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Joel Baskin

Agent & Talent Manager,
The Feldman Agency
Toronto, ON, Canada
@pilotjoel
Since founding The Pilot Agency in his Ottawa basement in 2006, Joel Baskin has developed a reputation as an honest and relentlessly proactive advocate for his artists. His primary concern – both then, and since joining The Feldman Agency in February 2011 – is providing clients with personal attention and the tools to help them reach their goals by continuously adapting his services to meet their evolving needs.

A key driver in Baskin’s success has always been putting the emphasis on seizing the moment – actively searching out opportunities for his artists, or in their absence, creating those opportunities himself.

It was one such instance that prompted Baskin to form TPA initially, he says. When a newly opened Ottawa venue began heavily promoting Coca Cola’s Rockstar energy drink, Baskin promptly pitched a concert series he called ‘Party Like A Rock Star’ to the club; a series of shows featuring performances by talent from the massively popular television show, ‘Rock Star: Supernova’. The series was an undeniable success and Baskin soon found himself fielding offers to book similar shows elsewhere in the country.

Based on that interest, Baskin set out to fill a gap in the Canadian music industry, founding TPA as a boutique, artist-oriented company aimed specifically at serving the needs of mid-level domestic and international acts.

Recognizing the potential for TPA to grow nationally, after selling his first show outside of the Ottawa area in October 2006, Baskin began booking full tours and offering his growing roster of artists and corporate clients additional services, including publicity, tour and personal management and event design. As Baskin expanded his reach over the next five years TPA thrived, becoming Canada’s fastest-growing boutique talent agency and event design outlets.

Once firmly established in Toronto and almost instantly legitimized in the eyes of the industry at large, Baskin turned his attention to developing the careers of emerging artists, focusing his energy on the likes of Tim Chaisson and Elise Legrow whom he continues to represent at SLFA.

Throughout his career, Baskin has treated every challenge presented by the changing climate of the music industry as an untapped resource for fresh growth. While that approach contributed greatly to TPA’s consistent progress, eventually the demands of running the company began to infringe on the time he preferred to commit to serving his artist’s needs and developing new talent.

In an effort to maximize the opportunities available to his clients and exploit those opportunities to the fullest, Baskin inked a deal with TFA, Canada’s largest full service talent agency, in early 2011. Since, he has seen a marked increase in his ability to speed his artists toward their goals, but remains committed to the core principles that have always set TPA apart from its peers. “I can do so much more with the tools I have here, but I still operate at TFA from a boutique mentality. It’s not about what company you’re with, it’s who your agent is,” Baskin says. “My passion is dealing with artists as they grow, discovering new acts and trying to put them in the right position to succeed.”

Underlying that passion is a deep understanding of the challenges artists face in every facet of their work. It’s an understanding Baskin has fostered since first cutting his teeth in the industry as a musician and continued to develop as both owner/founder of TPA and in his capacity as tour manager for many of the bands he represented in the first two years of the company’s existence. It is also one of the core reasons TFA has expressed an ongoing interest in allying themselves with Baskin since he originally came to their attention.

“It’s a rare occurrence in our business when you find an individual who combines a passion for his artists along with the acute business skills needed to navigate within this dynamic business environment on behalf of his clients,” says Sam Feldman, President and CEO of TFA. “The rapid growth of The Pilot Agency shows us that Joel is just that person. We are really happy to have him on board and are confident that the opportunities created by this alliance will prove to be extremely beneficial to our mutual clients.”

Some of Joel’s roster includes Tim Hicks, Three Days Grace, Kira Isabella, Tim Chaisson, USS, Elise Legrow, Courage My Love, Autumns Cannon, The Beaches, Leah Daniels, Treble Charger, and YYZ.

Joel Baskin is a member of the Canadian Country Music Assication and Festival of Events Board of Directors. He has been a guest contributor on MuchMusic’s ‘Disband’ (2009) and ‘Discovered’ (2011). In addition, with The Pilot Agency, he has designed events for a variety of major corporations including Molson, Coca-Cola, Ferrari, RBC, SickKids Hospital, Red Bull, RDIO, and Harry Rosen. Joel has served on juries for FACTOR, CARAS, Music PEI, Breakout West, and the ECMA’s.