Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Gemma Etchells!
How long have you worked in Management?
“Officially” I’ve been managing for just over 1 year now.
Who do you manage now?
Piano-indie rock band ‘Pacific’ – based in Manchester.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
Honestly, it was a complete accident with Pacific. I had been aware of the band for about 3 years prior to me even seeing them live. I’d listened to them pretty religiously without really realising, so when I saw they were playing at Jimmy’s (Manchester in October 2018) I jumped at the chance. On that evening, I immediately had this overwhelming feeling of just knowing they had ‘it’ – I still can’t put my finger on what exactly that is, but Pacific has it.
Now I was even more into them having seen them live, I started helping out very casually (keeping an eye out for opportunities, taking photos, helping load in/out, etc). 3 months down the line, I found myself as their manager. And 6 months after that… I quit my day job to focus on the band full time.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
A good day at work is when all of the ducks line up, when a plan that has taken a lot of hard work finally comes together. A bad day is the opposite – when the ducks go AWOL and the plan falls apart.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
There has been an abundance of great moments in the last year, but to narrow it down slightly …
1.Pacific winning the YNOT Band App vote 2019. That was extra special given it was down to public vote, coupled with it being a festival they had always wanted to play.
2.Pacific’s biggest Manchester headline in September 2019 being both a sell-out and one of their greatest live performances to date.
3.The release of their single “Idols” in January. That was a real milestone and the start of a slightly different direction to their music…
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2020?
Obviously, Covid-19 isn’t ideal for the music industry, but we’ve found it manageable by firstly just accepting what is out of our control. Yes, money has been lost, yes, our plans have been blown out of the water, but what can you do? It’s currently a big case of adapting accordingly.
Other than that, generally keeping ahead and up to date in the music industry as well as having an idea of what’s most likely to happen next, which is a challenge in itself. It is consistently changing in front of our eyes, adapting takes endless creativity. It’s a never-ending learning curve.
What music are you currently listening to?
Apart from Pacific on repeat, a wide variety – old and new. Anything from The Drums to Giant Rooks to Georgia, and a new isolation discovery I’m a little bit obsessed with…KennyHoopla.
Listen to Pacific here.