Camille van Gurp sat down to talk with us about his journey with his artist management company, Encore Agency. He covered the transition from DJ and label owner to manager as well as some of the fantastic experiences and opportunities he's had in his line of work. Encore Agency manages Debris, RudeLies, Foxa, Conor Ross, and Lyente.
Well let's start off right at the beginning then! Let's talk about what you were upto leading up to the formation of Encore Agency.
I used to tell people that I never wanted to become a manager. I was busy running a record label called Tritone records and was building my own DJ career as Day Kingsley. So when people asked me what I wanted to do in the music scene the answer was never manager. Before I started Encore Agency, I was already active in the music industry for around six years. Around the same time I was starting out as a DJ, I had also started my own EDM blog on Facebook called EDM Center Network that reached around sixty thousand likes before it was taken down by Facebook's awful copyright system.
As Day Kingsley, I had mashups and remixes that were supported by The Chainsmokers, Dash Berlin, Tritonal, Tiesto, Mike Williams to name just a few. SLAM! gave me the chance to make a one-time mix for them but they liked it so much that now I'm doing a weekly morning mixtape during Joost his morning show! Eventually I got to the point where I decided it was time for something new. I was exploring my options and found out I actually really enjoyed the management side of the music industry due to my experiences with the record label.
My first experience with management was doing day to day for an artist, who's name I won't mention here, but we were working together for around a year or two but eventually I got this feeling that I couldn't quite trust him to follow through on the things that he needed to do. He would always miss deadlines and so I could tell that this wasn't going to go anywhere. One day, I made the decision to break things off and he wasn't happy at all. He told me that I would never become a good manager and that really turned me off of the idea for a little while. Fortunately, I was able to find that passion again and prove him wrong in the end!
How did you go about meeting the other Encore Agency artists?
One day, I stumbled upon RudeLies and started supporting their music at my shows before I found out that they didn't have a manager. I decided to hit them up on Skype and after a really positive conversation, we decided to give it a shot. It turned out to be a match made in heaven. After the trial period ended, we all signed a contract and made it official. After RudeLies, Conor Ross was the second artist I signed after I helped him takedown a track that he had worked on with Dirty Palm. This guy, named Mr. Jaxx, stole the track and uploaded it to Spotify and iTunes so I helped get everything sorted out and restored to their proper owners. After the whole ordeal, I asked Conor if he would be interested in a manager and now here we are!
Tell us about your journey with Encore Agency.
In the first few months it felt like nothing was really happening and it was very discouraging, but I kept on putting in the work and a few months later I was really seeing the results. This year I travelled to Stockholm twice, as well as ADE, London, and Riga for work with my artists. It always has been a big dream of mine to travel the world and the fact that I can travel the world while doing my job makes it all the better! I'm fortunate to be managing artists that are producing on such a high level because that means they don't need as much guidance when it comes to their music; I was able to start the real work right away. Having this level of talent has made it possible to capitalize on some major opportunities like having RudeLies travel to Riga to perform on a stage for over ten thousand people. The people that I've met as a result of my work in London and especially at ADE which was just chalk full of meetings. Encore was formed in March of this year, same as your site, and so it's been a fantastic experience so far with so much more coming down the pipeline.
What have been some of the challenges you've faced so far?
Two years ago, I was working at a factory after I had tried to go to university twice only to find out what I was studying didn't really connect with me. I found myself in this seemingly endless loop and I truly felt hopeless and depressed. Just by chance, I found out about the Herman Brood Academy, which was the same school Martin Garrix attended, and I knew that I just had to go there. I took my parents to open house and they saw how it just made me light up and gave me a sense of purpose. Now I'm twenty-two on track to graduation and at the rate and which things are growing with Encore, I should be able to devote myself to it full time after I finish school.
What effect do you think that starting Encore had on your life as a whole?
Music management has truly changed my life and helped me improve to be a better person. I used to be extremely shy and socially awkward, but ever since March, I've been evolving into a real manager and my social skills have improved dramatically. It's even gotten to the point where I'm able to go up and talk to people on my own, something that would have seemed impossible with my mindset from before.
What have been some of the standout moments of your career thus far?
There are three moments that immediately stand out and that would be the RudeLies show in Riga, Foxa getting a track signed onto Spinnin' Records, and Conor Ross & Foxa releasing their official remix for Brooks, Martin Garrix, and David Guetta. Beyond milestones that have been achieved with my artists, I'm really proud of my personal growth over the last year. Working in the music industry as a professional has changed my life in so many ways like making me more confident in myself and improving my social skills. There's a lot of negativity in this industry and people shouldn't be afraid to talk about their feelings or the pressures that they're under. I know how harsh the music industry can be and how high the stress can get when you're trying to meet and exceed people's expectations of you. In the end, you've got to put in the work to see your dreams become a reality and you can't ever lose sight on what's truly important for you.
A huge thank you to Camille for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to follow him and the Encore Agency on social media for all the latest updates!
Chris W. Lao
DJ, Writer, and Student.
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