Ismael “Ish” Soto is a rising A&R and manager that puts hard work first. Nowadays, A&R’s are the real MVPs. When it comes to the music, they’re an integral part in the creation of the records, serving as the liaison between the artist and the label. Insert Ismael “Ish” Soto, an A&R and music manager working with everyone from MBNel to Swerzie. Hailing from Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, Ish has learned a lot of facets in the music industry, putting in relentless hours and hard work to get to where he stands today.
In regards to getting started in music, Ish notes, “My career in the music industry began in college when I was throwing events on campus with fellow friend Chris O Bannon. Moreover, he was brought onto the team to help Chris with booking events. Artist that came through good vibes was ALLBLACK, Nef The Pharaoh, OMB Peezy, AzChike, and Lil Pete. Our campus events was the most sought after because we were the only ones bringing hip-hop to campus that was native to the Bay Area Scene.”
Ismael “Ish” Soto Will Not Slow Down
The manager’s relationships with hardworking artists like Jaah SLT and many more have influenced his screening process. He tells new artists who approach him for management: “Artist management has allowed me to maneuver in a way a label cannot. Furthermore, I’m able to have creative and business input on the artists I work with and help them expand their business by helping create new ways to make money. Whether it’s through content, merchandising or touring, I am able to have an impact in huge way”. Ish represents many of today’s most talented young acts. Also, he manages music producers. This as well as putting his versatility and ability to maneuver throughout the industry on display.
Speaking on becoming an A&R, he shares, “I’ve always been an A&R in the sense of always being around artists. Moreover, picking up on music trends early, and being well connected to different scenes. Now that I work at Sa Levi Productions, it’s kind of a culmination to the next level, Officially. However, one of the earliest starts being an A&R was my first Internship at Capitol Records in the summer of 2018”. He adds, “For about a year and some change I was doing A&R work for R Baron. I also was instrumental in helping bring TK artists to sign with him. These were the years that are the most important to me.”
“If you like an artist and it’s early, don’t let others influence your decision on messing with them. Truthfully, because the majority of the time they are mad that they didn’t find it first”. More to come from Ish in 2021.