Leading The Way For Years To Come: An Interview w/ Distinguished Talent Agency Founder, Sylvie Barnett

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life
A trained musician and vocalist, Sylvie Barnett fell in love with the underground electronic scene the summer before her freshman year of college in LA, before EDM truly hit the mainstream. Sylvie was heavily involved in USC’s film program and shortly after graduation, she also became heavily involved in organizing street teams throughout the LA area and began representing artists over five years ago after being approached by several underground electronic artists.  Since then she has helped contribute to the careers of artists such as Thriftworks, Random Rab, Bird of Prey, Plantrae, TastyTreat, Lafa Taylor, EOTO (String Cheese Incident) and Govinda.

Currently residing in LA, she recently launched her own agency Distinguished Talent. A recent graduate of California State University Northridge’s new Music Industry Administration program, she represents a diverse roster of over one dozen artists in various genres such as experimental hip hop, trap, indie pop and house.  Key clients include Thriftworks, Pumpkin, Huglife, Mike Gao, VibeSquaD and numerous others.  Her clients perform at hundreds of shows per year including key festivals such as CounterPoint, Camp Bisco, Electric Forest, Wakarusa, Lightning in a Bottle and Shambhala.

Sylvie also currently works as the key talent buyer for The Grateful Generation, an LA based electronic promoter based in the conscious music movement sweeping the city and is very passionate about working with developing nations.

Crystal – What inspired you to work in the music industry?

Sylvie – I grew up as a musician and have always loved music, it’s the universal language.  Nothing has the ability to move you the way that music does.

Crystal – What do you believe sets Distinguished Talent apart from other agencies?

Sylvie -We’re very focused on building the careers of artists and breaking emerging talent.

Crystal – What do you enjoy most about working with artists?

Sylvie – What I enjoy the most is my ability to have a positive influence on others and help them achieve their dreams. Also, my ability to help get new music out there into the public. It’s incredibly fun and exciting.

Crystal – What is it like to be an independent agent?

Sylvie – It’s grinding work but also super enjoyable.  I get to make my own schedule.  I also get to choose my own clients and hire my own staff. It definitely provides some really great flexibility.

Crystal – What is your favorite kind of music? Who are some of your favorite artists?

Sylvie – I love the “beat” stuff like Soulection and Brainfeeder. I also love trap and disco or happy house. I also love indie pop and rock. I am proud to represent some of my favorite artists. I have too many favorites in total to name but some key names that come to mind are The XX, Lapalux, ODESZA, Flume, Radiohead, Flying Lotus, Boards of Canada, Phantogram, FKA Twigs, Sweater Beats, and the list goes on…

Crystal – Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Sylvie – I draw my inspiration from all of the strong role models, amazing friends and family that surround me.  I am lucky enough to be friends with other artist managers, agents, filmmakers, bloggers, truly incredible people who are up to big things in the world.  I also draw my inspiration for my clients. They inspire and motivate me to constantly work harder.

Crystal – What type of impact would you like to see yourself having on the world, and how does distinguished talent fit into that picture?

Sylvie – I want to help develop artists and help them achieve their dreams.  Distinguished Talent is definitely a powerful platform for pushing artists careers forward. I also want to give back and throw large-scale fundraisers for developing nations so that I can truly make the world a better place while uniting people to share music.

Crystal – With all the new talent constantly emerging now, how do you see that influencing the electronic music scene?

Sylvie – There’s definitely a boom of good music currently on SoundCloud.  It’s like the renaissance period for electronic music. It’s a very exciting time for the electronic music scene.

Crystal – Where do you see EDM music in 5 years?

Sylvie – I see EDM moving even more into the mainstream.  Electronica is having a massive influence on mainstream music right now. I expect that that trend will continue to amplify.

Connect with Sylvie & DTA: Website | Facebook