Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is MMF board member Steven Braines!
How long have you worked in Management?
A relatively lucky 13 years.
Who do you manage now?
I run a management collective called the Weird & The Wonderful with Sophia Kearney with a lot of artists like Catz N’Dogz and Trance Wax but my personal ones are: Maya Jane Coles/Nocturnal Sunshine, louisahhh, Wax Wings, Robert Owens, Syreeta, Jossy Mitsu and Engine-Earz.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
It was an act called Freerunner who later became Little Comets. I just really liked their songwriting and , in particular, the charisma of Mark Harle. I was lucky enough to sign my first 6 figure publishing deal with them to Michael Morley and Tim Smith at Zomba. Two of the my best mentors in music.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
Mark Hargreaves of Crown – who is my industry father and hero – put it best to me. “A good day is not getting fired” thankfully I haven’t had a bad day for a lot of years!
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
I do love awards but managing my flat mate KDA to UK number 1 besting One Direction on his debut single was almost filmic, or presiding over the resurgence of my musical hero Tricky, but I would have to say it’s meeting Maya Jane Coles that changed my life; she is a genuine polymathic genius and the amount of doors she has broken down for others is incomparable.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2020?
Keeping creative and resilient with corona around. I feel that everyone is more open about mental health, being more innovative and collaborating creatively. So whilst it hits the pocket may be it’s given birth to some good music and got rid of people who are in it for money over music.
What music are you currently listening to?
I tend to be cocooned in the music of my own acts but I’m also obsessed with Krudo, closely followed by Mysie, Arlo Parks, Loick Essien, Nadine Shah (another act I managed in my younger years), Then it’s my mainstays like Kate Bush, Lisa Gerrard, Enya, Sade, St Vincent, Siouxsie Sioux, Gary Numan, missy Elliot, Massive Attack, Portishead and my boyfriend got me back into listening to pop stuff like Dua Lipa and Ava Max. Also I listen to really weird ethereal goth, female rappers, techno and acid house.