“If you work hard enough and are willing to run with your vision and share it with like-minded individuals, I believe you can be successful.”
Twenty-three-year-old Sascha Stone Guttfreund speaks from experience. An alumnus who majored in corporate communications, Gottfreund created grassroots music promotion network ScoreMore while handling an 18-hour course schedule.
Since its inception in May 2009, the ScoreMore brand has helped make Texas a touring destination for hip-hop performers. It has brought Mac Miller, J. Cole, Wale and Kendrick Lamar to many of Texas’ cities.
However, before ScoreMore became synonymous with sold-out hip-hop shows, it was a hobby. In 2008 Gottfreund booked his first sold-out show with hip-hop artist Shwayze. After seeing the success of Schwayze’s show, Gottfreund created ScoreMore the following year with $1500 saved from waiting tables at Texas Land & Cattle. To promote and help organize future shows, Gottfreund enlisted the help of several college friends.
“The ScoreMore concept was simple: by the students and for the students,” Guttfreund said. His first ScoreMore show was Afroman, the one-hit wonder responsible for marijuana anthem “Because I Got High.”
The show resulted in Gottfreund becoming a booking agent at the now-defunct club Aces Lounge. Gottfreund used the position to host ScoreMore shows and bring in relatively unknown artists at the time, including Wiz Khalifa, Travie McCoy, Chiddy Bang and Big Sean.
“Booking artists during the beginning of ScoreMore was a challenge,” Gottfreund said. “No credibility and no substantial finances — why would a booking agent want to work with some random kid when they could easily work with Transmission Events or C3 Presents?”
But Gottfreund’s perseverance paid off. One by one, each artist he requested made their way to Austin. ScoreMore built business relationships with these up-and-coming rappers, which inevitably worked in the brand’s favor.
“When we first brought Wiz Khalifa out, there were 130 people in attendance,” Gottfreund said. “Now look at him. The guy is doing sold-out arena shows throughout the world.” ScoreMore has Khalifa booked for three upcoming performances in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
ScoreMore expanded in 2010 and so did Gottfreund’s responsibilities.
“Some days were definitely a lot harder than others,” Gottfreud said. “Sometimes I would go to class off of two hours of sleep.”
But Gottfreud balanced both his studies and ScoreMore responsibilities, continuing to put on shows that catered to the young, college demographic.
Gottfreund was not alone in promoting ScoreMore’s shows. Multiple members of the group, including UT students Jake Boydston and Jake Dworkis, have helped with everything from promotion to overseeing and recruiting new student promoters.
“I have learned so much since joining ScoreMore in 2011,” Dworkis said. “From managerial skills and effective promotion to marketing strategy, I have helped build the ScoreMore brand.” Dworkis is currently an advertising senior and became a part of ScoreMore to gain experience in the music industry.
This is a fundamental part of ScoreMore’s appeal to students interested in pursuing a career in the music business. Gottfreund offers college students an opportunity to create success for themselves.
“Not only does ScoreMore serve as a voice for the students and the music they would like to see come through Austin, but it gives students a hands-on experience,” Gottfreund said.
Being part of an organization that primarily caters to hip-hop fans is a challenge in itself. Only in recent years has the demand for live hip-hop grown significantly.
“Once college students started to buy into hip-hop, the clubs put more of an emphasis on playing and booking more hip-hop artists,” English senior Haris Qureshi said. “You even see it in local festivals such as South By Southwest and Fun Fun Fun Fest.”
Qureshi, who hosts monthly hip-hop shows at the music venue Mohawk, believes that ScoreMore has greatly contributed to hip-hop’s growth in the state.
As for ScoreMore’s future, Gottfreund is taking it one day at a time. He doesn’t want ScoreMore to be the next C3 or Transmission. He wants to remain grassroots and possibly organize a nationwide tour for his supporters through his brand. But, most importantly, he wants to continue working with driven and creative college students.
“I just want to help students build their own network and their own team,” Gottfreund said. “So that way we can continue to change things for years
Printed on Thursday, November 8, 2012 as: Hip-hop scores more local fans