3 Questions With: Veteran Hip-Hop Booking Agent Peter Schwartz


Peter Schwartz knows a few things about the Hip-Hop touring business.

With nearly twenty years of experience representing mostly urban talent, he has booked close to 25,000 shows and hundreds of tours and shows no signs of slowing down.

He has already helped develop some of the biggest names in not just Hip-Hop, but the entire music biz: Jay-Z, De La Soul, Method Man and Redman, Wu Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, and Run-D.M.C. (just to name a few).  And with a current roster that includes Wiz 84532215Khalifa, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mac Miller, Schoolboy Q, Waka Flocka Flame, A$AP Rocky, and Big K.R.I.T., it is clear that Peter is ready to assist in making today’s promising talent into tomorrow’s superstars all over again.

“The days of needing the label backing are just not needed,” he said.  “We’ve got artists that are selling out many thousand capacity venues just based on Internet that don’t have labels-whether it’s Mac Miller or Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.”

Clearly, things have changed in the touring world and this is a man who is on the cutting-edge of it all.

“For many years, I was considered to be the guy booking underground Hip-Hop,” he added.  “And “underground” just meant that they weren’t on big labels.  At this point, there really is no underground.  A brand-new artist can have their video have a million views and suddenly they’re more exposed than from what a label might have done. many years back.”

AllHipHop.com had the pleasure of speaking with Peter about bringing something that was once called “underground” to the masses and what to expect in 2013.

AllHipHop.com: How would you say the economy has affected the touring business?

Peter Schwartz: We had the “Under the Influence of Music Tour” this past summer in amphitheaters with Wiz headlining and Mac Miller.  And a really good line-up of Hip-Hop and we were able to do 20 to 25,000 pay per day based on the ticket price being really fair and reasonable for the young demo that was going to come out.  You could get a lawn seat for 20 or 25 dollars.  And for seven artists to perform in front of you, that was an incredible deal.  We were pretty much presenting a festival line-up, and if we had gone with a festival price of 75 or 100 dollars a ticket, I could see our attendance being cut in half.  When it comes to economy for us, it’s more of being conscience of the ticket price and what that demo and the market can bear.

AllHipHop.com: What would you say the most memorable Hip-Hop concert you’ve ever seen or worked with is so far?

Peter Schwartz: That’s a really tough one.  I mean I’ve seen thousands and thousands and thousands of shows. [Laughs].  I feel like I’ve seen thousands this year alone.  That’s tough.  I don’t know.  I’d say, in terms of current times, I think the shows that I saw at the “Under the Influence of Music Tour”- this past summer.  (They were) some of the best to me just based on seeing artists come together and being able to create an event that would do 20 to 25,000 people because that’s bigger than an arena size and it’s not typical that Hip-Hop artists go out and do those type of numbers.

AllHipHop.com: What do Hip-Hop concertgoers have to look forward to in 2013?

Peter Schwartz: We’re going to do the “Under the Influence of Music Tour” again this summer.  And take it from 12 cities to 25 cities.  So we are in the packaging process of that tour and  (it’s something) I really look forward to.  I think that’s gonna be a big, big summer tour in 2013.  Other notable things, we have A$AP Rocky going on tour with Rihanna.  Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are on fire.  Mac Miller is going to support Lil Wayne in Europe in March.  And there’s lots of good young acts we’re working with that we’re excited to watch take off.  Some of those would include Juicy J, Joey Bada$$, Watsky, Schoolboy Q, Rockie Fresh. 1-trinidad-james

We also have a couple of female artists coming-Snow Tha Product and Nova Rockerfeller.  There aren’t too many females out there, so that’s always exciting.  Big Boi’s album just dropped this week; he’ll be touring (this) year.  Another version of the “Smoker’s Club Tour” will go out.  Another young one that can’t be forgotten is Trinidad James.  He’ll do his first headlining tour in February and March.  And then we’ll be looking to build him up from there.  He’ll also be hitting some key festivals which I can’t announce yet, but coming soon.

Who are you looking forward to seeing live this year?  Who do you think will be the king of Hip-Hop tours for 2013?  Let us know in the comments section!