Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Accelerator Manager Josh Cohen.
How long have you worked in Management?
I’ve half jokingly called myself a manager for maybe 5 years, but I think in the last 2-3 I’ve stopped finding it funny.
Who do you manage now?
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
My management career grew out of my bedroom DIY cassette label Memorials of Distinction. Porridge Radio’s early solo recordings were on my first compilation – I’ve been friends with Dana since my late teens. I egged them on as a full band and helped record their debut album in a shed. When it became clear that other, more serious labels with real money and resources were interested, I decided to try to stay involved somehow, and I figured that meant ‘managing’ them.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
It’s hard to tell the difference to be honest: sometimes it feels good to have a load of meetings and emails, sometimes it feels bad. I’m sure once COVID is behind us the good days will be defined by much more interesting and glamorous things, but for now it just depends which side of the bed I wake up on.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
The very quick journey Porridge Radio took from being a beloved janky underground project, to being highly respected, Mercury-nominated artists has been amazing to witness closely. COVID destroying every plan we had, precisely during the week of Every Bad‘s release, meant it’s taken me some time to really appreciate the things that went right.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?
Besides the obvious COVID-related stuff, it seems maybe harder than ever to build a new artist’s real audience and real income, and that means it’s harder than ever for management to make money too.
What music are you currently listening to?
Loving the recent Spinny Nights releases from Robbie & Mona and Cix, very obsessed with Frog of Earth recently too. Also listening to Dear Laika, TaliaBle, Shlomo Carlebach, Theodor Black, Wolf Alice, Naima Bock, Yu Su, and beautiful unreleased stuff from my roster all the time.