If there is one thing Brooklyn’s music scene prides itself in, it is being ahead of the curve. We are lucky enough to have some of the most talented artists and musicians in the game living in our community, but how do they get their music in front of a new audience? One part of that equation falls to promoters and bookers to discover the best new talent out there–and that is the part of the job that Stephanie Almache does so well. Having previously worked for DIY juggernaut Glasslands (RIP), Almache is currently putting her knack for curation and discovery to good use, working with local promotions company PopGun Presents and for her own production company, Quo Vadis Productions. Keep an eye out for bills she puts together, they are guaranteed to be a good listen.
How/why did you become involved in your line of work?
From high school through the beginning of college, I volunteered at festivals to learn about the music industry and event production, places like Northside Festival, CMJ Festival, and Celebrate Brooklyn. Following that I started working at Cornerstone Promotions, while interning at The Creators Project and PopGun Presents. It was at PopGun that I found my passion for discovering new acts and working in live music, which led to an opportunity to work at Glasslands. I became fascinated with the inner workings of a show, how it comes together from conception to execution (from finding the acts, advancing, day of show production). This experience ultimately inspired me to work in the music industry and make this my career.
Tell us a little bit about your present work, the Cliff’s Notes version of your day to day and what is at stake.
I’m currently working between a nightclub in Williamsburg, PopGun Presents, and my own collaborative project, Quo Vadis Productions. At the club I handle directing special events and stage managing – building strong relationships with the artists, acting as a liaison between them and the production team. There are a lot of moving pieces to a large club night, and I’m part of the team that keeps things together. At PopGun, I am a junior talent buyer and night manager — this job involves researching new artists, reaching out to bands directly, then working closely with agents, publicists, and venues to set up shows and tours. I was lucky enough to launch Quo Vadis with friends last year. We combined our efforts to produce shows featuring some of our favorite acts and are working on doing even more events in 2017.
What do you find most fulling about your work?
I really enjoy discovering new artists, and being one of the first promoters to share their sounds with others. Being a part of an artist’s journey is truly fulfilling.
What is your proudest achievement with this work and what is your greatest challenge?
I think being able to start up Quo Vadis Productions with my closest friends last summer was a huge deal for me. This was the first time I was able to produce my own show from start to finish. I can’t even believe the level of talent we’ve had the privilege of presenting, folks like Andy Stott, Alessandro Cortini, Demdike Stare, Vatican Shadow, and Raime to name a few. This kind of thing felt like such a far-fetched dream when I was in high school, so it means the world that I’ve reached this point.
I think one of the greatest challenges I have is balancing all the work that I do. Since I do different types of work and take on freelance gigs, I can verge on getting overworked. I still love what I do but too much of it can wear on your mood – ha!
What do you hope changes or improves (or continues!) in your field in the future?
I hope we see the end of this crackdown on DIY venues. It’s sad to see venues I’ve grown up with get shut down in the past year. I also hope to see more of a mobilization of political stances with the music industry, especially in this climate that we’re in. We need to stick together more than ever.
Who would you nominate for this list?
I would nominate Rami Haykal, Lori Trigonis, and Briana Cheng. These three individuals have seen me grow since my Glasslands days and I’ve been lucky to see them do the same. I’ve always looked up to Rami when I was an intern at PopGun, and I feel so honored to be able to work with such a talented human being. Lori and Briana have been such encouraging friends throughout the years and I feel proud to see where they are now.
Learn more about this year’s 100 Influencers in Brooklyn Culture.
Photo by Maggie Shannon.