From producing and writing his own music in former music projects, to managing some of the hottest names in dance music, Mike Lisanti has been a huge force in the EDM world for the better part of the last decade. Representing names such as Habstrakt, Crankdat, and Kompany, he now sits among the top officers of Prodigy Artists, with the new title of COO. As much as we love speaking with the biggest talent in dance music, receiving insight from the heavy hitters behind the scenes is undeniably an experience in its own right. A position two years in the making for Lisanti, we asked about his new job, what the past year has meant for him, and what the future holds with his new responsibilities!
What set of skills did it take for you to get to your new position after two years with Prodigy?
I have been in the business for around a decade now. From being a producer, performer, label rep, tour manager, audio/production tech, plus I previously managed artists like TYNAN, CVBZ, Champagne Drip, and others before bringing some clients with me over to Prodigy Artists. I’ve been a self-employed management partner operating independently with my own systems and processes under the Prodigy umbrella with co-founders, Will Runzel and Steven Haddad, for a little over 2 years now. I believe the perfect combination of trust, honesty, and mutual respect for each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests is what ultimately led us to where we are at today. I’ve always had a very entrepreneurial mindset and always kept a very joint-venture style rapport to my co-management partnership with Will and Steven, so the shift has felt very organic and smooth.
What are your plans now as COO at prodigy?
Already in effect, I plan to be the glue that keeps the upper business development strategy fully in sync with the daily operations not only on the biz side but also on the management/ creative side. Although I have exposure to the entire Prodigy Artists roster now, I am still actively managing Habstrakt, Kompany, Crankdat, Effin, and Nitepunk. With my head still being heavily on the management practice and delegating my own team, my ability to direct other managers and help them build their teams and operations remains finely tuned, as I’m wearing both an executive hat and an active manager hat these days. Communication is everything and I plan to keep that at the forefront of all the training objectives — it’s okay to make mistakes, just be communicative and learn how to take responsibility and pivot from it.
How do you see the world reopening with the current nature of the worldwide pandemic?
Although I am optimistic for the entire world to come back from this, our 2021 dates for touring are primarily within the North American territory until all of the international COVID issues are worked out, travel/visas are less of pain, and we’re able to have safe events in all regions. Fall 2021 is looking promising and 2022 is going to be the year where things will feel more normal from January to December through and through.
In what ways have you seen artists and the industry as a whole stepping up to the plate during these trying times we’re living in?
With the electronic music scene being so heavily reliant on touring as a whole, the restrictions needed to keep the world safe from the pandemic caused a large hit on overall revenue. Although this last year has been extremely tough and (hopefully) a once in a lifetime scenario, I do believe that a lot of positivity came from the lack of shows in 2020. Not only have artists been able to grow their brands more as non-touring entities, but the last year has uncovered a lot of new and old talents that have been helpful tools for the artists to succeed and come out of this bigger and stronger. I not only came out of my entrepreneurial and finance shell this last year, but I also discovered my love for business operations and that my brain is naturally wired to be one step ahead of things from an operational standpoint, seeing things from all angles, and all possible outcomes before making any decision (big or small).