Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Griff Harding.
How long have you worked in Management?
I have worked in management for almost 4 years. I started my music career as a radio plugger with Listen Up and then moved into A&R with Cr2 before finding my love for managing acts which I have been doing independently since.
Who do you manage now?
I manage 3 hugely exciting talents – KALM, Fallon & LAZY JOE. All of them are focussed in the dance & pop world with their own solo projects, alongside producing/writing for others.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
KALM was my first client. He had sent over a couple of demos in the inbox for the YouTube channel I run. The tracks were raw but I loved the width to his sound and we got chatting. He had that extra dimension to his production that set him apart from so many others even if it wasn’t polished yet. I was also an A&R at the time and management wasn’t directly on my radar but something I had always wanted to move into. Then after a few months of chatting about records, KALM asked if I’d want to manage him and I haven’t looked back since.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
I absolutely love my job. There’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling than enabling an artist to reach their full potential and I always feel privileged to work with the acts that I do. The excitement on release days is a buzz like no other. It is the journey from taking records at their conception to market and fans. I love it. Also, never underestimate a list. It’s always a good day when you have your ducks lined up. Bad days are few and far between. I always feel it’s important not to dwell on things that are lost but rather what can be gained.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
I have had many. For me, nothing quite beats hearing a record from one of your acts on the radio whether it be BBC Radio 1, Kiss FM, Capital etc. There is just something so special about that for me especially when your act gets it for the first time. Sometimes you can get wrapped up and forget that we all really are fans inside. Also, we’ve had the pleasure to work with some incredible labels. Fallon with Another Rhythm & Atlantic Records. KALM with Good Company & The Other Songs. LAZY JOE has his solo project launching in Q3 2021 and cuts with the likes of Alok, Disciples & Hayla.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?
The last twelve months have definitely given management a different perspective and taught us how to adapt. The lack of live performance has definitely had a big impact. Also, the lack of facetime with clients has been difficult. Nothing beats getting together to brainstorm and plot worldwide domination. There have been some positives though. Due of the lack of time on the road it has given my acts plenty of time to keep developing their sound and we are sitting on a lot of music. Our biggest challenge for the rest of the year is now executing their releases and entering them into the market at the right time with the right placement & support.
What music are you currently listening to?
I only listen to KALM, Fallon & LAZY JOE… no just kidding haha. There is so much good music around at the moment. I feel lockdown has been a real creative space. I’m absolutely loving Jess Bays, Rain Radio, THAT KIND, Sleepwalkrs, Ben Rainey, Jodie Harsh, Violet Skies, Griff (cracking name), Yaman Khadzi, Navos and many more. There’s too many to mention.