Stereotype Talent Management has been online since the very inception of the business in 2008. Run by brothers Chad and Lee Saaiman, the business has grown from strength to strength, despite the setbacks of COVID-19. We asked them a few questions about their business journey so far and what 2021 and beyond, has in store.

Tell us more about your business?

Stereotype Talent Management, fondly known as STM, is an Artist Management and Bookings Agency which house acts such as The Black Ties – who have had huge success within the corporate and commercial events market, Chad Saaiman – musician and entertainment personality and Kerwin – Pop/R&B singer, songwriter and recording artist. 

It is run by Chad Saaiman, with co-owner Lee Saaiman heading up the Financial Management of the company. Stereotype Talent Management also provides an array of entertainment solutions, with access to DJs, bands, duo’s, quartets, and so forth.

The company has also expanded into the Sound Hire realm as well as infrastructure for events.

How did the business start?

Stereotype Talent Management started out as Stereotype Records, an indie label formed in 2008. Chad Saaiman and producer Ebrahim Mallum got together with businessman Lee Saaiman and Digital and Design Guru Lester Hein to formalize a movement that was created. After several number one songs, SAMA and Metro FM Nominations, sold-out shows and a great and loyal following, two of the four shareholders moved on to pursue personal ventures, which left the company in the hands of the Saaiman brothers.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?

The biggest challenge was breaking through the mould of the traditional sound of Cape Town music with a different, more urban and commercial sound. We chose to create our own events and carve out our own lane, which eventually successfully broke through to the commercial spheres.

What challenges has the business faced as a result of COVID-19 and lockdown in SA?

Our entire industry shut down, so our artists could not really perform and our sound equipment could not go out, so the biggest challenge was financial. With this, maintaining the flow and brand of the business also became a challenge in itself.

What do you think 2021 has in store for your business?

I think it’s about re-looking at how we view entertainment and it’s about utilizing the products we do have that have less of a subjective view on a booking. We will also be working on more non-exclusive bookings, on a case-by-case basis.

When did you move your business online?

Our business has been online since the day we started it, in 2008.

What advice do you have for people who want to start their own business?

If you need encouragement or motivation to start your own business, perhaps you should rethink doing so. It can be extremely challenging, but most importantly, extremely rewarding. You have to push through any obstacles and not try and work around them.

Where did you hear about 1-grid?

Via two acquaintances that worked at the company.

What made you choose 1-grid?

We have enjoyed the process, really good human beings – which is an important part of collaboration and working together.

Would you recommend 1-grid to your friends and family?

Yes.

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