Zev Norotsky On the Launch of New Electronic Dance Music and DJ Magazine “Elektro”

Electronic music has changed nightlife forever, for better…for worse. It has made DJ’s rock stars, strange and remote places destinations, and has filled clubs and stadiums. It’s inspired Woodstockian festivals. It has defined, along with mash up/mixed format, a renaissance in nightlife. When clubs were going through their doldrums just a few years back, it was argued that there had not been a new genre of music to lead us out of the boredom. Mixed format combined other genres and was considered by some to be a sort of wishy-washy sound for the musically-challenged masses. DJs like AM certainly shattered that misconception. Electronic was lumped in as a progression of house and not much new. This has proven to be an inadequate description of the sound that has swept the world. Many DJs I have spoken to speak of how it has united people worldwide, as superstar DJs play for hundreds of thousands, from Asia to South America.

Zev Norotsky formerly of Mirrorball and Get There PR, has joined Harris Publications as president of its H360 Group. They are launching elektro, a new magazine…
"[It’s] geared toward electronic dance music/DJ fans… elektro’s mission is to take you behind the turntables and into the lives of DJs, sharing their passion for the music, giving fans an all-access backstage pass. From Tiesto’s sold-out gig, to David Guetta’s new album and the Swedish House Mafia’s unreleased track, elektro will show you the tools to make the music and the lifestyle they live. Electronic music is now the fastest-growing genre in music. DJs are the new rock stars and are selling out arenas around the world. elektro brings you face- to-face with the fans that attend these events, along with powerful marketing solutions including print, online, and experiential activations at sold-out shows and festivals across the globe."
Tiesto is on the first issue’s cover. It will come out quarterly. I sent Zev a few questions (electronically of course) and got these answers:
What is elektro?
elektro is a new platform for electronic dance music enthusiasts to learn about DJ culture and their favorite artists and producers. It’s definitely much more than a magazine as we have also built in a comprehensive digital ecosystem and a large special event calendar for 2012 to round out our presence nationwide. This includes our online hub at www.elektrodaily.com, very active social media engagement, and strategic partnerships with Spotify, future.fm, mixcloud etc. We will also be distributed at all the large festivals including Ultra and Electric Daisy in New York and Las Vegas, etc.
You have been a promoter/marketing guy;  is elektro an exit strategy…a way out of nightlife’s day-to-day, er… night-to-night, or a natural progression and a deeper commitment?
I must refer to a quote from Steve Jobs where he said, "You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards." I got my start in nightlife very early working the doors at Limelight and Kit Kat Klub when I was in college, striking out a few times on my own and eventually landing with Eddie Dean at Pacha NYC.  Nightlife is my absolute passion and I like to say that I got my Masters following Eddie around as we launched the Pacha brand in America. That was, by far, the most valuable experience of my life as I learned not only the importance of branding and guidelines, but also how vital nightlife can be to the world of marketing and how strong the connection is between consumers and brands. I have been jumping up and down on corporate board room tables for the last four or five years, begging brand managers to pay attention to what’s going on in electronic dance music (EDM) and people are finally paying attention. It’s an amazing feeling and now I have elektro to make sense of it all. I never could have imagined this starting out but when I look back it all makes perfect sense.
Everybody in the world is going electronic..or is it elektronic… as online is more and more the way people want it…why print?
We are very in tune with the digital space. I actually moderated a panel a few weeks back during Social Media Week based on a theory that the explosion of EDM in America is intrinsically tied to social media; that’s why we have created an extensive online presence across every single medium there is for us to share content. We are curating playlists with Spotify, streaming from events with future.fm, YouTube, Instagram, etc., you name it. The honest answer is you need everything to succeed and we take a 360 approach here. The sweet spot for me is how everything connects from the live events, the social media, and the print piece. That gives us maximum leverage as both an editorial property and a marketing vehicle for brands.
How did Tiesto become your first cover boy?
This was such a no-brainer for me; he is arguably the most iconic DJ of all time and truly personifies how far dance music has come in America, from the initial burst in late ’90s, to now. I literally made a mock-up of elektro about a year ago with him on the cover to show my partners what I look at every day to remind me how this all started.
It’s a quarterly; will there be events to celebrate each issue at various clubs around the world? Will the cover boy be the DJ? Will the distribution of the magazine at these events be a huge part of the marketing strategy?
Absolutely. We are gearing up for a massive launch during Miami Music Week. In addition to a private launch party with Roger Sanchez that we are hosting for the industry on Thursday, March 22 at The Setai, we are going to be distributed in the VIP section at Ultra, are an official media partner of Winter Music Conference, and will be hosting events all week at the National Hotel, Villa221, Mansion, as well as a big in-store event with Guess Jeans on Saturday 3/24. We’re also working on an official launch party in New York on April 14th at Pacha NYC which will be a sort of homecoming for me I guess, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.

