Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Giaco Bridgett!
How long have you worked in Management?
On and off since 2004. My first full time gig was working at Quest Management with Arcade Fire, Bjork, Patrick Wolf and a few others. My boss then (being someone who battles with my 21 year old self, I can really empathise with him now having started up my own management company) told me back then I wasn’t right for management. I guess not back then and perhaps not with bands. I then went into marketing at [PIAS] UK and Ministry of Sound Recordings, followed by education before coming back to management 5 years ago – and this time in dance music. It was my old boss @ Ministry of Sound who told me I was best suited to working in management (Nic, I’m still working at these tyypos!) and to keep my head down. Never been more thankful for that little tapas lunch back then, thanks to Lohan for sponsoring it 😉 I think the change in me now was the realisation about the proper management graft the game is, and what an amazing hustle it is when it comes off – the very best
Who do you manage now?
Over @ The Cut, we look after (in alphabetic order) Ben Malone, Billen Ted, Hollaphonic, Jack Wins, Kokiri, ManyFew, Sammy Porter, Sleepwalkrs, Trutopia.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
I kind of inherited him really. I worked out of Toolroom Records for a year as an artist manager and Kev pka KOKIRI had just signed up for management. 1 week in he added me on WhatsApp and 6 years later I still can’t get rid of him and his never ending memes…(they are very good). When I set up The Cut // London bak in 2016, I brought him along with me. Kev’s one of the most incredible producers working with synths, and on his day can come up with such amazing fresh sounds and beats – he never settles for the same old. His latest single on Perfect Havoc “Walk On Water” is a perfect example. Sheer instinctive genius.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
Bad day – labels not putting in the work, dropping the ball on really stupid mistakes, lazy/bad communication or third parties constantly changing their minds and then eventually not following through. Oh, and wondering when we will all be dancing together again ‘pon da floor… Good days – big spotify playlist adds, big remixes, artist collab’ opportunities, artists being stunned as Pete Tong plays them for the first time on Radio 1, working with #1 acts, making some mates for life… it’s not all that bad!
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
Blimey. Erm…could you oblige me whilst I pick a few?! Still being here making it all work is one… honestly you have doubts in the first couple of years but…. just keep going and NEVER STOP. I think it was when I didn’t have to put ikea furniture together again back in late 2017 and finally the balance sheet was looking a little healthier. Also, when you get the odd tip of the hat your way from industry figures you look up to: you don’t often get the credit you deserve such is the game that we play in this industry. Winning battles and making the positive moves you need to to see it all going the right way – you’re often at the coal face with little time to pull up for air and realise that you’re doing a good job.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2020?
Do I need to mention the “C” word once again too?! The whole world’s music listening habits have changed with the flip of a switch the likes of which we’ve never known. In the dance world, we need music now for the kitchen party rather than the festival rave… and now that so many DJs have time to produce, all the music channels and sources are flooded more than ever – trying to pop a cohesive release campaign together when you have only a meer flickr of the spotlight is rather tough to say the least. Over 3 releases in the summer, having a campaign that really lasted was immensely tough, we had to move so fast. It has meant that you really have to be 6 months ahead of schedule so you’re ready to move with the next release AS SOON AS the current campaign starts fading. That takes great planning and partnerships with your artists and labels, not always easy for many reasons. As an artist today, you really need to know your brand and be constantly looking to evolve – you’re always being judged, every second. As one A&R once said to me, you need to have your apples and pears which is the music you usually produce easily, then you need to have your kiwis and bananas which is that step that pushes you forward yet still makes sense to you sound and brand. David Brentism over!
What music are you currently listening to?
Nursery rhymes with my daughter, Garbage 2.0 (I will always be a 16 year old indie kid), Aluna’s new album on Mad Decent, Sleepwalkr’s upcoming release with MNEK and Jack Wins collab with Wanklemut.