Alonzo Townsend’s childhood was different from his peers.
Many times while they were outside playing, he was helping his father, the late blues performer Henry “Mule” Townsend handle business affairs.
He wrote checks for his father at 9-years-old and balanced his checkbook. By 11, he read and negotiated his father’s contracts. Traveling by plane was a huge part of his childhood as he went to gigs with his iconic father and mother, Vernell Townsend, who performed with his father.
Townsend was too young to understand who his father was or why he was influential in American music history, particularly Blues. As a teenager he started to better comprehend his father’s legacy and why he enlisted his help with his professional needs at a young age.
Now in his 30s, Townsend applies the same core values, lessons and knowledge his father instilled in him to his own business, The TownsendX3 Agency. Its mission is helping St. Louis artists and talent through three founding principles: heritage, preservation, and the future.
“The heritage piece is dedicated to my father, preserving what we do now in keeping St. Louis’ sound and music alive and the future is about placing future generations in places to thrive and elevate St. Louis to the next level,” Townsend said.
TownsendX3 Agency encompasses artist management, brand management and event management.
“My resume has become entrenched with a focus on brand management and enrichment services rather than telling an artist I’ll manage them because I want to equip artists with the tools they need to navigate and know the business,” he said.
“I want them to grow and thrive in the business and not feel like they have to have someone leading them when they have the tools and can sharpen their skills and have enough.”
His client list has included Tonina, LLManny, Dylan Triplett, and Zida Lioness. On the brand management side of his firm, he works with Midwest Avengers, Mvstermind, Rhoda G, The Trap Band, Denise Thimes, and DJ Nico Marie.
TownsendX3 Agency began seven years ago when Townsend represented LLManny and Tonina, who he met while working with them. He saw the gifts they had and felt it was important to represent them and “have them receive better opportunities and better leverage for their artistry.”
His agency was licensed in 2020, and he made the decision to take it on full-time after being unsatisfied with working for Amazon.
“I told myself I’m not doing this anymore and that was the best decision I ever made,” he said.
Townsend partners with The Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s Dark Room to highlight and spotlight more diverse acts.
“I sat down with Chris Hansen [Kranzberg Arts Foundation, executive director] and Robert Harris [Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Director of Booking & Venue Logistics] and they said they wanted to work with me because I had a pulse on the city’s music landscape,” Townsend said. “It’s an amazing platform for so many hungry fresh faces that normally would have to work extremely hard to get an opportunity to be in a room or stage like that to be taken seriously or make an imprint.”
In addition to operating his own company, Townsend also serves as St. Louis Blues Society’s mission fund director, where money is raised and donated to Blues acts in need of support.
He recently became a voting member of The Recording Academy, and can nominate artists from St. Louis to be considered for Grammy selections.
“My mission is to advocate and build an infrastructure for St. Louis’ music scene like my Dad did because I believe in St. Louis just as much as he did,” Townsend said.