Interview with Gem Allen of Live Gems Showcase
Whilst our newest writer, Nadine Foy was at the Live Gems Showcase event last week, she took a couple of minutes to chat to the founder Gem Allen. The interview is below.
Nadine: So Gem, can you tell me a little about the showcase and why you decided to set it up?
Gem Allen: OK so I started the showcase in Dec 2009 as people kept asking me and my other musical friends when our next gigs would be that they could see and so on. There weren’t many showcases about back then in London so after getting a presenting job on a Sky Roulette channel I thought I’d just tie it all in and create a showcase that I could present, sing myself and invite other upcoming artists/bands to perform to an industry crowd. The main aim of the showcase now is exposing new and upcoming artists to the industry as well as keeping them performing so they don’t go rusty if that makes sense. Keeping everyone’s confidence up!
Nadine : How do you decide what acts play? Can artists apply directly to you or do you let your own knowledge of the music industry guide you?
Gem Allen: For the first couple of showcases I asked artists I already knew to perform. I already knew so many from my old school Sylvia Young and generally through living within the industry since forever. It all spiraled from there really, as when something good is happening everyone wants to get involved, you know how it is. It’s now a mixture of recommendation from friends or other artists or artists contacting us on Twitter, Facebook or E-mail. We ask them to send photo’s, biog’s and SoundCloud or YouTube links to their music. We literally have hundreds of applicants in a folder but obviously we can only pick so many for each show.
Even for this show we had the line up and Jaz messaged saying he wanted to do another LiveGems and have a big celebration of what he’s achieved after The Voice, as he’s performed at so many of our events in the past few years. Jaz and the Loveable Rogues have performed the most regularly so we were so proud to see both do so well on The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent.
Nadine: Do you have a highlight of the evening? And what is the most enjoyable part of this for you?
Gem Allen: The highlight of the night has to be everyone commenting on how they can’t believe how strong the line up was and there wasn’t a weak link. Hearing peoples appreciation and knowing they see what you see makes it all worth it. And the other highlight of course was risking getting thrown out for ignoring the club manager and telling Jaz to quickly start singing!