Interview With

Zac Bluestone

Paradigm Talent Agency


Zac Bluestone

Agent at Paradigm Talent Agency

Washington University , Olin Business School.

Double-majored in Entrepreneurship and Marketing




The booking coordinator role was exactly what it sounds like, in that I was constantly booking tours. I learned through hands-on experience and was fortunate enough to be given the autonomy to run with certain projects. I was able to practice agenting and discover my own style under the guide of my mentors. It has been an absolute pleasure learning from the talented and diverse group of agents at Paradigm, who are still helping me daily. With the support of my colleagues, the transition into my new role has been seamless.

Because of my previous internship in A&R, I tend to approach projects with an A&R mentality, meaning I work to find artists early and help develop them every step of the way.


I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the most gifted agents in the industry at Paradigm, all of who have given me wise advice. The most helpful advice I’ve ever received is, “Hold off on sending an email when you’re angry or upset.” It may sound obvious to some, but when you’re doing business at all hours, it’s a good rule of thumb to remember.


Everyone on my roster 😀In terms of musical trends for 2019, music that is being recorded and released is focusing less on polished sound and more on authenticity and vulnerability. People are shedding their inhibitions –they’re releasing vocals with an acoustic ukulele, putting out demos instead of fully produced tracks, and recording the hook sample to a double-platinum record on their iPhones (which is how Lauv recorded “I Like Me Better”).


Most importantly, I need to be passionate about the music. I want it to be stuck in my head for a few days. I also look at an artist’s Spotify streams and social media engagement as a precursor to selling tickets. All that to say, there’s not an exact formula; a lot of it is just instinctual.


I book tours conservatively; I’d tend to book an artist for multiple nights in smaller rooms in the same market, using the first show to drive demand for the second show (in industry slang, using 1+1s). When choosing markets for tours, I utilize every source of data available, including numbers from social media, streaming platforms, Shazam, record sales, and terrestrial radio. If there is a dominant platform, I put a much stronger weight on that data. I also look at statistical anomalies, meaning if data shows an artist has a lot of fans in a non-major market, then we are going to pay attention to said market. We recently booked a debut North American headline tour for a British artist largely based on his Spotify market data – and every single show sold out.


Selling out a show, especially early in an artist’s career, is really important as it helps create a sense of urgency around buying tickets for future shows - but, there is a flipside. It does make a statement when an artist comes to New York and plays Terminal 5, even if it’s a few hundred tickets shy of selling out; a show like that creates a buzz, as opposed to “selling out” a smaller venue at 1,000 tickets.


The ideal scenario is to support an artist that has a similar brand while simultaneously having the demographic that my artist is trying to engage. Just because an artist might play for more people on one support tour, doesn’t mean those people will convert into fans. Having said that, my primary goal is to build an artist as a headliner.


Becoming an agent.



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