This week NB caught up UTA music agent Mary Allen, who joined the agency in March 2022, becoming the company’s first agent in the Nashville office to focus on electronic music. She represents artists CloZee, Apashe, Peekaboo, INZO, MEMBA, Zingara, Venbee, The Polish Ambassador, The Funk Hunters, Tripp St., Rome in Silver, KITTENS, NotLö, LYNY, Frameworks, VEIL and more. Additionally, since joining UTA Mary has expanded into genres outside of electronic, signing Nashville-based viral singer/songwriter Kyndal Inskeep and Australian indie/alternative pop artist Vancouver Sleep Clinic. See some highlights from our conversation below.
– What do you think makes a great agent? I’ve found being reasonable, treating everyone with respect, and having clear boundaries is super important. Knowing when to push back vs walking away. Time management might sound obvious but it’s arguably the most critical part of getting through the day to day of our job. The volume of emails/calls we receive on a daily basis is overwhelming, so prioritizing what is timely vs. what can wait is huge.
– Proudest career accomplishment from the past year: CloZee selling out her Red Rocks Amphitheatre headline within hours was a major highlight last year. She delivered such an incredible performance and experience for fans. Pulling off her three-day camping festival, Voyage to the Caverns, in Tennessee just a few weeks prior was another big moment for the team. We built out a fully immersive weekend experience on the property & venue with art installations, hundreds of lights activations throughout the wooded path to the venue, craft & food vendors, sound baths, live painters, two custom stage designs, projection mapping in the cave, etc. It was a big production while maintaining an intimate feel and experience for the CloZee community.
– What artist(s) do you have your eye on now? I’m very excited about the future for my clients Apashe, Venbee, and Zingara. All three are incredibly special and have huge touring careers ahead of them. On a fan level, super into RAYE right now. My 21st Century Blues is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time.
– Working in the EDM space, what are the advantages and disadvantages to being based in Nashville? Electronic/EDM still has a lot of growth to do here in Nashville. Which provides both an advantage and disadvantage of being based here. Clients tour through less frequently, which means I have to travel quite a bit to cover shows. But it also allows me to prioritize the day to day of the job in a way that is challenging when constantly covering shows (especially in our genre as our shows often go all night). Nashville provides an environment where I can have a healthy work/life balance in a sustainable & long-term way. Because of this, I consider my Nashville home base a bit of a secret weapon.
– Do you ever pull strategy from how country artists tour out of Nashville for your EDM acts, or vice versa? I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve pulled strategy from it, but I’ve noticed some parallels to how the country and electronic spaces operate. The main parallel is the volume of touring. Most pop, rock, indie, etc. acts tend to stick to touring around album cycles. In the electronic world, most artists tour year-round—regardless of if they’re on- or off-cycle. Soft ticket, hard ticket, festivals, pre parties, after parties, club nights, you name it, DJs are constantly touring. The opportunities might look a little different in the Country space, but it seems a lot of Country artists are also always on and do volume touring.
– Is there a hidden resource in Nashville that you feel you would not have access to if you lived in LA or New York? Being a part of the UTA Nashville team has been a game changer for my career. It’s an honor to work with incredible agents and leaders like Scott Clayton, Matthew Morgan, Jeffrey Hasson, Emily LaRose, Marissa Smith, and Buster Phillips, to name a few. I am constantly inspired by everyone in this office and incredibly grateful to be a part of this special team.