Jerry Poon Interview - 100% Music Lovers

Meet Jerry Poon, a name you should be familiar with if you’re familiar with work of management and event agency, The Operatives. The Operatives have been at the heart of Melbourne’s pumping music scene, and are now set to host the closing party for Melbourne Music Week. We had a chat to Jerry about The Operatives history, the forthcoming showcase, and much more.

Futuremag Music: Hey Jerry, how's life down in Melbourne?

Jerry: It's quite perfect at the moment, we've seemingly left winter behind but won't speak too soon with it's bi-polar nature. The music climate here however is beaming with sunshine. Every pocket from soul, electronica, techno, jazz, drum and Bass, jungle, house to hip hop is bursting with fresh new talent and the veterans have made the city globally recognisable as an international hub of music. 

Futuremag Music: Can you talk us through the history of The Operatives? What does the future hold for The Operatives?

Jerry: It simply began with the idea of representing more talent from the Asia Pacific. We begun as a DnB crew, and slowly branched out over the years. The simple idea grew not without obstacles, but the learning curve has allowed for us to be where we're at. A significant change in direction has to be attributed to the Red Bull Music Academy and booking several venues (Platform one, Miss Libertine, Roxanne Parlour) as well, which broadened our scope. We've always held production in high regard and innovating with the latest technology available to present our shows. Breaking down genres and ensuring that the nights were now based on good music, in all it's forms. These beginnings from being a DJ to moving in as a promoter, developing the crew, has lead to now a full fledged touring, events and artist management, production, festival partner, and 100% music lovers will carry on into the future. We hope to be able to return more to the community by developing the younger generations of promoters, artists and producers as well. 

Jerry Poon by Renee Stamatova

Jerry Poon by Renee Stamatova

Futuremag Music: You're curating the closing party for Melbourne Music Week. Can you talk us through how you constructed the lineup and the process of running a showcase? How did you meet each of the artists?

Jerry: The idea began with trying to give as broad a scope of bass music as we see it, so somehow involving everything from hardcore, jungle, dub, dancehall, roots, DnB, footwork, halftime, garage, grime, hip hop, trap and everything in between. Mark Pritchard was a no brainer for this, his discography spans wide, his production is revered and his collection of old school music is ridiculous. Nadia represents the future of the sound, a queen of the Hip Hop and Grime world. Eprom is a master of the analog driven bass, destructive and beautiful at the same time. We also wanted to make sure balance and diversity spread through out the lineup, with each and every one of the operatives representing, Raptorhandz (Original footwork and grime), Idle Minds Worksop (Halftime, DnB), Lady Banton, (Dancehall, Dubstep, Dub, Grime), Jade Zoe (Soca, Dancehall) and Niki (halftime, 100bpm biz). 

Mark has actually been a major influence on the scope of music, I met him at the Red Bull Music Academy where he was in as one of the Studio team. To The Operatives, he is truly a lifetime achievement award winner. 

Nadia Rose came to Let Them Eat Cake this year and blew everyone's socks off, then ensued the after party. It was fun.

Gaslamp Killer first led me to some of Eprom's music, he was always a champion of it and i was hooked. A few years later we met in Melbourne and it's ben tours since. 

I met all the ops at varying times in Melbourne but each have their own skills and personalities which make them friends.

Futuremag Music: Each of the acts are prominent in the bass community. Where do you see their direction headed in the future? Where do you see the bass scene evolving in the future?

Jerry: To be honest I can't speak for everyone and what their futures hold but I know they will peak and excel in their varying crafts. This set from Mark will be a very rare one in Melbourne and Australia as he focus' on his deeper ambient cuts and film. I think it's cyclical. It's amazing to hear of new techno heads talking about jungle and brown beat business as they slowly discover it. There are a tonne of strong promoters and music crews in Melbourne that represent their own sound and there's too many to list but i respect them all for maintaining the push on keeping it strong, and fresh.

Futuremag Music: A funny one to wrap it up. If 'The Operatives' was a cocktail, what would be in it to best describe itself, and it's practices.

Jerry: Ha. I've had to think on this one for a minute. But let's build it from bottom up... 

  1. 60ml Sweet musical content of all the artists we represent

  2. 30 ml Zing of our frenzied fam and friends

  3. 30ml Behind the scenes madness

  4. All in a tight vessel (An amazing venue with state of the art production)

  5. Shaken (on massive bassbins) not stirred...