Admiring Nick Jonas at Yesterday’s Nightclub Disrupt Panel, Lit’s 10th Anniversary Next Wednesday

When I used to spend my time in woodsy places like Yellowstone or Yosemite, I learned that when confronted by a large toothy, clawed animal, the last thing you do is try to run away, as that animal can surely out-run you; the running triggers a hunter/prey response and they instinctively attack. This is my excuse –  the only one I have –  for being very Steve Lewis at the Nightclub Disrupt Panel at the Dominion Theatre yesterday. The other panelists Michael Gogel, Steven Rojas, and Mick Boogie triggered my predator instincts when they started using terms like VIP to describe a bozo with a black card. Mick Boogie, to a lesser degree – he was just being charming. My canines came out and, well, the rest will soon be posted online and I’ll let you see it then. Moderator Vikas Sapra said I was fine but he smiles too much to be trusted with this sort of question.

One of the things I was putting out there is that computers are a two-dimensional view of people, often with only the information offered by those people or spending patterns or financial history. This rarely gets to the heart of things and lacks…heart. To the geek world, people are reduced to a much more two-dimensional profile than the one-on-one relationship a potential patron has with a good door person or with an owner or promoter. Their jobs are all about knowing their clientele. No, people: a doorman is not just looking for a pretty face, although that never hurts. A VIP is often a person willing to spend money, but that is not the criteria for any place worth this ink.

Another point I put out there was a VIP at Lavo is not necessarily a VIP at W.i.P. or Lit and vice versa. I feel the internet is only as good as the people feeding it and the people feeding it don’t necessarily understand the dynamics or requirements of each venue. Anyway, a lot was said – probably too much by me – and I’ll post it when I get it.

The previous panel of this Social Media Week gathering consisted of Nick Jonas and a moderator. I listened to him, completely enamored. He is charismatic, bright, handsome, and articulate. He is currently on Broadway. He eeks of stardom. Outside for air during the break, a handful of geeky fans waited with cameras. He posed with them all… experience telling him that running would only trigger a predator/prey response. He made them feel special and won me over.

Last night at Hotel Chantelle, I DJed the opening for one of my favorites: Kelle Calco. When we switched over, I told him I had played "Parachute Woman" by the Rolling Stones as I remember his set being very Stones heavy and didn’t want to subject the crowd to the same song twice. This wasn’t an issue; Kelle has changed. His set went everywhere from electro to hip-hop to rock. He offered up some very commercial pop and made it all work. I was impressed and surprised. I asked him about it and he said he now embraces all types of music and totally gets into it. He told me about all the places he DJs and hosts. He is a busy dude.

I hear that White Noise has only a few Fridays left, which means Sam Valentine’s rock fest will end. Sam says he wont throw a real rock party again till he finds a place with stripper poles. Rock is retreating. Nur Khan lamented the Hiro Ballroom reinvention a couple of days ago and the need for a new rock spot. His The Electric Room is setting the standard for rock purity. Lit remains a bastion of rock chops. It will celebrate its 10th anniversary Wednesday with a list of DJs including Justine D, Leo Fitzpatrick, and me. We’ll each get about a half-hour to showcase our rock and roll Hootchie Koo. The Kelle thing threw me off. Maybe he is right: he public wants a mixed format and so maybe that’s what they get. For me, I’ll stick to my roots. Those other genres of music just trigger my yawn response.

