After selling Circle Talent and joining United Talent Agency in 2018, Kevin Gimble and Steve Gordon have continued to be two of the most dominant forces in dance music.
Representing major acts like January Pollstar cover star deadmau5, Kaskade, Illenium, Excision, Subtronics, Alesso, June Pollstar cover star Moore Kismet and more, UTA’s dance department continually breaks barriers and proves the genre is here to stay.
Following the acquisition of Circle Talent to UTA, Gimble and Gordon have settled in seamlessly. Since joining the company, Gimble and Gordon have grown their department by 30% and have rougly 20 agents working with them.
“One of the things that attracted us to UTA was how Jeremy Zimmer and David Zedeck described the company’s great culture,” Gimble tells Pollstar. “They spoke of collaboration. It’s what everyone strives for, but to hear the way Jeremy talked about it is what ultimately made us want to join the company. It paralleled the way we did things at Circle, as we had created a similar culture.”
Despite economic troubles amid the continuing pandemic, dance music has still managed to find major success over the past few years. In June, Excision sold 20,5000 tickets at the Banc of California Stadium – his biggest show to date. Across the whole department have been sell-outs including Illenium becoming the first artist to perform at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas with three sets, and Subtronics reopening Red Rocks at full capacity following the end of the venue’s COVID-19 restrictions.
“You’re seeing those major metropolitan areas doing great, if not excelling in ticket sales specifically for our genre,” Gordon tells Pollstar.
Dance music remains a broad term for the genre, which encompasses a variety of different sounds including dubstep, drum & bass, house, techno, progressive house and many more. With sounds and styles for everyone, it’s easy for fans to delve deep into a single niche, and for curated festivals to have booming atmospheres.
“The subgenres of dance music as a whole are all blossoming in their own micro-ecosystems,” Gordon says. “You will continue to see these microcosms of genres generate big opportunities. It’s a great way to target one central fan. If you like dubstep, here’s your field of dreams. If you like house music, here’s something special, etc. We’re seeing a boost in everything across the board.”
While UTA’s roster of established dance artists continues to see massive demand, up-and-coming artists are also finding success. Mindchatter, ISOxo, Trivecta, Le Youth, Kasablanca, Eli Brown, Blanke, Jessica Audiffred, LEVEL UP, and Moore Kismet are all rising stars who have landed on major festival lineups such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Lollapalooza, Coachella and more. Following their festival appearances, UTA plans to bring this new wave of artists to hard ticket touring, with plans for them to embark on the road in the coming months.
“If an artist is putting out a body of work or we can structure the touring around the music, you’re going to have the most success for the best ticket sales and being able to do those breakout shows,” Gordon says. “In some situations, you just say, look we haven’t played these markets yet. Let’s just do L.A., New York, Chicago, Miami, the major markets and see how those do and make sure that puts us in a good position. Then we go back and do the rest of the country. It’s just coming up with these creative plans that help these developing artists get on their feet.”
Joining UTA has also provided more opportunities for Gimble and Gordon’s artistic rosters. While Circle Talent had the two as the end of the line, UTA allows them to collaborate with all of the company’s departments to help artists’ dreams become reality.
“We looked at the entire team as our partners,” Gimble says. “Even though we didn’t have a talent division, we didn’t have film, sync, anything else. It was very collaborative in nature, anything we did. And since we joined UTA we noticed that there isn’t a door we can’t knock on, literally, whether it’s film, TV, sync, sports, gaming. It’s incredible, we are always going to get an answer to see what’s possible.”
Dreaming big is a popular sentiment around UTA’s dance department, with no goal too unrealistic for Gimble and Gordon to give a shot. From bringing dance music to stadiums to appearing in major blockbusters, the two will do whatever it takes to make dreams happen.
“We want to be partners with our clients,” Gimble says. “There are certain key stand out things, for instance, our crossover department was able to present Alesso an opportunity to have a track on the latest ‘Batman’ movie, and he’s a massive fan. Stories like that are pretty phenomenal.”
The co-heads aim to work closely with their artistic teams, hearing out any and all ideas and doing what they can to make them happen. That attitude has allowed them to curate a roster filled with some of dance music’s top talent and push the boundaries of the genre.
“What I’ve learned over my career, is when an artist and a management team have a vision for something, even if your perspective may differ, just go with it,” Gordon says. “They’re thinking this way for a reason, you gotta trust your team and explore that opportunity. That’s how Illenium’s Allegiant show happened, or Bass Canyon, or Kaskade at SoFi, or Kx5 at the Coliseum, and many others. Those opportunities came from the artists saying, ‘I have this great idea,’ and all of us saying, ‘We’re all in with you and we’re going to help make this idea happen.’”
The core ethos of collaboration brought on from Circle Talent Agency (and what brought the two to UTA to begin with) continues to ring true for the entire department. As they continue to expand, Gimble takes pride in their successes.
“We’re nothing without our team,” Gimble says. “I feel that strongly in every facet of what we do. An artist is as strong as their team, and we are surrounded by great colleagues who work incredibly well together.”