Janette King, Sarah and Maryze. Photo by Sabina Roman

Hot Tramp Fest celebrates Montreal’s newest music mogul

A celebration of Montreal women in music is happening this week.

Since officially forming in March, Hot Tramp Management has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.

They’ve already got a grant and a month-long U.S. tour under their belts, and this week they’ll be holding the inaugural Hot Tramp Fest at Diving Bell Social Club and Citizen Vintage on St-Laurent. Not many can pull off a five-day fest months into their existence.

The group’s success all starts at the top with founder Sarah Armiento. Armed with an economics degree, the Kommenden bassist found a community of artists to rep and rally behind thanks to her work at St-Henri DIY space the Bog. She does PR for a number of bands both local and abroad, but from the get-go has been managing pals Janette King and Maryze, both artists originally from the West Coast who recently branched out into solo careers. They found a kindred spirit in Armiento.

“We’re all hard workers. That’s what we all have in common. You need a team like that, one that works tirelessly,” says Armiento.

Adds Maryze: “I was drawn to Sarah’s ambition and determination. Sarah and Janette are women I admire and to work as a team is really cool. We all want to see each other shine.”

King concurs. “I wanted someone I could trust, and someone who believes in my art. That’s Sarah. Whenever I’m having a bad day, she’ll give me advice. It’s a team effort,” she says, adding the early rising Armiento will send daily motivational or instructional text messages to her artists, to inspire and keep them on schedule.

Word of mouth regarding Armiento’s hustle is a major reason why she’s had bands knocking on her door since Hot Tramp began, but it’s also because artist management remains a male-dominated industry and this new group offers talented women and non-binary artists a space to concentrate on the art.

Demand was so immediate, Hot Tramp had to turn down acts and recently added another employee to help with the load.

“I think I hit a nerve,” says Armiento.

“There’s a void of femme management. You feel like you’re on equal footing with everyone, believing in each other,” says Maryze.

Hot Tramp Fest itself is billed as a celebration of Montreal womxn in music — featuring acts such as Hanorah, Hua Li, Backxwash, L.A. Foster, Sorry Girls and Motel Raphael — but it wasn’t initially planned that way.

“It sorta just rolled that way,” says Armiento. “I think it’s great, all the hot tramps banding together.”

The gang says Hot Tramp doesn’t fall under a set genre of music, either. But if you had to classify them, you could say many of the artists have a pop or electronic edge.

Following the initial Hot Tramp fest, the gang will perform at POP Montreal (“They’ve been so supportive of us,” Armiento says) and Maryze will drop a new music video, with King working on an album. After that, they plan on hitting Los Angeles, where Armiento will get more into the sync licensing side of the biz.

For now, Hot Tramp fest will serve as a celebration of all they’ve achieved in such a short time, and all the mountains they plan on climbing as a team in the future.

“I’m still new,” says Armiento. “I don’t have the resources a bigger management company would have, but I’ll work twice as hard to make sure I can compete with those people.”

Adds Maryze: “Sarah’s really good at doing things that terrify her. I’m excited about what she’s bringing to Montreal and all the artists that will get to shine because you’ll motivate them to seize their opportunities.”

Who’s playing Hot Tramp Festival?

Aug 28: Janette King and Hua Li opening party at Diving Bell Social Club (3956 St-Laurent) at 7 p.m.

Aug 29: Cyber, Tamayugé, la Fièvre, Thanya Iyer at Diving Bell Social Club (3956 St-Laurent) at 8 p.m. $10

Aug 30: Backxwash, Maryze, Night Lunch, L.A. Foster at Diving Bell Social Club (3956 St-Laurent) at 7 p.m. $10

Aug 31: Odreii, Laura Gray, GG Love, Alexia Avina at Diving Bell Social Club (3956 St-Laurent) at 1 p.m. $10

Motel Raphael, the Leanover, BBQT, Gullet at Diving Bell Social Club (3956 St-Laurent) at 8 p.m. $10

Sept 1: Bodywash (album launch), Sorry Girls, Beige-a-coeur, Blue Odeur at Diving Bell Social Club (3956 St-Laurent) at 8 p.m. $10

Hanorah, Eva Foote, Andrea Cormier at Citizen Vintage Plateau (4059 St-Laurent) at 6 p.m. $10

Hot Tramp Festival is this Wednesday to Sunday at Diving Bell Social Club and Citizen Vintage. $25 for a full fest pass. For more information, visit the festival’s website.