Interview: Arick Ahong (Pesona Experience)

In releasing The Store Front, we round up a few people that participated in the initial launch of the platform, namely labels, artists and agencies that give their hand and help fill out this platform. One of them was Arick Ahong, a good friend of ours, who runs Pesona Experience, handling the likes of BAPAK., Pullo and False Neutral among others – Two of them are already on the platform now. So we spoke to Arick and dived into his reasoning to help this initiative. 

Arick with BAPAK.

Considering that you run an agency that really goes beyond what a talent agency does, such as their creative output and their financial income, what do you see as the major pain point in today’s industry? 

Arick: So first thing first, every artist that I take in right now are my friends. I’m personally into their music and as far as the industry goes for us, we usually have two revenue streams: Streaming and live shows. For streaming, the artists get 100% of the revenue, I get nothing, and I feel that it is right to do so. On the other hand, for live shows, we got a percentage cut for every gig that we get for them. But personally, I couldn’t care less, I guess we’re still focusing on every artist’s growth in the public consciousness 

So considering those two revenue streams, right now, is it enough for your bands? 

Arick: Out of the three acts I handle, some of them have enough for them to have some profit, some of them barely breakeven. But if we were to break it down, streaming on its own, is not enough. All of my artists still depend on live shows, and some of them are still playing on underground shows that barely pays anything. I think the mind-set is for my artists at least, is to have whatever they get from streaming as a “bonus”

….and now we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so how are the artists doing, financially speaking? 

Arick: They’re using these pandemic days to produce content, but financially speaking, yeah, barely anything for them from music. They only get whatever they get from streaming

BAP. Performing on Ornaments 2019

That’s horrible. So you put two of your acts here on our platform. What do you expect out of it? 

Arick: I see you guys are still doing what you’re doing in principle. I love how you guys are still curating stuff and right now, considering you’re still setting up, I feel like being associated with the platform as some sort of co-sign is what I seek to have, at least for now.