INTERVIEW: Communion Music, Maz Tappuni
We interviewed Communion Music London's Maz Tappuni, to talk about his role as a promoter with Communion Presents, and the Promoter role on a broader scale in the music industry, and what it means for emerging artists. Special thanks to Communion Philadelphia's Carolyn Lederach for making this interview happen!
What was your journey into where you are in Communion right now?
I started out at Communion back in early 2010 when the label was set up. My role quickly developed into what became Communion Presents, the live side of the business. We were putting out EP’s and singles and the bands were asking to put their shows on. We started putting on shows in clubs and churches and started to become a promoter, without really knowing.
What does your role with Communion Music entail?
I book all of our bands in the UK, which means we find new talent, and then help put together the live plan with the band / manager and agent. We now book around 200 shows a year, anything from 100-10,000 capacity sheds. I also book our festival stages and host our weekly new music show on Radio X.
Can you explain what role a Promoter has for an artist in today’s music industry?
It’s up to the promoter to help make the right live decisions in an artist’s career. We help grow the artists fan base across the UK, and create beautiful moments where fans can come see a gig that they’ll never forget. Right here, right now, you can’t replicate those memories and moments people have at shows. We’ve all got them and by creating those moments, you hope people come back to see the artist play again. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of admin, spreadsheets, production, ticketing, marketing - that all needs to be executed in the right way to deliver the show. Classic saying, if you fail to prepare, then you should prepare to fail.
Have the changes in the industry, such as the new digital age, changed your role, or changed the company? Was it negative or positive?
Where artists may fail to make much money from record sales, the live industry has not changed this way. You can’t replicate the feeling you get at a gig, or going to see a band live (yet). For a promoter, it’s easier for us to target audiences through digital marketing, which makes our life a little easier, which is definitely a good thing. I’m interested to see how streaming live gigs comes into play later down the line. You could find yourself in a venue in New York, watching a gig with thousands of other people that’s being streamed from London.
What do you think makes an independent label such as Communion special?
I think there’s a handful of things that makes the label what it is. We’ve got a small team of dedicated and passionate staff. Everyone loves the music we work with, and most of us are failed musicians, some of us successful, but everyone’s got a great ear for music and can appreciate the music we’re releasing, which means the team works super hard for music that we love. It’s also very curatorial, which means there’s a certain quality behind the acts we release.
How do you think London and NYC compare?
I haven’t spent too much time in NYC but it seems equally if not more fast paced and hectic than London. There’s a hundred gigs you could go check out every night, there’s always a party.
Are the two offices fairly connected?
We’re pretty connected. We have weekly calls to discuss what’s going on with both sides of the business so we can both benefit from each other. The team in NYC are brilliant, we learn a lot from them and vice versa.
Check out the monthly Communion nights at the Notting Hill Arts Club, the first Sunday of each month, for the best in new music! Check our recent review of one of these club nights here.