#BossBabes: June Edition

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June is a special month. With the first day of summer celebrated on the 21st, we also celebrate the arrival of festival season! At last, we can bring the music outdoors among sunshine, nature and friends. Yes, summer is a vibrant time for the music industry. Along with mother nature, we’d like to honour three more phenomenal women — each whom pour their hearts and energy into the music biz. Today, we’re shining the light upon Oneplusone Artist Manager Pia Del Mastro, Sasomo Bookings’ Agent Nadia El-Nadi, and DJ/ AIM Festival’s Project Manager Pascale Papin. Thank-you ladies for your endless passion and dedication!

Name: Pia Del Mastro, Melbourne AUS
Job Title: Artist Manager| Touring Agent| Label Owner
Company: Oneplusone Agency | Upon Access

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How did you become involved in the industry?

At the age of 16 in the late 00’s I became a club promoter in Melbourne, when the underage electronic scene was thriving, the youth were really embracing house and techno. This was before the main stage festival days. I was constantly surrounded by DJs and Producers, as all my friends were at this end of the music spectrum, so it was literally like second nature to me. However, I was also a straight A student nerd who had studied advanced sciences, so I convinced myself I had to continue that straight from school at university. Turns out I HATED it. So I dropped out, worked, still promoted events, ran my own club events etc… and then decided I would study again and it would be in music business.

Following my degree, I lived and worked in Ibiza for Cream alongside Eric Prydz, Deadmau5 and more, lived & contracted in various roles in London, came back to Australia and became an agent at a group that ran Stereosonic/Creamfields where I worked with Swedish House Mafia, Diplo, the Dirtybird crew and more.

This eventually led me to my pride and joy- Oneplusone Mgmt & Touring where I run and do absolutely everything I want and with the artists I want! The music road is never where you think it is going to take you…so trust it!

You will never have just one job in music… The hustle is real and your story will be even more amazing if you keep it real.

Is there a project that you are most proud of?

Oneplusone Mgmt & Touring is my baby. I had been through quite a rough stage in my career prior to opening this business, however it was something that was either going to make me or break me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and just went for it. I now tour boutique artists and manage various talent from diverse genres. That gives me joy working on artists who are 100% dedicated to their vision & goals irrespective of what genre they come from. I definitely work with a really motivated and pure group of talent. My longest artist relationship is with Made in Paris, a techno producer & DJ in Sydney who is killlllllllling it & I couldn’t be more proud.

In your opinion, what is the most important skill to have?

Tolerance. This comes with time and I have learnt over the years that as hard as certain situations may be, no matter how frustrating people in the industry can be – it’s the nature of the role. You need to be thick skinned and tolerance will be your best friend (to a certain degree).

The music road is never where you think it is going to take you…so trust it!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would like to be permanently in Melbourne, managing talent from a city I love so dearly, that I can raise children in and teach them the importance of independence, strength and confidence in business. I also would love a finca (country house) in Ibiza for the summers to take my family and friends to. The island is very close to my heart and always will be.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

You will never have just one job in music. It’s a long road, an erratic road, that can change at the drop of a hat. Being smart with money, taking on roles outside of your passion to fuel that passion is intelligent and mentally healthy. Don’t be a music industry mogul wannabe who “only” sits in the studio, only manages an artist, only runs a label- but complains about money and hardship & deserving to make it. The hustle is real and your story will be even more amazing if you keep it real. If you are doing it for the money, you’re in the wrong biz.

Name: Nadia El-Nadi, Berlin DE
Job Title: Booking Agent
Company: SASOMObookings 

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How did you become involved in the industry?

Music was part of my life ever since I can remember, but I never thought about being an agent. Actually I worked a long time as a graphic designer and then I moved from Cologne to Berlin in 2007, because I had the feeling I needed new input. Very soon after I arrived, I was introduced to the owner of the legendary club bar25. We became friends, I did some graphic jobs for them and worked at the bar on the weekends. Then one night, we had dinner and we talked about the resident DJs of bar25 and that actually, no one really took care of them. Since I traveled a lot and already knew a lot of people of the industry from my past, I just said ‘Maybe I can try to be their agent.’

And then the idea was born. In the beginning the name was “bar25 booking agency” and I was employed by bar25, but when they closed in 2010 they wanted me to continue on my own. So I did – and here we are now!

I nominate Gunita Nagpaul of Listed Bookings as the next ‘Boss Babe’.

Is there a project that you are most proud of?

I think I am proud of every little project with all the different people I had so far. Maybe I am most proud of the fact that we at SASOMObookings work together as friends and family. It’s very personal, intimate and does not really feel like business or work. This can be tricky sometimes, but I guess this is also the reason, why the artists love to be part of it and for me, it’s the only way I could do it anyway… And to give you a little glimpse, I will tell you that I actually have the feeling that the project I am most proud of is still yet to come!

