Freddie Harb has been making noise in the San Diego music scene for over a decade. As DJ Fresh One, he has built his brand as a premiere turntablist who has toured internationally and still performs nationally on the regular. But, as co-founder and president of Sleeping Giant Music (SGM), he’s done something much bigger.
SGM was born from a small community of artists attempting to release music on their own. Its debut record signed to a worldwide distribution deal, but the company’s initial incarnation hit a roadblock.
“It started out as a record label,” Harb says. “But then MP3 came out and it completely changed our course.”
When his co-founders Colin Taylor and Victor Acosta moved from the area, Harb joined forces with Sleeping Giant Music salesman and DJ (now one of SGM’s three vice presidents), Mike Beltran. The pair decided to position the company as a booking agency.
“That’s when things really started to take off,” says Harb.
In 2012, SGM merged with Troy Gilmore’s Arizona-based Blue Moon Management. Blue Moon had already represented notable touring acts including George Acosta and Kristina Sky, but it was DJ duo Scooter and Lavelle, who worked with both agencies, that were instrumental in bringing the two entities together.
With the addition of Gilmore, the progressive music agency was quickly expanding into next-level talent management, and positioning the company for even more growth.
That came earlier this year.
In May, SGM merged again. This time, it partnered with Angel Matos’ In The Sound Management company. The Miami-based agency brought both a deep/tech house wing, as well as the experience from having worked with high-profile electronic events such as The BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico; Insomniac Events EDC in Las Vegas and Electric Forest in Michigan; Digital Dreams in Toronto; Ultra Music Festival in Miami; and Escapade Music Festival in Ottawa, Canada.
“It’s grown up so much now,” Harb says. “The main agency has really morphed from a small time regional business into a global touring artist agency.”
Sleeping Giant Music is the only licensed agency of its kind in San Diego. And with Matos heading things up in Miami, the company has become a bi-coastal entity that books and manages local, regional, national and international talent.
Recent signings of Finnish DJ Darude and Colombian House DJ Lupe Fuentes speak to the expanding diversity and popularity of a company that already represents more than 50 internationally renowned artists. That’s in addition to a roster that currently includes Donald Glaude, Sandra Collins, and Skribble.
What began as a self-funded, grassroots startup has blossomed into a multi-million-dollar, multi-faceted operation, one that promises to impact the local community for years to come.
“Our goal was to put San Diego on the map,” he said. “I think we’ve done that with this agency.”