. Dance music is life-changing and life-enhancing, it’s a way of life for millions around the world.
"I am delighted to see the industry pulling together to represent its interests. Change comes from within, as I've seen with my work on the Grammys. And I feel this group of people have already proven their visions and durability. Now it’s their time to be embraced on an equal footing by the wider music industry. I am delighted to help them try to achieve this."
Membership of AFEM is open to all companies and individuals whose business is mainly in electronic music. The Board of Advisors will prioritise issues for the Association to tackle with the first thing on the agenda being a detailed study of the scope and value of the electronic music business worldwide.