Social Media Week, Nightlife Disrupt Panel, and Tonight’s UPlanMe.com Launch Party

So while most of the free world is in a NYC Fashion Week frenzy, some other folks have stuck in another week. Social Media Week is upon us and apparently I am social media. I know this because my good ol’ friend Michael Gogel and his pal Vikas Sapra have asked me to be on a panel. The Nightlife Disrupt Panel is described as follows:

"The nightlife industry has only recently started to utilize social media tools. Many currently use it to broadcast events, parties, and causes; however, few are harnessing social media’s ability to engage their audience. These digital tools lift the veil from nightlife, increase transparency, and disrupt the role of exclusivity. Will exclusivity be replaced by experience? Will we become content producers – live-streaming our events and big-name DJ sets? How will we adapt to this new environment?"
Disrupt is right. They want me to show up at this thing at 11am. That’s way too early for nightlifers, especially during Fashion Week. I’m going to just stay up and hit up Starbucks, Stumptown, and down a Redbull or three. Redbull is livestreaming the panel so I think I’ll be able to score some. Other panelists include Steven Rojas  – GrandLife Hotels, Social Media Director, Mick Boogie –  MickBoogie.com, DJ, and my boy Michael Gogel: Nightlife Week, PPX World & Permanent Guestlist, Founder. Vikas will moderate. I looked up this Social Media Week thing and found out it’s a big deal taking place in over 20 different cities. I read this:
  • "…Reflecting the global impact of social media – and its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets – Social Media Week is one of the world’s most unique global platforms, offering a series of interconnected activities and conversations around the world on emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries. In just under three years, Social Media Week has expanded to 21 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Glasgow, Berlin, Moscow, Beirut, and Hong Kong. Starting in 2012, SMW is adding Tokyo, Singapore, DC and Miami.
  • Annually, SMW attracts more than 60,000 attendees across thousands of individually organized events, with half a million connecting to the conference online and through mobile.
  • “Social Media Week does not disappoint. It is a real-world manifestation of some of the best that new technology has to offer – ideas, strategies and insights shared by the people who are shaping the future” Ellen McGirt, Senior Writer, Fast Company.
  • “Social Media Week is a truly global phenomenon—showcasing borderless brands and communications, via the power of social media. We are proud to have been an integral partner—with PepsiCo employees contributing to discussions and idea exchanges on three continents and there, demonstrating the depth and breadth to which digital media is permeating our company.” Bonin Bough, Global Director of Social and Digital Media for PepsiCo.
I will be there on time for sure but might look a little more disheveled than usual. Michael Gogel tells me he’s about to launch another week-long conference/convention thingy. Let’s hope he doesnt overlap with these two thingy weeks! Please pick another week, Mike, and schedule panels for the late afternoon. I asked him all about it:
"I’ve been working for over a year now planning to launch Nightlife Week in the near future. This panel sets great precedence and a taste for what is to come, and I already know that I would love to have you back with me at that time. Nightlife Week‘s goal is to help build strong localized business to promote commerce and tourism through seven days and nights of on-site and off-site events, seminars, shows, awards, tastings, concerts, cocktail parties, brunches, product launches with a series of deals, discounts, and special offers. There are terrific financial implications for the city, small businesses, and all neighborhoods to promote themselves and grow revenue."
I will attend the UPlanMe.com official public launch event taking place at Pranna, 8-11pm tonight, sponsored by Radeberger, Medea Vodka, and Summerstage with music by Carsonicboom. Founded by Brian Kantor, a former BlackBook sales exec and pal, and produced by other former BlackBook alum and pals Kelly Bruce and Jessica Fafara of the newly formed New Regime Group. UPlanMe is a "social calendar" that takes your social media Likes and auto-populates your calendar with all the events you’d want to know about, based on your interests. Brian is a bon vivant and a treasure to talk to and I love that he’s launching this Uplanme.com thingy.
This panel thing might be a big deal. DJ Rekha mentioned it to me as I stopped and chatted with her outside of Peels yesterday. For more info on the panel, here are two websights to check out: SocialMediaWeek.org and Soundctrl.com.
There are some other pertinent panels with industry panels also happening the same day which you can find on the websites. The event is tomorrow, Thursday, February 16 at the Dominion Theater, 428 Lafayette Street. Here’s the other stuff that’s going on in case you’ve heard enough from me.
10:00am – 10:45am
A Conversation with Nick Jonas, moderated by Jason King
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Nightlife Disrupt: Social Media’s Impact Moderated by Vikas Sapra, DJ and @NYNightlife – Anonymous (virtual panelist)
Michael Gogel: Nightlife Week, PPX World & Permanent Guestlist, Founder Steve Lewis – BlackBook Magazine, Nightlife Correspondant Steven Rojas – GrandLife Hotels, Social Media Director Mick Boogie –  MickBoogie.com, DJ
SPIN presents: “Music criticism is dead, long live music criticism.”
Can 140-characters do justice to journalism?
Chris Weingarten – Editor, Spin Magazine
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Translation Presents Connectivity: Discovering The power of social communities in music Moderated by Marcus Collins, Director of Social Engagement at Translation LLC
Panelists include:
Constantine Roussos (dotMUSIC Initiative Leader) Angela Yee (Morning Show Co-Host for Eminem’s Hip-Hop Radio Station on Sirius) David Sonenberg (Owner – DAS Communications) TBA
7:00pm -8:00 pm
“I Know The DJ: How Social Media Has Fueled the Explosive Growth Of EDM in America”
Moderated by Zev Norotsky of Elektro Magazine
Eddie Dean (President Pacha New York)
Lee Anderson (AM Only)
Laurence Lui (Astralwerks)
Justin Kleinfeld (Rephlektro)
DJ Junior Sanchez
8:00pm – 10:00pm
MIXER AND COCKTAILS w/ DJ Performance by Junior Sanchez – presented by Elektro Magazine

