This company had too many red flags for any singer or musician to just jump into this "opportunity". El-Live recruits for singers and musicians to perform at clubs and hotels throughout SouthEast Asia and the MiddleEast. Even though this "company" is currently recuriting in 2011, their website copyright ended in 2009!!!! The is NO phone number! NO address! NOT listed in the Chamber of Commerce, NOTHING! I would not be surprised if this is a front for human trafficking! Other redflags show up with this "company" such as:
1. Shouldnt El-Live to heavy marketing of the bands? Why arent band members names listed? Where is video footage showing them touring from city to city? There are very few videos of the bands that are less than 3 mins and NOT recent! The most recent performance videos are from 2010!!!
2. Why does El-live need people touring foreign countries only to do COVER MUSIC??? I am very sure there are many native bands that can do that!
3. There is NO health insurance benefits!
4. NO video footage of the hotel! Places on the youtube videos look like small clubs and bars!
5. The most youtube views bands have is less than 6,000 after video was made 1- 2 years ago!!!
6. WHY the old website? Why hasnt it been updated?
7. "Company" claims to pay for everything (visas, hotel stay, laundry servives, etc)! If all this is paid for, why not pay for a legit copyright website and marketing of the singers and ban members?
8. No listings of the rules and regulations of certain countries such as laws and religion.
There are other suspicions with this so-called "company"! Thy continue to advertise on Craigslist and other various sites! It's sad to see that most auditoners on youtube (from the few audition vids on there) are WOMEN! With all the scams created to lure women out of the country into human trafficking, one would think many would have common sense! Here is something I found on a messageboard reguarding El-live:
There is very little real information about El-Live Productions in the internet, which makes me suspicious that they are a fly by night operation/scam. The BBB has nothing for them and many of such entertainment outfits geared to sending musicians overseas are fronts for sex trafficking or are just out and out frauds. It also irks me that they have been spamming all over the net.
So here is some advice as someone who has worked overseas about how to deal with any agency, including the likes of El-Live Producions.
1. Never, ever give your passport or passport number to anyone from a prospective company or employer. You should hand it only to an official at a consulate, embassy or an officer of a local branch of a country's immigration authority. Do not fall for any excuse the company may want for taking your passport. If they insist, it is a scam.
2. Never, ever give an agency money. The only money you should spend for overseas employment is to a consulate to process the paperwork for your work visa. If a company insists on asking for money it is a scam.
3. Women should avoid entertainment agencies who "place" "talent" overseas. Too many of such agencies are fronts for sex traffickers. There are other ways to work overseas legitimately before moving into entertainment there. Plus you get a feel for the lay of the land by doing it that way.
4. Work visas are for ONE PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT ONLY! If an entertainment agency says they want to tour you or have you play at several different hotels, that is illegal in just about every country in the world. Not only that, but most european countries have strong musicians unions that forbid you from playing in more than one place.
Indeed, that is the thing: almost every country has a plentiful pool of musicians to satisfy the needs of club and bar owners. So why is an agency coming over to the U.S. to recruit? It ain't to find the next Mariah Carey or John Mayer, that is for sure.
5. If they won't tell you where you will be working in a way you can check on and if they won't help you with living accommodations it is a scam.
6. Ask about health insurance and make sure that provisions for it are written into your contract. In most countries with socialized medicine, it is required that any foreigner employed for more than 90 days there be given health insurance by the employer. If the agency or employer hems and haws over this it is a scam.
7. Your foreign boss may not lend you out to another workplace. That is illegal in most civilized countries.
8. Question them about help with taxes, There are local taxes in the country in which you work, but also, you may be on the hook for taxes in your native country. For example, in the U.S., you get a $70,000 lifetime exemption from the IRS against whatever you earn as an expat, BUT THERE ARE RESTRICTIONS! If the agency can't explain the tax implications of you going overseas it is a scam.
9. If, upon meeting someone from the agency you get an uneasy sensation in the pit of your stomach it is a scam.
10. They should be able to explain the local laws in the country you are going to, especially pertaining to things such as crime rates, alcohol and drug use, religion, etc. If they can't, it's a scam.