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Get the scoop on a talent agency with...



& Nene Musik

NAJM Dance Culture
Ruben Martinez is the founding force behind one of the fastest growing talent agencies in New York. Nene Musik Talent Agency represents dance artists like Amber (his wife), Elvis Crespo, & Melanie Thornton, as well as DJs and sports figures. NAJM caught up with Ruben in Miami to find out what artists and DJs alike should expect from a talent agency...
NAJM: How did you become involved with dance music in general?  


RM: I started out in this business as a singer actually. I had a single on Cutting Records and dance music has always been one of my loves. Dance music is different forms and different genres, it's just that someone put a tag on it.
NAJM: You did mention that you're also a DJ?
RM: Yes. I've done just about every aspect of the business. I was a DJ, singer, record company and right now I've found my focus where I am managing and booking acts.
NAJM: Tell us a bit about your talent agency and how you got started?
RM: I've worked at two other agencies prior to forming Nene Musik Talent Agency. When I decided to form my agency, most of my clientele came with me. The focus of the agency is that we have four different genres of music that we care concentrating on right now, pop, dance, latin, funk and jazz. We also do sports entertainment as well.
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The Agent's Role...

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NAJM: What is your role as an artist agent for people who are out there who aren't clear on what you do?
RM: The role of an artist agent is to solidify performances for performing artists. If you want your artist to perform live at a venue or event, that is what a booking agent does. A perfect example is when you look at the movie Jerry McGuire. He's an agent for athletes. It's the same type of scenario.
dot_clear.gif (43 bytes) NAJM: What do you look for in an artist that you sign to your agency?
RM: Quality, hard work, and focus.
NAJM: What would you tell your artists about keeping their attitudes in check and being friendly to people in this business?
RM: I would say that what comes around, goes around. You have to give people the same amount of respect that you would give your family. You have to talk to them and treat the public the same way you would want them to talk to you. Sometimes things are crazy and you can have a stressful day but recording artists have two lives. They have their personal life, where they deal with personal agenda's, and then they have their recording life, where they become the performer. It's a difficult job, dealing with those personalities.
NAJM: What advice would you give to an artist who wishes to maintain staying power in this business since it's so single driven, and people are replaced very fast.
RM: That goes with longevity. Making sure that management, the agency and the record label are all doing a proper job and focusing on the music that you want to do and taking it to the next step.
NAJM: What advice would you give to a new artist who is looking for an agent? What are some things that they should be looking for?
RM: Do your research. There are great resources out there, Pollstar.Com, and the NAJM website. There are so many websites now that you can do a search and find out information. It's no secret, people are selling lists with names and you just have to do your homework. Do some research and be very aggressive.
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Learning through Amber

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NAJM: The next question is tied directly to Amber who also happens to be your wife. What are some of the things that you have learned through her career and her success that you can apply to your artists?
RM: Amber has established herself as the dance diva, where she has 6 Hot 100 singles, 3 #1 dance singles and we are at the point where we want to get rid of that categorization and focus on pop music. If you are in a club, you aren't sitting there, your dancing. If you are at a Guns 'N Roses concert, your not sitting, you're moving. The biggest struggle is getting her to that mainstream audience. I would say that record companies are used to doing things one way and we'd like to do it another. So it's a little compromise as long as you get what you want in the long run.
NAJM: Where do you think that dance music headed? You mentioned pop music a few minutes ago, where do you hope to take this whole thing?
RM: It's not that it's becoming pop, it is pop music. It's just that some moron came up with the word "dance music". If you turn on the TV, you'll see a Chrysler commercial with a DJ and some tribal record in the background. Music is music, but you have rock and roll, techno, trance. It all falls under the same category, it's all music.
NAJM: What is next for you and what is next for your Agency?
RM: Right now the goal is to concentrate on what I have right now, do a good job with it and hopefully expand.
NAJM: All right. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
RM: Thanks for the support.

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