Scoremore: College Rap Promoters Bank On Diversity, Sharp Ears

Sascha Stone Guttfreund is a 22-year-old UT-Austin graduate who has already accomplished more than most concert promoters who have been in the game longer than Guttfreund has been in college.

After organizing a few shows, in 2008 the Los Angeles native got his big chance at Austin's Ace's Lounge, now Venue 222, on Sixth Street. The owner needed someone to promote a Shwayze show that was three weeks away but had sold very few tickets. He hired young Guttfreund to promote the concert, and he sold 900 tickets. After that success, he was later appointed Ace's in-house promoter and talent buyer.

"I just built a small team of people and we went from door to door of every fraternity, sorority and social organization at UT to get people to come to the Shwayze show," says Guttfreund.

From there, he learned the ropes of talent booking and decided to start an even bigger team to put on concerts targeted towards college students. In May 2009, Guttfreund started the brand-new enterprise he called Scoremore.

As a college student himself, Guttfreund Bogle wanted to put on shows where his fellow students could enjoy themselves and feel welcome. Since then, Scoremore has booked 200 concerts in cities like Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, College Station and Champaign, Ill., and the majority of these shows have sold out. (Aces went out of business less than nine months after Scoremore moved its shows elsewhere, Guttfreund points out.)

Scoremore has booked artists such as Big Sean, Wiz Khalifah, Curren$y, J. Cole, Wale and Mac Miller. The company now has a crew of 52 promoters in Austin, 40-plus in Houston and about 30 in Dallas.

"Scoremore rolls pretty deep," Guttfreund tells Rocks Off with a smirk when we sat down with him at last week's J. Cole show at Warehouse Live.

At SXSW 2011, Scoremore collaborated with prominent Chicago-based music blog Illroots to throw free afterparties at a lavish home in the Austin hills dubbed the "Illmore." The parties were only promoted as Twitter trending topics, and over the weekend the Illmore became the late-night kick-back spot for people like Kid Cudi, The Cool Kids, Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose and Bun B.

Houston's own Trae Tha Truth even used the the house as the setting as for his "Getting Paid" video (above), featuring Wiz Khalifah.

"[Illroots founder] Mike Waxx is my homie, and all the music that he posts on Illroots is lot of music of artists that we've booked so there is a good amount of mutual love and we figured we should work together to throw a dope party at SXSW," says Guttfreund.

One of Scoremore's keys to success is smartly courting the company's diverse college demographic, bringing in students from all walks of life with one thing in common: They all want to hear the artists Scoremore books. Timing is another important factor.

"When it comes to working with major-label artists, the main point is that we book these artists early as underground, with the understanding that they'll become bigger," says Guttfreund. Scoremore booked Big Sean, Wiz Khalifah and J. Cole for Texas shows around 2010, when those artists were still up and coming.

Since then, each has had chart-topping and radio hits. "We just booked a West Coast tour in Cali with [Kid Cudi protege] Chip Tha Ripper, and it makes more sense to book a couple of shows with Chip than to just do one show with Kid Cudi," says Guttfreund.

By building trustworthy business relationships with artists, Scoremore ensures those artists are never reluctant to book with the company again.

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