Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Des Agyekumhene!
How long have you worked in Management?
Since 2013 after going to the Ultimate Seminar and realising that what I was doing was called management and not just “helping artists out”.
Who do you manage now?
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
Found a 14 year old kid called Rhyan in Novacane studios in south London. As a teenager, he wrote and sang like a wise old beautiful soul. We signed him to RCA but he fell out of love with making music. That was a great lesson early on in my career… learning who really wants it, who really loves it, who respects the business side of music and the right amount of pressure to apply to your artists. As music is like a fart. If you have to force it, it’s probably sh*t.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
Good day, sat on my mac sending emails. Bad day, sat on my mac mindlessly on Twitter/Instagram. Trying to stay focused can be a challenging, even more so in lockdown.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
There’s been too many highlights to state (from the numerous times mgmt has taken me abroad, to the amazing people I’ve met along the way…) but what’s been a special highlight has to be the catalyst that inspired my career… Seeing how a song from an artist I managed get picked up and used as a soundtrack to bring awareness to the issue of albino orphans being sold on the black market in Tanzania. That was the tipping point for me which made me realise music can be used for more than just having a great time. But for having real cultural impact.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?
Understanding the new business models available to make alternative income for your artists… there are multiple industries within the music industry, so don’t be afraid to explore and try new platforms. “If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done” comes to mind.
What music are you currently listening to?
Currently listening to my private playlist called “Skip?? Never!”… here were the songs played on shuffle whilst I was answering these questions:
Robert Glasper – Of Dreams To Come
Killswitch Engage – My Curse
Alison Kraus & Union State – Miles To Go
Pa Salieu – B***k
Snoh Alegra – Whoa
John Mayer – Stop This Train
Bebel Gilberto – August Day Song
Gretchen Parlato – Holding Back the Years