Mutuals Agency's Jaime Bilotti on the Power of Community in Music
Jaime Bilotti is a Forbes 30 Under 30 lister who continues to help destigmatize fandom within the music industry. From past experiences at all three major labels, Bilotti was able to see the disconnect between an artist and their fanbase—and specifically, how to cater to them. Launching her first startup in 2019, Fan To Band, Bilotti has become an overall champion for the 1,700+ global members in over 30+ countries through the Fan To Band Virtual Street Team.
In her newest venture, Mutuals Agency, Jaime and her team will showcase authentic audience insight gathered through market research and that they are the best at implementing that through fan engagement strategies.
We caught up with Jaime for our Liner Notes series to learn more about her musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work she's proud of and admired.
Jaime, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Staten Island, New York—which, depending on who's reading this, can be a pro or con. Now, I am living between New York and L.A. for the summer, and planning to be bicoastal after.
Your earliest musical memory.
Your first concert.
It was actually quite late in my life when I went to my first concert. I was 16 years old and went to see Katy Perry for my friend's Sweet 16 and I remember saying, "This is what I have been missing!?" Since then, I can't remember life before them.
Your favorite bands/musicians.
My favorite bands are One Direction, Queen and the Jonas Brothers. There is an indescribable feeling of self-expression when listening to their music and becoming part of each of those audiences. It is just as much about the music as it is about the audience, and I love how it feels to be a part of those communities.
How you get your music these days.
I love deep diving through playlists on Spotify and Apple Music, as well as finding a few gems on TikTok. Lately, I have been loving the mixes by DJ Angelo the Kid; they tend to remind me of songs I haven't listened to in a while and other songs that I end up loving. Also, I am human and often get music from my friends!
Your favorite place to see a concert.
I am a New Yorker through and through, if I didn't say Madison Square Garden I would be lying. It is also the venue wjjere I saw my first concert ever, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Your favorite music video.
This is not an easy one! Definitely, "I Want to Break Free" by Queen because I love how every shot is unexpected and how so many modern artists have pulled inspiration from it in their own music videos since then. I also feel like "Year 3000" by the Jonas Brothers deserves an honorable mention.
Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.
I am a big music documentary person—I love anything that showcases the behind-the-scenes—or at least as much behind the curtain they want to show the public. A few of my favorites have been The New York Times Presents: Dominic Fike, At First, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry.
A recent project you're proud of.
I started my first company, Fan To Band, in 2019 with the mission to amplify fans' voices and empower the next generation of professionals to utilize their fan insight by giving them tools and resources to curate their skills. I am proud to now launch Mutuals Agency, which will allow us to showcase authentic audience insight through market research and that we are the best at implementing that through fan engagement strategies.
Someone else's project that you admired recently.
I have seen a lot of people in this industry only invest their time in themselves. If I had to name one person who dedicates a lot of their time to the growth of others' careers, it is Stacey Morales. She identified a gap in the lack of resources for the aspiring industry professionals on the younger spectrum from high school students to sophomores in college. She created her mentorship program 1520 Vision to provide the resources needed for these young professionals to thrive in the industry and better prepare them for their future internships.
How musicians should approach working with brands.
When working with brands, you want to make sure it is authentic. There is nothing worse than when a consumer can see that a brand does not make sense for their favorite artist. It is important to ask, "Would I use this brand myself?" "Would I feel comfortable talking about this brand in a room full of my friends?" Consumers are smarter than ever these days, and it is important to foster a genuine relationship both with them and the partnerships you are working with. At the end of the day, the audiences need to align.
What music can do that nothing else can.
It has the power to create a community consisting of people from many backgrounds with no barrier to entry other than the fact that music makes you feel something. You can be a fan of whoever you want and join a community in an organic way like no other. There are no checkboxes as to why you can be a fan of that music and resonate with those who feel the same.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.
Literally nothing—there is no world in which music is not involved in my career. My personal background and upbringing could not have been farther from the industry, yet I could never see myself doing anything else, which is why I have done everything in my power to get to where I am today. I am where I am today because of hard work, consistency and because of people who had no obligation to help me but did so anyway, so I make it a priority to play that same role in other people's careers.
Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.