(Original Photo By: Kevin Bourne)
Born in Rome, Italy and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Badhaso Roubbo, the President and Senior Agent of talent agency, EMV, envisioned himself one day working in the tech and business world. He was not interested in doing anything creative like writing, art or music, and did not expect to use those kinds of skills in his future. After being introduced to music and the genre of dance music in high school however, he discovered a creative aptitude, which he quickly began to refine and develop. In September 2011, he went to see Gareth Emery perform at Playhouse in Ottawa (now defunct) as his first club event at 19, and has been hooked ever since. Badhaso was more than just the average fan, as he quickly began to notice certain musical trends before most. He predicted the fame of notable artists including Martin Garrix, DVBBS, Hardwell, and Rezz, and had an unusually strong understanding of the industry with only minimal experience in it. Dance music had grown to more than just an interest for Badhaso; it had become a crucial foundation to his life.
(Gareth Emery on the decks at Playhouse in Ottawa, Canada September 2011)
Badhaso’s passion and love for dance music was quite evident to his family and close friends. They knew this was what truly made him happy and pushed him to start a career in the industry. As a true entrepreneur, he started his own independent record label in 2014, convinced that record sales and vinyl sales were going to make a huge comeback. After attending Amsterdam Dance Event in 2014 and listening to various industry panels, Badhaso learned that record sales were actually declining, forcing labels to shut down. At this point, he knew he had to swallow his pride and transition his business into an agency model, calling it EMV Agency.
From that point on, his agency flourished and grew exponentially. EMV Agency now works with some of the top promoters and clubs in North America, including Goldenvoice, Hakkasan Group, Live Nation, Hard Events and Insomniac. Having accomplished this feat in less than two years and by the green age of 24, Badhaso’s agency has a long, bright and promising future ahead. Its artists now consistently headline at some of the most popular venues in Canada and the U.S. and are poised to continue this trend in 2017.
With success comes pain, however, as Badhaso’s journey to his current state of success has been long and tried. One of the biggest hurdles he faced was substance abuse, something that not only plagues the dance music community, but our society as a whole. Badhaso’s dependence reduced him to a depressed and dark state, as he eventually hit rock bottom. Everything that he valued and cherished vanished right before his eyes, losing his girlfriend, job, car, and lifestyle. He felt helpless and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to Badhaso’s strong and determined support group of family and friends, he was able to buck this unforgiving cycle and rid himself of his addiction, going sober for almost three years now. It was at this precise moment the plan and vision of EMV came to fruition and catalyzed him to start this venture. Although a tough moment in his life, this experience helped shape Badhaso into the person he is today, making him stronger and giving him a unique perspective on life.
Even before his tough battle with substance abuse, Badhaso had been taught at an early age to never give up in any situation. Growing up, his father held very high expectations for him. This instilled in him the valuable life lesson of perseverance, because anything is possible if you put your mind to it. This mentality that he still carries to this day enables him to take on whatever challenge stands in front of him. Every time he gets knocked down, he simply uses that as motivation to work even harder to accomplish his goals and dreams. As something that Badhaso has truly taken to heart, it has been one of the keys to his successful career so far.
This strong work ethic and continued determination allowed Badhaso and his agency to flourish in a short period of time. His mission is to bring the sound of his artists to the masses and allow artists that are truly pushing musical boundaries to showcase their talents in front of a large audience. One of his greatest highlights to date is having Lush & Simon perform at Hakkasan Nightclub in Las Vegas with Steve Aoki in November 2016. Badhaso is still amazed that in less than two years his acts are performing at one of the most well-known and celebrated clubs in the world. Looking forward, he believes the millennial generation will become more interested in discovering underground side stage acts in 5 to 10 years time. EMV plans to be there when that happens to deliver the best possible fan experience.
(Simone from Lush & Simon shredding his guitar @ Hakkasan Nightclub, Photo By: Toby Acuna)
Since the start of his journey, Badhaso learned many important life lessons molding him into the person he is today. Having already accomplished so much at only 24 years old, he proves that age is not a factor and the only thing that can stop you is yourself. In life, you have full control over your actions and if you really want something, go get it. The only thing standing in front of you is yourself.