SXSW Profile: Zach Quillen (FE Presents: Industry Survival Skills Panelist)

March 10, 2011 3 min read

If you are going to SXSW, RSVP To the "INDUSTRY SURVIVAL SKILLS 2001 PANEL" NOW!

Getting on the road and building a touring fan base has been a key asset to have in the arsenal for a recording artist probably for as long as the business has been around. In todays market, when physical sales reaching all time lows, it might be more important than ever!

Artists are always asking me; How do I get opening slots on tours? How do I book shows out of town? How do I get a booking agent? These are the type of questions that Zach Quillen of The Agency Group will be providing some answers to on our "Industry Survival Skills 2011 Panel" at SXSW!!

In the meantime, here's some background on the man himself:

FE: What is your earliest Hip Hop Memory?

Zach: My earliest Hip Hop memory was being 6 years old and seeing Run DMC on MTV. That, and hearing my older sister blast ‘Licensed to Ill’ from her bedroom.

FE: What/When was the defining moment or thing that made you want be involved in the booking/touring side of the bizness?

Zach: I interned at a music venue in college and part of my job was driving artists around the day of their show. I brought people to radio, the mall, restaurants, where-ever they wanted. I had some great conversations during those trips and quickly realized that I wanted to work for artists.

FE: Which Agency do you work, including some background info and/or details?

Zach: I’m with The Agency Group in New York. The Agency Group is one of the leading booking agencies in the world, with offices around the globe, and one of the most expansive rosters in the industry.

FE: List some of the artists you have and/or currently do bookings for?

I represent quite a few artists, mostly Hip Hop, and including Wiz Khalifa, YelaWolf, Brother Ali, Big Sean, Mac Miller, Big Sean, Curren$y, Macklemore, Blue Scholars, Devin the Dude, etc.

FE: What's the biggest challenge in booking artists in this changing industry?

The biggest challenge for me over the last year or so has actually been a blessing. I’ve been fortunate to be ahead of the curve with a handful of emerging artists and it’s been challenging to educate and convince promoters that these acts have substantial fanbases in place, even without the typical indicators of the past that they’ve been accustomed to rely on (radio, record sales, mainstream press, etc). Artists like Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Macklemore, etc, all have sold a lot of tickets well before most in our industry took notice.

FE: Besides Booking what other projects have you worked on in the Hip Hop community?

Zach: I still DJ from time to time, but the majority of my focus is on being an agent.

Get More Info on The Agency Group:


Fifth Element has assembled a panel of key artists and professionals in the business to discuss the best ways artists can be self-sufficient and successful in this changing industry!!

We will discuss everything from Social Media, Touring/Booking, Radio, Management, State Of Record Labels, Best Ways To Invest Money, and more!!

MODERATOR: Kevin Beacham

Shad (Decon)
Blueprint (Rhymesayers)
Sage Francis (Strange Famous)
Zach Quillen (The Agency Group)
Jessica Weber (Co-Sign)
John Shaw (Select O Hits)
Cool Nutz (Executive Branch Management)

Stay tuned over the next two weeks for more information on our panelists!!

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