Dynamic Talent International CEO Trevor Swenson: ‘It’s An Honor To Bring K-pop To These Fans’


Dynamic Talent International CEO Trevor Swenson.

The concert business, especially those operating independently or running their own business, is all about finding opportunity and taking chances. A prime example is Dynamic Talent International CEO Trevor Swenson, based in Sacramento, California. In the early 2010s, Swenson moved to the Golden State capital from his native Wisconsin to open a booking agency, where he’s represented a venerable stable of mostly rock and metal bands on the clubs and theatres circuit.

He’s remained successful by taking care of his clients and finding new opportunities, including developing popular sports agency software as well as an industry conference with Warped Tour founder and friend Kevin Lyman. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that he has found himself at the middle – or at least near middle – of the bubbling K-pop concert craze that has fully and finally taken hold in the U.S.

“One of my dearest friends called me up during COVID and asked if I’d be interested in helping some companies that he works with overseas in developing their artists here in America,” Swenson says. “I asked a couple questions and said yes. We took a meeting that ended up being with one of the biggest K-pop entities in the world. It blossomed from there, and now we work with pretty much all of the majors and with all the new developing companies as well over in Korea.”

Swenson has had a hand in bringing some of K-pop’s biggest stars to the U.S., often their first shows and tours on American soil – including P1Harmony, who did the first-ever K-pop show at the Grand Ole Opry, ONEUS, who did the first public K-pop show at the Apollo Theater, SF9, Dreamcatcher, Verivery, and Mamamoo, which is wrapping up a North America arena tour with shows at Oakland Arena and Kia Forum this weekend.

He’s also booking overseas, with boy band ATEEZ this morning announcing dates in South America including stadiums, such as Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Pollstar: How do you go about plotting what are the very first U.S. dates for many of these artists?

Trevor Swenson: In the vaguest of ways, we have developed an algorithm that tells us almost to the T how many people are going to be at the shows, and it’s been fairly right. It’s the metrics we’re getting from our partners and the fan interaction. It’s all strictly based off of math in K-pop, which is very interesting. It’s been actually refreshing to work in the genre.

What was the learning curve like in learning the actual genre and different artists – many of which most U.S.-based types are not very familiar with?

You have to research the clients you’re working with and make sure you know what their backgrounds are, who they’ve been working with, what their focus is. Are they a dreamer group? Are they a harder-edge group? You just want to make sure you’re versed in everything they’ve done. Once you have that, it boils down to what are their plans for touring? What are their plans for record release? What are their plans for the future? How long is the band going to be around?

There’s so much attention to detail that comes along with this that it’s a 24-hour-a-day job for me and my staff. We’re working constantly to make sure that needs are met and that you’re getting the scaling correct and catering budgets correct, the advertising rollouts, making sure your ticket sweeps are going on constantly for the onsales. We are having a really fun time doing this and we’ve got our runway built already for the next five years on it. Now that the tour history is starting to happen, you can plan things two, three, four years out. Now, it’s are we going to go to South America, Australia, Japan, Asia, Europe?

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Trevor Swenson pictured with Advance World Production Services’ Adam Bantz.

Who are some of the promoters you’ve been working with specifically on the K-pop artists?

The promoters have been loving it because we get to teach them a whole new genre. There’s companies like Sean Healy Presents, which nobody ever thought would be doing K-pop. Companies like Mammoth, Sugar Monkey, companies like 30e in South America, TEG in Europe and Australia, local Live Nation offices like Geoff Brent in Denver, Adam Cohen in Atlanta, Phil Kosch in Houston, Brian Lowe in Dallas, Charlee Vasiliadis in D.C., all those guys have been great partners. Frank Productions has been a great partner with National Shows as well.

Also I have to mention Advance World Production Services and owner Adam Bantz. They’ve done every one of my tours and are a huge part of this business. They’re a leader in production, tour development, transportation and tour staffing. Having the best tour managers, production teams and nicest staff has been a godsend for our tours.

Did you ever expect to be involved in a worldwide phenomenon largely based in another language and on the opposite side of the planet?

Everybody’s asked me the same thing, and I’ll be honest, I never once saw myself doing this. It’s an honor to work with the clients that I’m working with. It’s an honor to have my partners in Korea, and it’s an honor to be able to bring the genre that these fans are so passionate about. I’ve never seen anything like this, and every single day there are surprises, about what these fans are doing and how much attention these management groups are giving to these artists. Even the artists themselves, how very particular they are about what their fans see of them. The highlights I’ll mention are the fact that we get to work in rooms that are extremely historic here in the States, South America, Australia. The fact that we’re putting this genre that’s so new in these rooms and selling them out, that’s what’s really interesting to me. The finances of it all and the notoriety isn’t as big a part of it. It’s more of being part of music history.

Where do you see K-pop headed? Can it sustain?
Everybody’s looking for the commercial aspect, who’s gonna take the place of Blackpink or BTS someday? That’s what everybody’s trying to do right now. I think K-pop can sustain, as long as the genre continues to adapt, because it’s still such a new genre.

There’s an artist called TripleS that’s coming out that is going to be a game changer. There’s bands like FIFTY FIFTY streaming almost as much as Bad Bunny. The band’s never played a show before. There’s bands like Mamamoo, who’s been a band for 10 years now and they’ve never toured America. First one out of the gate and they’re doing arenas. As long as K-pop is adapting to the new and changing times in the genre, I think that it has a good chance of being around for quite some time.

I’m excited about developing the new K-rap world, which is going to be a big deal. And we’ve signed with new partners in Japan and we’re developing the Japanese market here in America now, which is great.