Ari Nisman - College Booking Agent & Entrepreneur Discussing the College Circuit, Booking for Corporate Gigs, Military, & more

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud   

Ari Nisman is the President and CEO of Degy Entertainment. The company is most known for its success in booking talent for Colleges and University. He got his start in the industry working for record labels, after which he started his Artist Management Company, Degy Management. Very quickly he established a skill for getting artists signed to record labels and publishing companies. After some difficulty of getting his artists a booking agent, he decided to transform his company into a booking agency initially focusing on the clubs and theatres circuit. Today, Degy Entertainment is one of the most reputable College Booking Agencies. The company also books artists for the United States Military and many Corporate Events. He also works with the major booking agencies and boutique agencies, to help broker deals for the US Military and Corporate events for artists on their rosters.

In this conversation we talk about the two big college conferences, NACA and APCA. The differences between the two, how to prepare and what to expect from a showcase, the purpose of showcasing, putting together your showcasing video, the types of shows an artist will get booked for, and much more. We also dive into his story and how he got started, and touch a little on how he got started booking talent for the US Military and Corporate Events. It’s always an inspiration to find really good people like Ari, that are doing great things in the music business, are successful entrepreneurs, and pour good into the world. Get your pens and paper ready for this conversation with, Ari Nisman of Degy Entertainment.

Highlights from this Episode
What brought Ari to Florida (04:40)
What Ari is most excited about (06:00)
Experience at University of Michigan (06:30)
Ari’s entrepreneurial experience (11:45)
How the industry worked in the past (13:00)
Motivation for Ari’s company (16:30)
Process of getting an artist signed to a label (18:00)
How to develop the artist’s story (21:30)
Transition into booking artist (22:45)
How to deal with the challenges of being a small agency (25:38)
Struggles of booking clubs and the difference between colleges (27:25)
Advice to the struggling agent (29:10)
Difference in agency organizations (32:20)
How Ari works in the organization (35:20)
Misconceptions of college circuits (39:05)
Breakdown of “Nooner” shows (41:55)
Genres for the college circuit (43:40)
What Ari looks for when signing an artist (45:30)
What a band should put into their video (47:20)
What do smaller agencies do in comparison to big agencies in the college circuit (48:58)
Events that Ari’s agency works with (51:15)
Ari’s favorite media (54:43)
Advice for the young person wanting to be an agent (55:35)
Making it to Ari (59:10)

Quotes from Ari Nisman
“Everybody who you can meet could be an important contact for you to get forward with.”
“I always said please and thank you.”
“Back then I think we did a good job of just creating relationships.”
“Build that entire plan, it has to be more than the music.”
“When you have a younger act, they have to get out on the road. They have to get road legs.”
“Go ahead and do some internships and read some books.”
“If the music isn’t there I’m not going to sign it.”
“The best time to get a band signed is end of April, beginning of May.”
“I want to sign them when I have time to work with them.”
“Internships, building relationships, getting know anyone you can and shake their hands.”
“Nothing is handed to us.”
“You have to go out and stay hungry.”
“You should never meet your goal. Always be just short of that goal and work harder to get there.”
“you have to find enjoyment in what you’re doing.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Jimmy Eat World
Rusted Root
Face Plant

Places & Things
Radio Disney
Cool Whip
Perpetual Groove
Moonshine Still

Get in Touch with Ari Nisman

Ari Nisman’s Definition of Making It
“I’m never going to make it because I’m never going to make that goal. Making it is happiness in life, some people don’t need to make 50 million dollars to make it.”

“If that’s what works for you and that makes you happy, that’s making it.”