Newly Formed Barbès Agency to Rep Border-Blurring Artists

Meridian Brothers

Brooklyn club/label spawns management agency with special focus on Latin musicians "who care about innovating"

The small Brooklyn club Barbès has been identified over more than a decade with a kind of unclassifiable cosmopolitan cool, presenting artists who “like blurring borders and mixing influences.”

Music by acts including Chile’s Chico Trujillo, Colombia’s Meridian Brothers and Barbès owner Olivier Conan’s own Peruvian psychedelic-soul group Chicha Libre has been released on the Barbès Records label.

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The latest extension of the brand is The Barbès Agency, a management company representing “Latin musicians who care about innovating and reaching out to both old and new audiences."

Barbès is "not specialized in World music, although the Anglophone world might think we are,” Barbès’ Olivier Conan said in an email announcing the new agency. “Barbès is specialized in living music from around the world...We like musicians who pillage their neighbor’s treasure chests and come up with their own mix. Play cumbia with fuzztone pedals, put a rock beat over a clave, study Bach and play bugalu.”

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The Barbès Agency’s eclectic artists have toured widely, been featured in movies by Pedro Almodovar and Wim Wenders, and on the soundtracks of Weeds, Homeland and other shows.

“More importantly, all  have contributed to alter the perception of what transnational music can sound like,” the announcement noted.