Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Sheila Baker.
How long have you worked in Management?
I have been managing for several years working on releases and campaigns freelance. In 2018 I became a music manager on the books and a consultant specialising in artist development. I am now making a decent profit from opportunities I have secured for my artist.
Who do you manage now?
Multi-disciplinary artist Brother May – singer, songwriter, performer, producer, MC, label boss and co- founder of CURL recordings / CURL Collective alongside Mica Levi and Coby Sey. Brother May has his own imprint as well as releasing up to 14 official catalogue releases with CURL recordings. He performs live solo as well as performing as a DJ set with CURL and touring internationally as a 3/5 piece band live as CURL.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
I’d been managing a friend during my years in sixth form, learning the ropes whilst taking a Music Management course at the Chocolate Factory. I met my first professional client – Brother May – at an event in which he was performing. He had great stage presence and crowd control in those early days which was very impressive. He also had a very humble attitude and his self belief was admirable. He made me believe I could make music my career. We have been working together for many years since and it’s been such a blessing to help develop such a profound artistic genius.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
I love my job so everyday is a good day – I enjoy the campaigns, live performances and the wonderful people I am able to meet and work with. There are no bad days – there are just lessons to be learnt and wisdom to be gained. If I had to highlight a bad day – it would be those days that seem hardest when I’m trying to gain information to push my artist forward but it seems like certain key figures in the industry (gate keepers) are withholding key information.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
I have been blessed with some amazing highlights in my career – the release of Brother May’s debut album ‘Aura Type Orange’ was such a great time in my career. It has been 5 years now since the creation of the CURL Collective and I have enjoyed the whole experience. We have released project with the likes of Tirzah, Ben Vince, Kwake Bass, WU-LU, Tony Harewood and Akinola Davies to name but a few. Working within this great industry alongside friends from such amazing companies and individuals within the music and film industry such as Iconoclast and QuJunktions is a highlight. Receiving funding from the MMF Rebuild Fund and the Princes Trust has been exceptional – I’m very excited for the future.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?
The pandemic has changed many things especially in regards to live performances. However I am a strong believer that the music industry is recovering rapidly. Personally I have not allowed the pandemic to stop my artist’s progress forward with the release of the Aura Type Orange vinyl, we released the video for ‘Can Do It’ from the album (thank you for all the messages in regards to how this song as helped you get through these times – which is visible on YouTube comments & across my artist’s socials). We continued with the campaigns and released EP ‘Love Is In Demand’ spearheaded by formidable PR company Ten Letter PR and single ‘Bando’ which received key Spotify playlists. I am optimistic for the future as we are gearing up for the release of features my artist has been working on with Moor Mother and Kae Tempest and gearing up for our next project releases. I won’t allow anything to stop my progression, it’s important what I did yesterday – but its even more important what I’ll do today and that what truly matters.
What music are you currently listening to?
At present I am listening to Brother May’s Meeks and May EP – this is available on CURL recording bandcamp now and set for release on 4th June on all digital outlets – the EP is so great very original and fresh with wordplay and writing skills comparable to the best writers in the world. Also Om Om Om by Micachu (Blue Albi LP) ft Brother May – the song is so good and talks about real political issues we face everyday and how to overcome adversity, which is inspiring – I am also listening to other members of the Curl collective – Tirzah – Send Me, Coby Sey – River, Alpha Maid – Spy