The biz's brightest new talents tell their stories. This week it's the turn of WME agent Jesse Fayne...
What do you love most about the music business?
“The music business has been the vehicle for me to expand my horizons on an international scale. I was asked to move to London from Los Angeles three years ago to become WME’s first international festival agent. My first summer was spent travelling to over 30 festivals across the UK and Europe to get a deeper understanding of the events in each local market. Whether at Exit in Serbia, Sziget in Hungary, or Primavera in Spain, I was able to develop strong relationships with the promoters and become a first hand expert for our managers when discussing which festivals would be the best fit for their artists.”
Which element of the industry would you change?
“The nature of the music business has evolved into being fast-paced, transactional, and email-focused. I would like to see a shift in the way business is conducted, with an increase in interpersonal connectivity outside of just hitting send on an email.”
What’s the proudest moment of your career so far?
“There’s no better feeling than seeing an artist that you work with expand their fanbase and grow their profile globally through headline business and touring the festival market. When we first started working with DJ and producer Charlotte De Witte, she was an emerging talent with huge star potential. Two years later, she is performing on main stages across festivals all over Europe including Tomorrowland and Pukkelpop. I’ll never forget going to Dreambeach festival in southern Spain this past summer. Charlotte was closing the electronic arena for 20,000 kids at 6.30AM and the tent was absolutely rammed. Performing in a slot this late (or early) can be risky at times, but her fans were eagerly waiting and ready to dance for 90 minutes. What more could you ask for with your morning coffee?”
What’s the secret to being a great agent?
“I’d say the following: take the meeting; have an opinion, be an asset to your colleagues; develop strong relationships; educate yourself on local markets; become global. And finally: keep your secrets safe!”
What’s your dream music biz job?
“I was on the student-run programming board while studying at the University Of South Carolina. I ran the concert committee and it was my job to call the agencies to try and book their bands. When I first started calling these agencies, I knew I wanted to be a music agent. There was an art of the deal and understanding of what worked best for your artist that attracted me most to the job. I never thought it would lead me to London, but the journey has been extraordinary and I feel blessed every morning I wake up!”
JESSE’S RECOMMENDED TRACK: Polo & Pan – Dorothy