Moodswing Management and Crush Music, two New York City management and booking companies, have joined forces to build the next generation of electronic music artists.
Johnny Maroney, 36, who founded Moodswing in 2008 as an independent booking agency and propelled acts like Iggy Azalea and LMFAO into the spotlight, said the partnership will focus on the intersection between house music and hip hop, what some are calling "post-EDM" or "future hip hop." Maroney has a strong roster of Newark, N.J. and New York area producers such as DJ SLiiNK, TWRK, and Brenmar, who aim to play a role in electronic dance music’s next chapter.
“EDM has to evolve,” Maroney told Billboard. "The 128 bpm, big-drop sound has peaked. We see the future is of dance music in niche genres like Jersey Club, Future Bass and House music. Tempos are definitely changing.”
Maroney believes the lane is opening for "Jersey Club," a micro-genre perhaps best exemplified by DJ SLiiNK, a producer from Newark who recently worked with Diplo’s tastemaking Mad Decent label. The sound is a bit like house music mixed with old school urban samples, he said, with slightly more dramatic drops and build-ups. “Think old school hip hop, repackaged for 2014.”
Moodswing and Crush have worked together informally for years, sharing insight and promotion strategies for acts like Travie McCoy and Pete Wentz, but the more official partnership will allow both parties to bring artists and records from the underground to mainstream audiences and, particularly, radio. Maroney said that because the two companies are independent, they’ll be able to develop artists in non-traditional ways. “The term 'agency' is a little dated because we’re extremely hands-on,” he said. “We’re involved in every aspect of our artists careers, from video promos to branding, press, and so on.”
In addition to its New York office, Crush has music outposts in Los Angeles and Nashville. The company was co-founded by two former musicians, Jonathan Daniel and Bob McLynn, who handle acts such as Sia, Fall Out Boy, Train, and Gym Class Heroes.
McLynn said it was an "obvious" move for Maroney and Moodswing to transition into a more management-heavy role. "Johnny has been one of the better agents in this world because he embraced artist development,” he said.