BERGENFIELD, N.J. – Greg Haralambidis of Bergenfield is a best friend to local musicians.
The millennial runs LOA Entertainment, a booking agency for artists whose work has “an indie folkie vibe.” The name stands for Love Of Arts.
Since 2013, Haralambidis has booked 20 artists at events he stages at Avenue in Teaneck, The Carriage House in Englewood, and in the living rooms of his Bergenfield home.
“We’re an entertainment company that takes care of the artist,” Haralambidis said. “A lot of labels and companies market themselves that way but it turns into manipulating the artist.”
While he can’t pay every artist who performs, he does not require them to provide audience members. He does the promoting. He gets the audience.
There’s so much talent in the world, Haralambidis said, that it’s unrealistic to think every person with talent will become world famous.
“There are musicians who’ve had very good careers on YouTube,” he said, citing Tori Kelly before her first major label release.
Next month, LOA will stage the third season of The Key Element, a local voice competition organized like the reality TV show, “The Voice.” Auditions will take place June 9 at The Carriage House and finals are set for June 30 at the same location.
Audience members pay $10.
“The purpose is to find new talent,” Haralambidis said.
Whoever places first gets cash, a professional photo shoot, a songwriting session with their judge, and a recording and music video shoot for that song.
Second- and third-place winners get cash prizes. Usually, they also are asked to perform in other LOA shows.
LOA has raised money for charities, including the VHI Save the Music Foundation and the Oradell-based Philip Begonja Memorial Foundation.
Haralambidis pays the bills by working as a personal trainer. A former music major at Bergen Community College, he plays piano but just for fun. He’s always preferred the business and behind-the-scenes aspects of the industry more than performing.
“I always want to keep music in my life,” he said.
His dream is to open his own performance venue.
For information about The Key Element, visit https://www.facebook.com/loaentertainment/
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.