What is a Johnnyswim, you may ask?
Besides being the musical moniker of married duo Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, it can be pretty much anything one wants it to be – much like their music that blends pop, soul, jazz and folk.
“It changes every time we ask them! I think I’ve heard 30 different renditions of the name,” Paradigm co-agent Ashley Mowry-Lewis told Pollstar, laughing.
What’s not a matter for debate is Johnnyswim’s talent. Sudano and Ramirez began singing and writing together in 2006 and forged a sound the Tennessean describes as “a mix of Lauryn Hill and John Mayer.”
Johnnyswim might still be playing for audiences of 40 in Salt Lake City but for the efforts of Mowry-Lewis and co-agent Marty Diamond, who didn’t simply book gigs but developed a touring strategy focused on career growth.
“We looked at what they played before we started working with them,” Mowry-Lewis said. “I went back and looked at what venues they did and what we could build on. We’ve grown in rooms that they played two years ago where maybe they were doing 40 tickets and, in this past run, they sold out these shows. We continued to build the band; having them play rooms and markets they’ve never played before, making right room selections for them.”
Diamond credits Mowry-Lewis and manager Jay King of KingMGMT for laying the groundwork.
“In the grand scheme of things, when you go to develop an act, there are markets and situations that aren’t going to move the needle forward. I think in respect to Ashley and Jay, what they worked really well on, was peeling back layers. Their last tour was 95 percent sold out,” Diamond told Pollstar.
Johnnyswim is currently touring secondary and tertiary markets in support of Georgica Pond – a reference to a favorite Hamptons spot of Sudano’s mother, the late Donna Summer. There will be a European tour, festival looks and Diamond says they are considering packaging opportunities for later in 2017. – Deborah Speer