INTERVIEWS

A Conversation with Flatbox Shows, Dani & Matt

Dani & Matt
Courtesy of Dani Naris
For those of you who don't know, Flatbox Shows is a concert booking and promoting duo based in Brooklyn, New York.  They are currently curating shows across Brooklyn and Manhattan.  Flatbox Shows is made possible by two amazing people, Dani Naris and Matt Gallipoli (some of the coolest people I know).  Having been to some of their shows I knew they were the perfect people to sit down and have a conversation with, they’re honest, hopeful and hilarious.
Are you guys from the New York area?  If not, where are you from and what brought you to the city?

Dani: I’m from Connecticut! 

Matt: I’m from New York!

How did you two meet?  

Dani: We actually met because we were both embarrassing music bloggers on tumblr.  We literally met at a Mac Demarco show in 2014.

Matt: Yup. Obviously we don’t like to bump Mac Demarco now (for many reasons) but we had fun that day at 4Knots. Ever since then we’ve been extremely close friends. Dan is like a sister to me. She actually thought I was flirting with her before the show because I was texting her all excited to meet her. She soon found out otherwise later on.

So, for people who don’t know can you explain what Flatbox Shows does?  

Dani: We are concert bookers/promoters.  We curate shows all around Brooklyn (sometimes Manhattan as well) by choosing the artists we want to play, and then pushing the show on all platforms possible.

Matt: It’s kind of like being in the middle of the venue and the artist. The appropriate artist should be at the appropriate corresponding venue, but aside from that, we really like to have diverse bills. We love all kinds of music and art, as well as the artists who make them. We have a bunch of friends as well as inspirations who make a bunch of different art... I always say our goal is representation across all communities.

What inspired you to start create Flatbox shows? 

Dani: We actually didn’t, our friend Kevin originally started it as a record label. 

Matt: Kev always believed in us (and still does, of course) to help him take Flatbox in the right direction. We used to have weekly meetings and hangouts with Kevin, but he recently moved to LA to begin other projects. Since then, he’s trusted us to do the name justice and I think we have. He’ll always have our backs and is always enthusiastic to see what we cook up.

What’s a typical day for the both of you like working for Flatbox Shows?

Dani: It’s mostly just sending emails and making sure that our show sheet stays updated.  Show days are more interesting-- you have to go to the venue and make sure everything is running smoothly.  Then after the show is over, you have to settle up with the bands (based on either the tickets sold, or if you guaranteed them a certain amount of money).

Matt: That’s all true… I also like to get creative with it. Aside from promoting shows via every nook and cranny we can, I like to have photoshoots and/or contact some friends to make a few different posters either all on their own or with graphic design + photos that they or I have taken in the past. I really love to capture the essence of the show via the promotion- it feels more “ours” + the artists’ that way. I like to have everyone’s voice and creative opinion involved. 

Was there any particular inspiration behind the name "Flatbox Shows"? 

Dani: Apparently it’s because a flat box is a record? And it was originally a record label? lol

Matt: I kind of love it because there’s a ring to it. Rolls right off the tongue and you would never know what it means if we didn’t tell you.

Where there any initial challenges when starting Flatbox shows?  Was it hard to find artist or venues? Did you find it difficult to gain momentum? 

Dani: I had……… quite literally no idea what I was doing.  I knew certain artists I wanted to work with, but every time I got an email I was practically twitching with anxiety.  Especially because I was mostly dealing with people a lot older than I was at the time!

Matt: Agreed. I also strive to reflect my taste in the shows I book, as well as a diverse range of different communities like I’ve said before, so I always stressed out in making the show was perfect in all those aspects. Now, it comes a bit more easier and I have a lot more close friends these days within the music scenes that I book around. 

What initially got you both into the music scene here in Brooklyn? 

Dani: I interned at Shea Stadium (RIP) and instantly was like . Oh word. THIS is what I’ve been missing. 

Matt: I actually started going to smaller, more DIY-esque shows with Dani and our friend Kim when I was 16. They had just started NYU and I was feeling cramped, still in high school. After we made a bunch of friends in the scene and I started hopping around interning at places, I knew this was it.

As of now, what has been your favorite show that you’ve booked?

Dani: Everything we’ve done with Juiceboxxx has been sick.  I’m also very proud of a Horse Jumper of Love show that we had in January… it was very much a mess, and then came together beautifully with the help of two other promoters.

Matt: Agreed about Juiceboxxx. Also, our show with Chester Watson, Tobias, and Babyglock was a huge hit and actually was promoted by someone in The New York Times in the “What to Do This Week” section (or whatever it’s called). I was super stoked and proud of us-- [I] was also happy the artists got that exposure because they are pals of mine. 

Juiceboxxx
Juiceboxxx / Courtesy of Flatbox Shows Instagram

What’s the craziest thing that has happened while at a show? 

Dani: Honestly nothing I can really think of? We had to get someone kicked out once though. 

Matt: It’s more just like…. When all your close friends and your artist friends and everyone comes together at the show, you really have a killer time. Nothing insane has happened, just crazy good performances and crazy crowds. That’s what counts.

Is there a venue/band that you are really looking forward to booking? 

Dani: Yes but we will never tell our secrets.

Matt: What she said.

For both Matt & Dani, who are some of your favorite artist at the moment?

Dani: Eartheater, Charlie Puth, Jelani Sei, Charli XCX, Peaer, Shawn Mendes, BROCKHAMPTON, King Princess, Ovlov, Tommy Genesis, LVL UP!

Matt: Show Me the Body, Eartheater, Juliana Huxtable, SOPHIE, Charli XCX, Emily Yacina, Playboi Carti, Tommy Genesis, Rae Sremmurd, Beach House, Moor Mother, Let’s Eat Grandma, Ho99o9, Machine Girl, Dreamcrusher, Azealia Banks, Rina Sawayama, ALWAYS Alex G (since like…… freshman year of high school). Could go on forever but I’ll cut it short here.

What was the first concert you’ve been too?  And, do you have a most memorable concert experience? 

Dani: The FIRST one was the Cheetah Girls which was probably low-key very formative.  The first REAL one was Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys and it was sick. 

Matt: I think my first show was like, 311 or something along those lines when I was middle school aged (oh god). My most memorable one was perhaps seeing Frank Ocean and Alex G on the same stage, performing together at Panorama last year. I also DIE at every Show Me the Body gig I go to…. Stuff like that is my favorite. I’ve recently seen SOPHIE and Juliana Huxtable so much in the past few weeks and I’ve been having the best time ever with that.

Do you have any future goals for Flatbox Shows? 

Dani: Honestly? Just to keep showcasing artists that we think are special. 

Matt: Diversity! Representation! Bumping our friends’ music!

As of now, are there any songs that have stood out to you for Summer 18’?

Dani: Yes omg “Boys” by LIZZO, and the new Charli 
Matt: New Charli forever. New Playboi Carti and Rae Sremmurd albums are so amazing. Also, the new Eartheater record is gorgeous.
Any advice for and future show bookers out there?
Dani: Do not stop. You will, at times, feel so unbelievably discouraged, and keep wondering why on earth you are doing this. But don’t stop, don’t give up.  Things have a way of working themselves out. Matt: Don’t let petty people who think they’re too cool give you attitude or tell you things that will scare you off. Don’t let things scare you off. Nothing’s intimidating- it’s the music industry, nothing’s real unless you make it so. You’re cooler than them and you can do it better than them. That’s why they’re scared of you. KEEP UP WITH FLATBOX SHOWS / IG: @FLATBOXSHOWS