The pandemic has been challenging, to say the least. Thousands of Floridians are out of work while the government inches us toward a second reopening. Miami's nightlife remains in shambles, with no clear message or advice from local leaders. It's harrowing to sit around all day, not knowing how you're going to pay your bills. Some find solace in new hobbies and projects — even new jobs.
Travis Rogers has been a Miami nightlife promoter for more than a decade. As the founder of Humans Alike, he has programmed everything from club events to festivals. In 2020, Rogers shifted to artist management and marketing work.
He's learning a lot in the process, and he's sharing that knowledge — as well as the knowhow of his network and ten-plus years in the game — via a new website and podcast series called Green Room Talks.
"I get to hear the perspective of my peers and industry, their mindset on things," Rogers tells New Times. "I think a lot of people are selfish and greedy. [They think sharing] information in this business helps competition. I think if you share information, it shares growth."
Green Room Talks launched in June of this year, but the idea was born about a year and a half earlier as a Facebook group of the same name, which boasts about 1,000 members — DJs, promoters, managers, booking agents, and fans. In the beginning, Rogers posted tips for DJs on how to get more gigs or how to throw your first party. Today, members share their own news and advice. Memes and self-promotion aren't allowed, just "raw information and raw sharing, raw advice."
"When I first started throwing events, I would Google all day trying to find different strategies on how to make my events better," Rogers explains. "That stuff's not out there. Most people learn producing or mixing, and they have no clue what the next steps are, whether it's getting into a label or getting a gig or anything or marketing themselves or anything."
A self-proclaimed podcast nut, Rogers always intended to take Green Room Talks to the mike. The forced downtime provided the space and downtime necessary to get the passion project off the ground.
He has released four episodes to date, including chats with Rakastella Festival organizer and promoter Becks Lange, booking agent and Armigé Agency founder Melissa Mantha, DJ and teacher Mike Henderson, and Anna Agency's JP Salcedo. It's a lot of work, so the episodes are sporadic, but each 40-minute segment is dense with insight and information.
"Knowing that I have a specific knowledge on the industry, I ask deeper stuff that maybe a normal journalist wouldn't have thought about," Rogers says. "It's fun, but it's a lot of work. I give credit to active podcasters."
Rogers plans to expand the podcast with ten-minute episodes that are quicker to produce. It might be just him talking about a specific topic — music royalties, perhaps — or finding the right agency.
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"It forces me to learn about something," he admits. "Understanding music royalties is very difficult and dry reading. Sometimes I'll be like, I'm going to read more about it tomorrow, but when you do something like this, you kind of have to do it."
Green Room Talks is still in its infancy, but Rogers says more than a few DJs have already reached out, thanking him for the resources. He's excited to watch the platform grow in many different directions and encourages everyone interested in the music and nightlife business to join the Facebook group and become part of the conversation.
"I love the group, and I'm thankful to everybody involved," Rogers says. "Anyone is welcome to join us, as long as they follow the rules. I like where that's going because the group spurs off new ideas, whether it's for this project itself or other projects."
Green Room Talks is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and via greenroomtalks.com.