Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Mike Watson.
How long have you worked in management?
It will be 15 years in 2022 which is scary. Prior to management I worked as a PR for Hall or Nothing for 10 years. It was a really inspiring place to work. I got to work with lots of great managers and Terri Hall introduced me to loads of people involved in every aspect of the music business. I’d also helped set up a little indie label so I felt I’d learned enough to give MGMT a go.
Who do you manage now?
All We Are, Do Nothing, Folly Group and The Magic Gang
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
I found Cheeky Cheeky And The Nosebleeds on myspace which gives you a good idea of the year it was. I had started messaging them but knew they were still at college, as soon as they had done their A levels, I travelled to Woodbridge to meet them and that was that. Ed Sheeran’s first gig was in a battle of the bands with them, he won.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
A good day at the moment definitely involves being at a show and seeing people connect with the music in the way they’re meant to. A bad day; visa applications.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
Asking Robbie Shakespeare how he made Boops.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?
Vinyl production deadlines. Dataism.
What music are you currently listening to?
The Aboutface album on AD93, its built around field recordings made during essential travel in the first lockdown, its stunning. Lots of stuff from Manchester, Space Africa, Rat Heart and Mandy, Indiana who were amazing at Psych Fest. Steely Dan. The new St Ettiene album is great, it’s their tenth! The Virtual Dreams compilation on Music From Memory, Septet by John Carroll Kirby, Luke Unabomber’s show on Worldwide FM, Chameleon by Anthony Naples and i’m really excited about the new Helado Negro record.