Have you ever sat around with a group of friends and brainstormed your next great business venture together? Now, have you ever actually followed through with it?
That’s exactly what five local friends—Nathan San Miguel, Adrian Diaz, Edoardo Villanueva, Adan Diaz, and Aaron Moreno—did. Early last year the group launched its live entertainment company, Decade: 2020.
Each friend brings their own expertise to the company, says San Miguel, who runs logistical planning. The fact that they grew up in Houston allows them to relate to each other, craft ideas seamlessly, and turn words into action as a multiplatform live entertainment company.
Their first event launched right before the United States was hit by Covid-19. On January 4, 2020, the group hosted an overwhelmingly successful show, says San Miguel, that included an art gallery, live music, visual projections, food, drinks, and a pop-up for a vintage clothing vendor.
“Seeing the guests who attended our show really struck us to continue to serve our Houston arts community,” he says.
Before the pandemic, they provided platforms for artists of all media, like galleries for visual artists and concerts for musicians. Like so many other arts organizations, during Covid-19 they pivoted to virtual events. They now utilize social media as a way to give artists a platform that will last indefinitely, says San Miguel, instead of just the lifespan of performing one time at an in-person event.
We chatted with San Miguel more about Decade: 2020’s pivot to digital so soon after it started, how it’s doing now, and the group’s plans for the future.
How did the pandemic hitting so soon after y’all launched impact Decade: 2020?
It was the impression we left on our guests who attended our first show that set the standard for us rolling forward. It was our intention to continue to curate in-person events, but then the breakout of coronavirus hit the United States. It forced us to get creative. Now we have been focused on growing our brand through the production of virtual concerts. This not only allows our audience to enjoy their favorite artist at home, but to serve some justice to musical talent that may go unnoticed, in addition to the way we are launching online editorials with artists we have worked with.
What short- and long-term goals does the company have?
Our short-term goal is to make it out on the other end of the pandemic as an organization that actively seeks to host live events, but at the same time build brand recognition that sets the pace to pick up where we left off in better standing [than] before the pandemic.
Our long-term goal is to serve our Houston community by sustaining the ability to host live events of various genres. It is important we remain accessible and take no interest in our events growing on a corporate level, like other music festivals. This will both give the community something immersive to attend/experience and give artists of all mediums an opportunity to show their craft to a wider audience.
How do you network with artists?
The community we grew up in is rich with talent. A lot of us have crossed paths with the right folks that give us one foot in the door to every art scene there is. Either people we know are direct contacts or we venture through already existing relationships we have with other artists. Other times we aggressively pursue artists that heavily interest us. They are always one direct message/email away.
Any upcoming projects or insight you can give us?
We just recently put out another virtual performance for a band called Brother Sports from Austin. We are going to release another virtual performance of a band called Mind Shrine at the beginning of this coming month. You can keep up with these performances or watch previous ones on our YouTube channel or Instagram TV.
Another project that is going to be released in relation to our music series is editorial interviews of the artists who perform for us under Instagram Guides.
The final project is another series, called “VIEWFINDER,” where we interview visual artists such as, but not limited to, painters, photographers, cinematographers, mural artists, etc.