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Before she enrolled at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, Aimée Jagou M.A. ’15 had already cultivated a love for fashion, having worked in showrooms as a student in Paris. Later, while pursuing a business degree at HEC Montreal, she discovered a passion for music, organizing electronic music parties and working for a local festival and a publishing agency.
Combining her skills and interests, in 2014 she cofounded AM, a boutique agency that provides sound design and image consulting services to museum curators, artists, fashion designers, and brands for their exhibitions, fashion shows, retail stores, and digital communications.
As she was developing AM, Jagou applied to the Master of Arts in Global Entertainment and Music Business program, in hopes of learning the skills she’d need to turn the company into a success. “I chose entrepreneurship as my major, so I was able to work on my business plan while doing my master’s at Berklee Valencia,” she says. On campus, she made a number of key connections, including Luke Dennis M.M. ’15, a graduate of the Master of Music in Music, Production, Technology, and Innovation program, who created an audio program for AM’s first project, an immersive experience for a modern art museum outside Paris.
Designing the Right Message
AM’s other cofounder, Marie Trifault (the agency’s name stands for Aimée and Marie), is a high school friend and a graduate of the French Institute of Fashion. “Marie enjoys working on image and communication, whereas I like to think about the music business side and to develop new proposals,” she says. The constant exchange of ideas on how to improve their services is a key element of their partnership.
Their approach often changes depending on the nature of the project. “We take into account every parameter to curate music that delivers the right message,” Jagou says. “For a fashion show, for instance, we look at the clothes, the inspirations, the story of the collection, the target customers, the scenography, the light, and the location of the show.”
One of their goals is to enhance the brand’s or event’s image through music that promotes independent labels and artists. “It is a way for brands to communicate and engage with their community in a more sensitive way,” she says. While most of AM’s work to date has consisted of music curation, this year they’re adding composition and synchronization services, which will allow them to work more closely with artists and composers. “As publishers we will promote a catalogue of selected tracks for synchronization, focusing more on new compositions,” she says.
An Entrepreneurial Spirit
In 2014, a few months prior to AM’s launch, Jagou created the Montreal- and Paris-based label Cosmic Tones Records, her first business venture. “My parents are also entrepreneurs, so I guess this spirit comes from them too,” she says. “I always have plenty of ideas, and I love to develop new projects and advise people around me on how to set up their own company.”
After graduating from Berklee Valencia, and while AM was still in development, she worked at Stage of the Art, managing production and music programming as well as brand activation and communications. “I learned how to produce events at a larger scale, and organized music gigs for a fashion festival where I had to manage the booking, production, and communication teams,” she says. “I also learned about the negotiation process between brands, music artists, and managers, and how you have to adapt your speech depending on who you’re talking to.”
For Jagou, education is a lifelong process—a way to continually connect her entrepreneurial impulses to the arts. Her latest foray? She’s studying data science in order to understand its relationship to the music industry. It’s a skill that she hopes will help her achieve an ambitious 2020 agenda, which includes designing a new website, creating an online radio service for retail locations, and offering music services for spa and wellness businesses.