When Wynn Resorts locked down Jared Garcia to handle artist relations for XS, it could not have selected a more ideal candidate. The Utah native and former VIP host is now Las Vegas’ proverbial ‘cool kid,’ something requisite to acting as an ambassador to major music and Hollywood heavyweights visiting the club as guests or performers. And they come back for the guy who’s talented with the talent.
What does it mean to work in artist relations?
I oversee all logistics. That includes travel, hospitality and creating the show advances for each artist for the week. Part of my role is also curating long-lasting relationships with our artists and making them feel really like their second home is Vegas. My responsibility for the artists starts when they land and doesn’t end till they take off.
What’s the secret to nurturing these relationships?
It’s ultimately about getting to know people. Maintaining relationships is pretty easy for me, but it’s important to be educated about their musical style, the music they produce and who they collaborate with on tracks. I gain trust by going that extra mile for them while they’re on property, and also by ensuring their agents, management, family members and friends are well looked after when they bring them on the road.
For example, David Guetta recently brought some of his family to town, and I set up a trip to the Grand Canyon. I took them to Maverick Helicopters, bought them tickets to Le Rêve and made sure they felt comfortable while on property. David participated in some of the activities, but he knew they’re going to be well taken care of, and he trusted me with that.
Another example would be the first time we had Alesso at XS. It was probably one of the first shows that he had in Vegas. It was Halloween weekend, and I took him to a costume shop and showed him around the city and property. I met him at the airport, checked him in and did all the bells and whistles for him.
Are your relationships rooted in friendship or business?
Building a friendship is very important. Each artist is different, but building a relationship does helps the business in the long run. Whether it’s an artist who plays our venues regularly or one who has yet to sign, my goal is to look after them the best I can. I try to keep questions about their album, tours, anything music related to a minimum since they’re already consumed with business meetings, interviews and fan interaction.
XS is focused on EDM right now. What are your thoughts on the genre?
I’ve been a fan of EDM for a long time, way before I moved to Vegas. But I do like to balance my music tastes by listening to different up-and-coming artists, such as Goldroom and old-school stuff like Incubus.
Is the Las Vegas consumer’s musical tastes evolving?
Everyone’s taste changes, and genres meld. For example, what Diplo did with Justin Bieber [and Skrillex with “Where Are Ü Now”] was amazing. It’s something that David Guetta has been doing for years now, crossing over with pop and R&B artists. I would love to see more of that.
How do you describe your personal style?
My style is more of like a fashion-forward street-wear. At the moment I’m into the Saint Laurent look.
What artists do you feel have the best style?
The artists that I share the most similar style with are Alesso and Diplo. I actually take them to my favorite sneaker spot [Feature Sneaker Boutique] quite often.