Prysm began back in November 2019 with a vision to change the status quo of music agencies. By launching with a more boutique setting, their aim was to give a much more personable and tailored experience to their clients. Featuring a diverse roster featuring the likes of artists B.o.B, DirtySnatcha and Rico Act, DMCWORLD decided it was time to check in with the main team of Colton Anderson (CEO), Justin Lizama (CFO), Paul Yu Asensi (COO) and Lance Dean (A&R Director) to see how Prysm will roll into 2021 and continue to push the boundaries of this burgeoning new talent agency…
So far, what’s been the single most rewarding aspect of being a newly-launched talent agency in the realm of both dance music and hip-hop in 2020?
The most rewarding aspect of launching this agency in multiple genres is not only the diversity of the acts in terms of size, but also variety. We’re able to adapt to an array of different situations, lineup preferences and even venue sizes with the diverse roster we currently have.
Can you explain the specific factors that go into scouting and signing new talent?
When we’re scouting new talent, we look for good momentum and seriousness/attentiveness to the brand and project.
We have larger artists like Bare Noize and B.o.B (above) who already are obviously well put together, but finding a new act that’s up-and-coming is when we start to really gauge out the momentum with their growth. This helps us make sure that the artists we sign remain marketable throughout their time on our roster.
Where do you see Prysm heading in the next 5 to 10 years down the line?
In the next 5 to 10 years we want to become a one stop shop for our clients/acts. We are aiming to eventually be able to handle management, booking representation, licensing deals and even act as a record label for our artists to house their releases. If we have a footing in all of these departments, we’ll be able to make sure our artists can go in the direction they want to and we can be confident in our ability to assist them.
What was the impetus behind starting the agency last fall?
I think it’s fair to say that we all collectively had our issues with certain practices in the industry, namely those that fall under how the artists are treated and we wanted to make a change in that. We want to make a transparent picture that’s easy to work within, and create a healthy environment for the entire team/client roster in the process.
The talent you feature includes musicians in dance music and hip-hop — what drew you to these two genres in particular?
Hip-hop has been a newer sub-venture for us, as we initially only housed EDM artists but we’re aiming to really diversify in the coming years. If an act is good and we have the resources necessary to make a potential signing cohesive and that makes sense for everyone, we’ll sign them. We don’t want to be limited in any category, necessarily.
As a whole, what is Prysm looking forward to the most about live performances once they return post-lockdown?
With our roster growing rapidly to nearly 40 clients from the 20 we had in the previous quarter, we’re just looking forward to the day we can get our artists back on stage. We’ve landed shows here and there in accordance with CDC guidelines, but right now is understandably difficult. We’re hoping that getting the artists back on stage also creates jobs for the industry we’ve come to hold near and dear. We’re eager to try and do our part to bring things back to life when the time’s right.
What made you decide on the name ‘Prysm’, and the neat logo to go along with it?
The concept of Prysm was influenced heavily by Pink Floyd, and their Dark Side of the Moon album. The idea is that a ray of light (artist) aims at us, the prism (stylized as Prysm of course) and through the inner workings of that prism, an array of colors emerges from the other side. We want to be a catalyst for artists expanding their expression, and reaching their full potential.
Prysm consists of the CEO Colton Anderson, CFO Justin Lizama, COO Paul Yu Asensi, and head of A&R Lance Dean — before launching last year, was anyone here actively in music, and if so doing what?
We were all very much active in music before Prysm, each of us came from different corners however.
Colton (above) came from a background of talent buying and event coordination.
Justin’s (above) got an extensive background in tour managing some top acts in EDM as well as managing his own roster of artists.
Paul (above) comes from a background in graphic design, DJing and artist management whilst Lance (below) is newer to the A&R side of things, but comes from producing electronic dance music and touring as a DJ.
What does it feel like to be able to foster new, up-and-coming talent?
It feels good for us when artists that join our roster feel a sense of security and safety. In terms of size, we’re relatively boutique and what we’ve found is that we can give clearer answers, provide tailored approaches to a specific client’s goals and needs, and really dive deep in that regard because we don’t have 20 agents and 200 artists on our plate. We’re in a good spot and for that reason, our artists can have that sense of comfort and security knowing that what needs to get done is going to get done. This has created a good environment, plus the artists we sign generally have a good attitude towards things so there’s a lot of support coming from all angles.
Are there any upcoming plans in store for 2021 and beyond worth mentioning?
In light of shows being extremely difficult and/or not possible to book right now, we’re actually planning a mega-collaboration to showcase Prysm’s producer talent. Right now we have somewhere around 20 artists on board for it and the project is slated to be executive produced by Blaqout & Mantis. We’re planning to roll out a full release campaign to back that and help get our artists heard. We’ve also been in talks regarding throwing a Prysm Talent Agency takeover at a festival in 2021, and one or more of our artists are also looking at residencies in the coming year. We’re cautiously optimistic, and looking forward to a great 2021 despite 2020 being as hard as it has been.