Social Media Week Comes to a Close With Support From Mayor Bloomberg

Just as Mercedes Fashion Week wraps up, Social Media Week will come to a close as well. With the final round of events happening today, keynote speaker Alec Ross from the Office of Hillary Clinton will present followed by a panel discussion called "Team Obama Talks Digital," in addition to presentations by Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and venture capitalist Jalak Jobanputra.

The City of New York debuted four new social media channels yesterday at the NYC Tumblr headquarters as part of Social Media Week under the handle "NYC Gov." NYC Gov will now be on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Foursquare.

"In this era of the information age," Mayor Bloomberg said, "these social media platforms are where so many New Yorkers are increasingly getting their news, conducting their business, sharing their opinions, and living their lives."

The City designed these channels in direct partnership with each of the social media forums, and will use them to streamline top-level news to its followers. Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne commented on the necessity of embracing new technologies if New York is to continue increasing the potential of its digital sector.

Last night we attended the Pinterest and Pints after party at Definition 6 in the Flatiron Distirct following the presentation "Pining for Pinterest" given by Helen Todd, CEO of Sociality Squared.

Todd chatted with us about the phenomenon of Pinterest that has swept the internet in recent months.

"Pinterest is a visual curation website, it follows a virtual pinboard. The interesting thing, and why it’s so successful, is that it doesn’t compete with Facebook or Twitter, it actually compliments these services and adds another layer that they don’t fulfill."

Tonight’s Social Media Week closing party will be at District 36 from 7-10:00pm. From nightlife to panels, this week has been a whirlwind success for startups and veterans alike.

UPlanMe Celebrates Launch During Social Media Week

For the past few days, BlackBook has been attending events for Social Media Week 2012. Yesterday’s panels included "The Future of Sharing," "How Street Style Blogs Affect Retail and Design," and keynote presentations from Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, and Chris Kaskie, President of Pitchfork Media. It wasn’t until last night that we finally had a chance to wet our feet in some SMW nightlife. With a full roster of after-parties set to end this year’s event on a high, or at least drunk note, these next few days will entail boozing and schmoozing of the networking type.

Last night’s UPlanMe Launch took place at Pranna, an upscale lounge and restaurant in downtown Manhattan. We meant to hit up the Instagram NYC Community Party at Tribeca Grand Hotel, but by the time we got elsewhere, reports were flying in via Twitter that it had been filled over capacity and didn’t have WiFi. We stayed at Pranna and got ourselves a drink, chatting with UPlanMe Co-Founder and former BlackBook Senior Account Executive Brian Kantor.

"What UPlanMe strives to do," Kantor said, "is to take everything in our users busy lives that they’re interested in, all of the events and everything in their schedules that’s going on from their favorite bands to TV shows, restaurants, bars, all your favorite brands, and put it directly into your account here." Kantor and colleague Sean Barkulis started the website in 2011.

As the "Pandora for your social life," the UPlanMe website provides users with a personalized calendar based on their interests, suggesting events that UPlanMe’s "Busy Bee" selects individually.

Partnered with Medea Vodka, Radeberger, and Summerstage at last night’s event, UPlanMe has additional services for businesses seeking to directly communicate events to their consumers, and offers analytic and demographic information straight from the site.

"So when you need to find a new shirt for an event that you have tonight," Kantor said, "You can go to your UPlanMe calendar and see all your favorite brands, saying well these 5 brands are having in-store events today, I should go check them out, or I want to stay home with my significant other tonight and just watch TV, which of my favorite shows are on?’"

In the spirt of SMW, Kantor discussed with us the uniqueness of each online platform, acknowledging that there’s really no such thing as "typical" in the world of social media.

