The subject of todays interview is Trauma PR - a London based music event promotion and artist development company!
Established in September 2016, the exciting music venture was founded by musician/music lover Justin Jackson with the aim of "creating a much needed supplement to bands and artists to showcase their music within London".
Many more successful events later and Trauma PR has grown a reputation as one of London's finest live music promoters, always putting the artist at the heart of what they do!
We caught up with Justin to find out more about his motivations, the history of Trauma PR and what's next for this passionate music company...
Please introduce yourself/Trauma PR...
My name is Justin I am the founder, promoter and organiser for Trauma PR.
When and why was Trauma PR founded?
I started from a PR because there was an absence of promoters and industry helping out and shining light on new and underground/unsigned within the London area. Everything seemed to come at a price and also with not much conviction or dedication to actually support bands, so I decided to start something that did.
You believe in putting in giving all artists a chance and giving them a fair deal financially - as a musician yourself, and from that perspective, why is this important?
It’s a great insight. I understand from the perspective of a promoter and also the perspective of a musician. Making sure both sides of the party get a fair deal is a crucial building block to help maintain and build the scene.
I’ve seen the imbalance within the industry for so long and seen bands pay for management or do forms of press and see them lose money just be at the bottom of the books.
I’ve seen many examples where promoters just put up an event and don’t promote the show and I’ve seen bands promote the hell out of that show and not get anything back.
But then I’ve also seen promoters promote the hell out of the show, have to pay bands and the bands turn up having not promoted their show or done anything to bring people and the promoter is left with a big deficit.
With Trauma PR we work together with bands and acts to ensure it’s fair and creates incentive to make it a great show for those who come.
How has the recent Coronavirus affected your usual business?
Obviously with Coronavirus we are not able to do shows. And the pubs and venues that we usually do our events in are unfortunately facing a crisis to stay open when they are eventually allowed to reopen.
From your view, what areas of the music industry in general have been hit the most from Coronavirus?
In terms of who has been hit the most by coronavirus, I think everyone has to an extent. From the big festivals, to venues, to the pubs, to the people who are in sound engineering and lights, to bands not being on tour or making money through merch, not being able to do shows stops all flow of what we usually do.
Trauma PR Presents // Isolation Interview - MTXS (April 2020)
You were quick to act to the pandemic by introducing Isolation live session/interview videos and streams on your social media - how have you found this experience so far?
It’s been awesome. With our isolation sessions and the interviews it has been great to go back to an element that we once had when we started out with trauma PR.
It’s also been good to catch up with bands that have played or acts that will potentially play our shows once the world is back to functioning.
It’s been a great way to keep what we’re doing in the public eye because scarily without doing shows we could have easily just disappeared.
Trauma PR Presents // Isolation Sessions - Trashed Performance (April 2020)
How do live stream performances differ from live events in venues?
With the live streams the great part is you can still kind of get the feeling of being at a show but I don’t think it could ever truly replace a life performance.
Seeing other peoples reactions, and being in a room with them and watching a great live performance.
What makes a great music venue?
A great music venue is representative of the people that are in it. It could be a dive with awful equipment but people bring it all together.
Starting out with the staff, and promoters bringing in bands, followed by great decor and ambience. Then from there whatever is a good hangout spot for people usually makes it.
Some of my favourite venues have been those kinds of places but they no longer exist.
At the moment it is so important that once venues are open we do our best to keep them open and support them as local businesses.
What/who have been some of your personal favourite Trauma PR events/performances to date? (Either from your Isolation sessions or from back when “real gigs” were a thing)
It’s hard to choose one single show but my favourite shows are usually when bands/acts have the same objective, and they really want to push for it to be a great show, performance and turn out.
I really like our pop punk showcases because of their energy but then my favourite showcases generally have always been our event called The Acoustic Project (which are usually held 3 times in a year).
Intimate gigs, with a great atmosphere and general appreciation for what you’re listening to. Perfection.
Having known you for nearly a decade now, I’ve always admired your passion for supporting other musicians and your kind/friendly nature to all involved - from sound engineers, to industry, to fans. From your industry perspective, why are these qualities important for young artists to have?
Haha well I guess I’ve never really thought about it in that way. I just really love and enjoy what I do and want the same for everyone else.
I think if I had any advice for the young acts out there it would be just to support your fellow musicians, support anyone that shows interest in you or supports you and generally just bring positivity into the scene that you’re in and the things that you love doing.
What is your advice to aspiring music promoters?
Advice for aspiring music promoters... don’t be a music promoter haha. In all honesty I got into this through necessity, I still don’t really think of myself as a promoter.
I’ve achieved some cool things but not without struggle. The industry is treacherous, tough and full of people trying to outdo you. All I can say is be willing to learn, and also be knocked off of your feet a few times but keep your mind and heart open.
What’s in the pipeline for Trauma PR?
At the moment everything is uncertain. As soon as venues start to re-open it means we’re back open. Trauma PR is lucky in a way that we are a little bit of an anomaly. We will continue to do our isolation sessions and interview bands because that seems to be something that a lot of people are interested in.
As far as shows go, hopefully we can pick up where we left off around September/October but that all depends on the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will need all the support we can from bands and the public to stay a float. 2121 will hopefully be a better year!
And so concludes our interview about Trauma PR. A huge thank you to Justin for giving us his time!
We cannot wait to see comes next for this exhilaratingly passionate music company.
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