Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Trina Smith!
How long have you worked in Management?
Almost four full on, but incredibly educational years.
Who do you manage now?
I solo manage an absolute genius Producer/Composer called Andrew Kingslow, who is also my business partner and Co-founder of Electric Pineapple. Together we manage Ben Lythe, Rob Late and Dan Carasco – all three of whom are utterly fabulous and have very different vibes.
We also have a band in the making but it’s too soon to tell the details on that one…
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
Andrew was my first client. When we started working together he had hired me as a Virtual PA (a business I’ve run since 2015) and we just gelled. Despite his 20+ years in the industry he had been mistreated/exploited more often than not in the past and was keen to leave his then management, so I suggested I take him on – what’s the worst that could happen…? We just bloomed from there into a company that wanted to stop mismanagement of upcoming artists and that’s what Electric Pineapple are all about.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
A good day at work is quite honestly any day I get to switch off from work in the evenings. Any negotiations or deals done are a huge added bonus! I get the most out of the days when I get to network and meet new people, and when I see a song or a plan come together for my artists. They all make me feel extremely proud.
A bad day is having to shield my artists from news that won’t boost their confidence. It’s also me having to defend my place in this industry to people who condescend. This has happened because I’m female who’ll use her voice and because I’m seen as relatively new to the business and assumed to be naive.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
So many – I did my first 6 figure deal with Sony for Andrew in Feb. Ben’s first play on BBC Introducing last week. Dan’s Music and video created for Rob Beckett played on The One Show a couple of weeks ago.
Rob’s first single Bump is about to hit 100k streams so that’s the next highlight for me.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in the current COVID-19 situation?
I think keeping morale up and motivation going with your artists can be tough at a time like this. It really is a question of letting them find their way through and offering support whilst continuing to hustle on their behalf.
The biggest challenge for me is maintaining a grasp of conversations within the industry that were going somewhere positive however, understandably, have had to be put on the back burner. There’s such a fine line in showing that you are still interested in pursuing a deal but keeping a respectful distance in time of crisis; you just don’t know what anyone is going through at this time.
What music are you currently listening to?At the moment I’m listening from anything from 80’s Rock through to Parcels to The Bad Dreamers to Little Mix to get me through work and home schooling juggling – I’m a big Dermott Kennedy fan so he sneaks in daily at the moment too