At what moment did you realize this is what you wanted to do for a career?

I never thought about a career… Maybe when I was really really young I had such a thing in my mind like: When you get old, you want to have this and that. But I found out very soon  that a “career” is not so important for me. I believe more that the whole life is a journey and with all the ups and downs, we are able to learn more about ourselves. So, being a booking agent is part of this trip. And to answer more concrete: I never decided to be a booking agent, it just happened kind of.

I think most the important thing is to always love and believe in yourself.

In your opinion, what is the most important skill to have?

Maybe not a real skill, but I think the most important thing is to always love and believe in yourself.

You wouldn’t be where you are without support from… 

The support of my mother! I have to name her first. She always believed in me and even if I did things no one else could understand, she was standing behind me. And of course I wouln’t be where I am without support of my dear friends and specially the guys of bar25 who gave me the opportunity to start the agency. Without them, all this would not have been possible.

Name: Pascale Papin, Montreal CA
Job title: DJ | Project Manager
Company: Nymra & Sofisticated | Montreal AIM Electronic Music Festival     

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How did you become involved in the industry?

After spending 14 years managing a Ford car dealership with my dad, I decided to let my artistic side shine and began to practice to become a DJ, passion that I continue to work on today with my best friend Sophie as Nymra & Sofisticated.  This gave me the chance to be approach to manage the Canadian division of Wantickets, a ticketing company that was into our underground music business mainly.  This 7 year adventure gave me the opportunity to get in touch with a lot of people in the business and got me on board to work with many festivals as well, such as the BPM Festival and SXM Festival. Last year, I was approached to be part of the AIM Festival adventure.  Thinking of all what was behind me I thought it was the natural move.

I nominate Mariesa Stevens of Liaison Artists as the next ‘Boss Babe’. Mariesa has done magic in the past years with her booking agency – she deserves the spotlight!

Is there a project that you are most proud of?

Definitely AIM Festival.  I had an idea of what I was getting into but to be in 100% in another thing… managing an event with over 40 DJs, employees, volunteers, hotels, transport and on top of that, a venue of almost 1KM, outside of Montreal that doesn’t have power to work with is what I can say a challenge.  Although, during the event looking at all that was happening, seeing people having a great time, I told myself that I was at the right place at the right time.  This year is nothing less of a challenge compared to last year, but I’m sure I’ll get that moment of pride during the weekend that will make me smile and reaffirm this amazing journey.

In your opinion, what is the most important skill to have?

Availability :  for sure you cannot count the hours! Flexibility: to be able to work with many people around you to make it happen. Put your ego aside: yes some people are better than you are! Salesmanship: you definitely have to be able to sell your project to others.  Could be your providers or the party goers, you need to be able to sell it.  In my years where I was selling cars, for me selling a 4 door sedan was tough, but selling a gleaming Mustang 5.0 GT was super easy.  Well with AIM I believe I’m more selling a Mustang to everyone… you have to believe in your project.  One more thing, don’t be too sensitive, the world is rough out there!

Get closer to the people you would like to work with & maybe you’ll get lucky to work in the perfect environment for you.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? 

Retired travelling the world with a handsome man on my side! Haha!  To be part of those amazing adventures, DJing or managing a festival, it doesn’t leave time for romance and let’s say it, I’m always surrounded by a younger crowd, so I’ll leave that part for later when the time is right. Guys of my age would say that my lifestyle is completely crazy anyways… and I would probably reply that they are boring anyways.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field? 

Be patient, get some experience, get to know as many people as you can.  Our community is a small beautiful family.  Make your path like I’ve done, giving your time for free sometimes, (yes we still need volunteers at AIM, reach me if interested! ) Get closer to the people you would like to work with and maybe you’ll get lucky to work in the perfect environment for you. Good luck!

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Nymra & Sofisticated performing at AIM Festival, MTL

What is your favourite part about working with other women in the scene? 

Well as you can see, my past years were mostly in the world full of men and egos. Managing a team of salesman and mechanics at just 30 years old was a good school to build that shield needed to survive in a man’s world.  Dealing with other women in the business I’d say is easier. You don’t have that little feeling (yes it’s still out there), that the men in front of you thinks he is better just because he’s a man. Sad to say, but I believe it still exists.

 You wouldn’t be where you are without support from… 

My parents. They always believed in me. Telling me that “I was able to do it” and respecting the choices I made overtime.


Special thanks to Pia Del Mastro, Nadia El-Nadi and Pascale Papin for taking the time to share their stories with us!