Founder/Music Director, Collective Minds Asia (Singapore)
After cutting his teeth in London for 10 years, Zaran felt a strong urge to come back to Asia.
When the opportunity to run a music festival with Pharrell Williams in Hong Kong fell into his lap, he decided it was time to bring his company ‘The Little Black Book’ – a full range events consultancy and talent agency – from London to HK.
While he worked with luxury brands such as Prada, Cartier and Louis Vuitton to put on extravagant events, he put on underground parties under his side project ‘Fresh Off The Boat’, booking acts like Ms Dynamite, Goldie, Breakbot and Gilles Peterson across Asia.
Whilst doing this, he saw a need to link nightlife in Asia in a more cohesive manner. “Promoters were working against each other and not with each other. Agents started taking advantage of this and prices were driven up to unattainable levels. Everyone loses in this situation – the promoter, artist and audience,” says Zaran. “Collective Minds was born out of a desire to fix this. The main philosophy is to collaborate not cannibalise.”
After meeting his partner, Alfred Castillo, whilst working on the Singapore Jazz Festival, they realised they had a shared vision to champion niche markets and support independent promoters. And thus, they founded Collective Minds.
Collective Minds sets out to make touring in Asia less intimidating for bands and artists, and has since run over 300 events in two years across nine cities.
To date, they have worked with the likes of Kasmasi Washington, Anderson Paak, Daniel Caesar, Lauryn Hill, Mac Ayers, Breakbot, Gilles Peterson and Craig David.
EMC is the leading electronic music industry event in the Asia Pacific region. Held in Sydney, it is a pivotal, annual destination event for Australian and international creative professionals, curators and tastemakers, and those that are passionate about electronic music business and culture.