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MUSIC 03/17/15

In Support of Talent

by Neil Moffitt

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Neil Moffitt is the CEO of Hakkasan Group and has been on the forefront of the nightclub industry and electronic music for three decades. Rolling Stone has named him among the 50 Most Important People in EDM.

We live in the age of the DJ. Talents like Calvin Harris and Tiësto are household names. And electronic music is the freshest frontier in music, from club scene to mainstream.

But it wasn’t always that way, especially in America, where the popularity of electronic music is a more recent phenomenon. That phenomenon happened because of some amazing talent – along with venues that knew how to support it.

Today, nightclubs like OMNIA work closely with DJs to build mutually beneficial relationships – relationships that are made to last. Gone are the days of merely booking a DJ and promoting a show. Now, when it comes to emerging talent, we educate and mentor. And for superstar DJs, we work in concert with the artist, aligning goals and objectives, crafting a space where talent can enjoy full artistic expression, and creating a business model that complements the vision of the DJ. It’s art and science, remixed.

When I first came to Vegas DJs were still playing vinyl. Now, the top end artists are also major producers and cultural forces in their own right. Electronic music has transcended the club and hit airwaves and playlists everywhere.

You see that most at play in a generation of people that wears their headphones every day, all day (my teenage daughter among them). A good bit of what they’re listening to is electronic music. It occupies a big place in their lives, so much that I’d say electronic music is to this generation what hip hop was to the generation of a decade ago.

DJs have earned that place through hard work, breakthrough collaborations and immeasurable talent. It’s up to clubs and venues to offer the partnerships that help make that happen. After all, when you’re talking about a “music scene”, it’s important to remember that one half of the term is as crucial as the other.