From dorm to dance floor

A new business venture is looking to capitalize on the spin of turntables, the flash of club lights and the popularity of house music.

Elite EDM, a music talent agency established in January by sophomore and chief executive officer Jeffrey Eiesenbud along with his business partner and fellow student, chief financial officer James LaFleur and chief business officer Andrew Bailey, is seeking a new talent to bring into the limelight.

The idea for an electronic dance music agency had long been scribbled on Eisenbud’s “to do” list. When he began to notice the rise in club promotions and increasing interest in house music, he said he went for it.

“I see this whole EDM thing coming as a big opportunity in the sense of the market when it comes to promoting, advertising, everything,” Eisenbud said, “I see there is big, big opportunity here. I’m going to jump in early while it’s young.”

Eisenbud helped his first client, fellow student Andrew Aluko, get his first gig at The Rosebar at Current opening up for New York City-based electronic dance DJ, Jacomino.

Citing Aluko’s signature “smooth, progressive house sound,” Guest of a Guest, an online publication covering local events, named Aluko “one of D.C.’s best up-and-coming talents.”

“It felt amazing when I read the article. It gave me a lot more drive to know that I could do this and be good at it,” Aluko said.

Aluko and Eisenbud first met on the soccer team, but while living in the same residence hall, Eisenbud walked by Aluko spinning and after hearing him, proposed his idea for a business.

“I’ve always been an entrepreneurial type of guy, and I could see he had the passion, so I said, do you want to make this real?” Eisenbud said.

Aluko’s interest in DJ-ing was sparked in high school when he bought his first mixer. He also plays piano and trombone, and says he can never stop his mind from trying to guess the tempo of a song. Despite his well-tuned musical abilities, he attributes his speedy success to Elite EDM.

“It makes it easier for me to not have to worry about marketing or managing myself and just being able to work on the music as an artist,” Aluko said, “It would have taken a lot longer for me to get to where I am now without Elite EDM.”

The Elite EDM team says they handle the full spectrum of the business side of the music industry for him by shaping the unique goals of each client and creating innovative strategies that include managing personal appearances, marketing, event planning, sponsorship and media promotions.

“We want our artists to have to think about nothing other than their music, because that is what will make them their best,” Eisenbud said.

Elite EDM is up-and-coming, just like the electronic dance music industry itself. LaFleur believes this gives his team an edge.

“If you look around to the big time producers right now, they’re all somewhere around the age of 20. Since we’re around their age and we’re trying to grow something at the same time, it’s mutually beneficial,” LaFleur said.

Though Aluko is currently Elite EDM’s only client, Eisenbud and his team are on a nationwide search for the top five up-and-coming EDM artists to be represented by their agency.

LaFleur went to the South by Southwest music festival, where he met a dubstep producer from San Diego. Eisenbud recently returned from a trip to University of Colorado Boulder where he met with a potential client. The team has received submissions from artists at the University of California, Los Angeles, as well as the University of Miami, and they say the team is constantly checking music sites like SoundCloud for new talent.

“We prefer our clients to be producers themselves and not just making their own music,” said Eisenbud, “We’re also looking for that ambitious, go-getting type. We want fully dedicated people – people with good character.”

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