We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Saia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jared, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I think that the most important factor behind the success of The Spotlight Sessions has been my unwavering transparency with artists and venues throughout the community. I have always taken pride in the fact that regardless of the circumstance, honesty and thoroughness takes precedence. Before starting this journey, I had heard so many testimonies from artists who had given up on bookers and promoters in the scene because they felt like they were always being dealt a bad hand. The amount of unethical practices taking place throughout the industry was borderline criminal. When I entered this side of the business, I knew that I had a responsibility to reform a broken system and try to set an example for every new promoter and talent buyer merging into the scene.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Spotlight Sessions takes a great deal of pride in creating platforms for artists to succeed. I have made it my mission to obtain and regulate an element of trust throughout the artist community and I think for the last 6 years, we have been able to maintain that narrative. Transparency is the absolute foundation of my business and I feel that it has created an immense amount of longevity in the relationships I have built with artists over the years.
I would love to sit here and say that I built this little empire by myself but like almost every business endeavor, The Spotlight was built with the help of some very special people who I still consider great friends today. I credit the dive venues up and down the strip and the friends who created weekly live music events and accepted me during my first months in the city when I didn’t know anybody yet. Those first moments that I shared with them back in 2012 fueled everything that I do today. And as the business began to grow, so did the amount of contributors which made my life so much easier.
The biggest lesson that I have learned throughout this journey is that you absolutely have to make friends first. It might take several years after that before you make your first dollar and that’s okay. Because if you do not have an organic foundation in the artist community, artists will not look at you as someone they can trust. My journey started with a group of friends who eventually told their friends about me. As long as I kept doing the right thing and making the right decisions, people jumped on board. To be honest, that’s pretty much how I’ve structured the rest of my life as well.
I would love the world to know that The Spotlight Sessions stands for so much more than just booking shows around Los Angeles. We stand for a community of like minded people trying to pursue art as a career. Within artist communities all over this country, we battle most days just to have the rest of the world respect and understand that what we do is a real job. I think the Spotlight has helped legitimize artists within the community and watching that message grow has been remarkable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This might be my favorite question. Let me see if I keep this under 10 pages….kidding.
I would start by planning breakfast because it is my favorite meal of the day. Each morning would start with either breakfast tacos at Homestate, an omelet from Kitchen 24, or a bagel from Rise-N-Grind with freshly brewed Stumptown Coffee.
I am a huge Dodger fan so I think at least one night should be set aside for an evening game where you can watch the sunset from the top deck. Nothing beats that view.
I would also take them to shows at some of my favorite venues like The Hotel Cafe, The Troubadour, and the Echo.
I’m assuming I have an unlimited amount of cash to spend in this hypothetical situation so I would then take them to dinner at LA Prime on top of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown LA or Moonshadows out in Malibu. LA Prime overlooks the entire city and Moonshadows allows you to book a table that puts you right above the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean.
I think a stroll down Hollywood Blvd. (in the daytime) is a must. Many would argue with me on that but I have a very special connection with Central Hollywood so there is never a dull moment for me down there.
Los Angeles is loaded with incredible breweries and nightlife as well. Angel City Brewery along with Boomtown Brewery in DTLA come not only with excellent beer, but a fun atmosphere as well. You’ll probably even find an interesting food truck or 2 parked outside. Just up the street you can find yourself at EightyTwo which is my favorite barcade in the city as well. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have spent the bulk of my life frequenting music venues in a handful of different cities. When I stepped into my first dive venue in Los Angeles, lets just say I got very lucky. I had the opportunity to meet a few songwriters that night who put on a weekly showcase and I kind of just started following them around. I’m not sure if I ever spoke to them until about a year later. They were performing every week at Angels and Kings on Hollywood Blvd. and I just started asking questions here and there about how they created the platform. I was fascinated by the community that they had built throughout the city and it was seemingly growing by the week. Since then, they have been there for me every step of the way and have provided so much guidance through my journey. I certainly would not be where I am today without them.