Tell us a bit about yourself!
Echo Beach Management is a busy and successful management company, guiding the careers of writers, producers and engineers. We represent some globally successful producers – Jacknife Lee/ Cam Blackwood/ MyRiot / Chris Zane / Ash Workman as well as some of the best and most successful mix engineers such as Ash Howes and Dave Bascombe. I am also extremely proud to represent Lorna Blackwood who is an incredible vocal producer and works with some of the biggest names in pop – Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Mabel etc. We work with a diverse range of talent but are always looking to collaborate with artists who prioritise pushing the boundaries of pop music, rather than chasing chart success.
What is your greatest career success to date?
Setting up my own company in 2016 was hugely challenging but really rewarding. Prior to that I had always worked for someone else and was lucky enough to work with real visionaries like the late Jazz Summers at Big Life. I learnt a lot during those years but working for yourself and being able to steer your ship whichever way you want is the best! The other thing I am proud of is how long I have been working with my clients – some of them for over 15 years. It’s been a real privilege to share their successes and navigate a path through the tougher times.
What has been the most significant challenge you’ve encountered in the industry?
Definitely getting established as a music professional when I first started working for record companies. I was scouting for a major publisher and then a large indie for 8 years (prior to management) and it was tough to be taken seriously. This was back in the late 90s and there was definitely a whiff of a masculine work culture at an executive level. It’s been great to see brilliant female executives like Rebecca Allen, Kim Franciewisz and Alison Donald reaching top levels at major corporations.
Who gets your Women’s Day shoutout?
Having a posse of super smart female managers around me that I can bounce ideas off and ask questions when I’m unsure of a scenario is a godsend! Sandy Dworniak, Hannah Joseph, Celia McCamley, Polly Comber, Vicky Dowdall are all amazingly creative and so hardworking. Watching their successes is always inspiring to me.
If you could change one thing about how the music industry operates to improve the experience of women, what would it be?
Definitely having more women running companies. At the risk of sounding sexist (!), seems to me that women have a more holistic approach to managing their teams. Issues of juggling childcare with work in the music business are really demanding as you are expected to work long hours and lots of evenings. For women to be able to rise up through the ranks they will need support through their 30s and 40s when the have young children and having a boss that has experienced that juggle and is willing to accommodate that is vital.
Hopes for the future?
To see a lot more women producers and mixers coming through. Currently they represent about 2% of the genecpool which is terrible. Technology has really helped democratise the production process and there are some incredible female artists that are producing their own records now… FKA Twigs, Christine & The Queens, King Princess, Maggie Rogers, Saint Vincent to name a few. It’s going to be exciting to see some of them transition to producing records for other artists.