M A R I S S A L O I L
University of Delaware '11
The Windish Agency
Interview by Henry Lyons
Photography by Natalie Sereda
In an industry that's changing so rapidly, there's only one thing we can count on: the leaders of tomorrow's music business are the people in entry-level jobs today. Being a young person in the industry, I am fascinated to see who is coming up with me. My assignment is to find out more from three other kids in the city, who are at the beginning of their careers in music. I am hoping to learn more on what surprised and interested them about their respective fields.
The Manifesto: How did you get started in the music industry?
Marissa Loil: I was a history major at the University of Delaware, and a focus of mine was music history. I took a lot of those classes and I was involved with a few clubs on campus that were also related. Out of college, I worked for a music blog called Dancing Astronaut. That was where I really got involved in the electronic side.
I ended up going from there to Earmilk.com, where I was on the marketing side. I did that on top of working full time at Paradigm, so I got to see both sides at the same time, which I learned a lot from.
TM: Why booking? What do you love about it?
ML: I think watching an artist grow and being able to see their careers develop - especially new up and coming artists – from the early days of their career into international touring artists. It’s an awesome feeling being there for the development from the very start.
TM: When did you first start really loving music?
ML: So I was a competitive figure skater growing up, and I spent a lot of my time on it. I was really competitive. I used to take forever trying to pick out the music I wanted to skate to. I started getting really into classical music, which I think in a lot of ways is kind of similar to electronic music. Both are really about sounds and melodies, as opposed to lyrics. I have to say that I really started to listen and fall in love with music at a really young age doing that. And it all took off from there.
I remember being at Borders when they still had those headphones stands and you could listen to all those random songs. I definitely spent a lot of time at those devices.
TM: Being young people in the industry, we have to be thinking about what potential changes we see on the horizon. What big changes do you see coming?
ML: Looking ahead, especially since I work on the electronic side, I’ve noticed that over the past few years electronic music has been really focused on commercial house and big room. Tiesto’s and Hardwell’s. That’s always going to be making money, and they’re awesome artists, but I think it’s in a transitional period right now where electronic music is going in a different direction. You’re seeing a lot of change from that main stage sort of sound into a cooler, more laidback space. Like the Duke Dumont’s of the world, and the Kygo’s. A little bit more relaxed, but still have all the kids going crazy. I think it’ll be interesting to see over the next few years how the festival scene transitions into that kind of cooler space.
And when I say cooler, I don’t necessarily mean cooler, just more of a relaxed sound. I think it’ll be interesting to see how electronic music continues to develop and progress. We have a lot of great artists that fit into that space, and we also have a lot of great artists that are commercial artists. I don’t think that will ever die. But I think that the subgenres within the electronic spectrum are widening. Every day there’s a new genre. I’m interested to see how the live festival scene is going to adapt to that.
TM: This is probably the hardest question I’ll ask: who’s your favorite musician?
ML: My favorite artist is Martin Solveig. I really like him because not only is he a great producer, but also a great DJ. A few years ago, he put out a smash album with one of our clients, Dragonette. It’s really cool for me to be able to see how someone can put out an album like that, but now is starting to shift into that cooler realm I was talking about.
He’s just a really fun DJ and producer. That’s something that I look like with artists, someone that’s versatile and can cross into various genres. That’s not something that’s easy to do, and it takes a lot of talent.
I’m his number one fan. And he knows it.