"Facebook is all about communicating with your friends, and Twitter is essentially the new global news organization. We focus on capturing our users while they’re in the act of planning their lives."

Social Media Week Takes on Social News Strategies

As the second day of Social Media Week began, digital savants gathered in venues across the city for presentations centered around what host firm Crowdcentric considers to be social media’s role "as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political, and social change in developed and emerging markets." Keynote speakers of the day included gamification expert Gabe Zichermann, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services founder Rachel Lloyd, and entrepreneur/raconteur Kevin Slavin.

An interview with John Katzman and Jeremy Johnson, founders of the groundbreaking online school 2tor started off the morning, followed by a panel discussion on the future of higher education and the central question: "Will colleges survive?" Katzman commented on Peter Thiel’s theories of the education bubble, saying, "Anything you learned in college you could have learned on your own just getting the textbooks and being an autodidact. I don’t think it would be the same, and higher education done right is a terrific thing… There’s nothing that anybody does for us today that we couldn’t do for ourselves. We could make all our own meals, but there’s something to be said for a community coming together."

Featuring the social media leads of NBC News, The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg News, and CNN U.S., luncheon panel discussion "Socializing the News" was the day’s predominant event.

Presenters Jake Porway, Anthony de Rosa, Steve Krakauer, Elizabeth Heron, Craig Kanalley, and Mat Yurow discussed their own roles in leveraging content effectively now that news sharing occurs around the digital watercooler. Reuters social media editor De Rosa, known as the reputable Tumblr personality SoupSoup, remarked on the fine line between witty and deceitful social media strategy, "The thing with social that’s different than writing headlines on the web is that you need to grab people’s attention, and you don’t want to be as literal as headlines on a website… There’s so much information flooding by people’s eyes when they’re looking at Twitter and Facebook." Porway, data scientist from the Times, debuted "Project Cascade," a visual representation tool that will help analyzers understand how people are sharing news content on social media forums.

Tuesday evening’s programming catered to the Valentine’s Day sentiment, with "More Than ‘Likes’ Can Say," "Supercharging Your Love for Facebook Marketing," "Social Love: The Future of Social Media and Relationships" and "How Sweet It Is to Be Liked By You." Social Media Week continues through Friday with many more events from the gurus of digital strategy.

Dan Abrams and Jermaine Dupri Kick Off Social Media Week

In lieu of New York Fashion Week and the notorious trendies it brings to the streets of Manhattan, a different ilk of entrepreneurs has taken residency for Social Media Week 2012. Entering its fourth run in the city, SMW returns to New York with the focus of "Empowering Change Through Collaboration." In just under three years, Social Media Week has expanded its audience to over 60,000 attendees in 21 countries, not to mention the reach their Livestream channel attracts.

From "How Sweet It Is to Be Liked By You" to "@HAHAHAHA: How To Be Funny in 140 Characters or Less" to arguably more tactful panels "The Classroom of the Future: How Social Media Can Better Our Education System" and "Translation Presents Connectivity: Discovering the Power of Social Communities in Music," the Social Media Week roster is set to feature a wide range of topics. This week’s keynote speakers include Chris Kaskie, President of Pitchfork Media, Ben Kaufman of Quirky, and Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn, amongst others. Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s kick-off.

Dan Abrams keynote speech on the future of brand journalism in social media: Abrams commented on the week’s importance in acknowledging the divide between broadcast and digital media. "Look, I think that the old media often responds to what’s trending… It used to be ‘What’s trending on Google?’ –that was the thing that people would look to– well that’s now moved. What is trending on Google is just one piece in addition to what’s trending on Twitter, what people are doing on Facebook, and well beyond." Abrams suggested a possible shift in trend evaluation in the next few years, and revealed his own worries in the digital era admitting that owning online properties outright means that he "doesn’t sleep at night."

Jermaine Dupri keynote speech on building a community: Dupri recently launched "Global 14," a social network destination that combines Dupri’s collective sense of online forums and passion for hip hop music and fashion. "I had to create a mindset for everyone who is on the site, that this is their community. If you don’t want people spamming your site, you should say something about it."

Social Media Week has created a video and adjacent Tumblr called "Future Hipsters" to accompany their mindset "See the future before it happens." With a nod to dubstep, community managers, and aimless food blogging, the people at SMW have come scarily close to predicting the 2062 digital age. Stay tuned for more highlights from this year’s event.