Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Maria Torres.
How long have you worked in management?
I have been working in music management for around 5 years, I managed bands throughout my time at University in Bristol and then obtained a role as a management assistant in London as soon as I graduated. I then started taking on my own roster of artists and became a part of Verdigris Management at the end of 2019. Due to the pandemic, I lost my job in management but decided to continue managing independently and have taken on two artists during lockdown which has been great! I am now based in the South West and manage three artists.
Who do you manage now?
I currently manage three incredible and unique artists: Sinead O’Brien (post-punk poet), Grandmas House (punk female trio) and Keaton Dekker (alt-pop artist).
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
When I was in London, I came across Sinead O’Brien’s music online as she had been supporting multiple artists on the live gig scene in London. I listened to it and straightaway I was hooked, her unique sound and incredible musicianship could be detected from the get-go. I started managing Sinead in February 2019, and it’s been a really exciting journey so far. I am also passionate about managing powerful female fronted artists, and Sinead is constantly inspiring me every day.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
Every day is extremely different and varied in the world of management and always bound to get both good and bad days. Good days are definitely when things are busy, multiple opportunities come through, release weeks, live shows and receiving incredible demos and new music! There’s a lot to be thankful for in the world of music management and working with such amazing talents.
A bad day is when things can get overwhelming and I am working independently so I don’t have anyone to discuss situations with, that can get hard sometimes. I find taking things day by day helps and I’ve connected with lots of other independent managers on Zoom over lockdown which has been great.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
This is a very difficult question, but I think that it always has to be at live shows and you can see the audience reacting to the artist’s music in real time. It’s been hard not having these shows over the last 18 months, however, seeing Sinead O’Brien perform two sets at Latitude Festival in July was such an incredible moment. It was the first time she performed her new music to a crowd and the response was dynamic! Really excited to see what the next live shows bring for her.
Also seeing Grandmas House perform their first ever festival was a big highlight, as I had only seen them play socially distanced gigs up until then – so seeing a crowd dance/mosh to their music and performing to a packed out tent was incredible!
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?
There are many challenges managers face, I would say that 2021 has brought us a new way of working and adapting to situations quickly and thinking on our feet. These times are difficult but we quickly find solutions as managers, and coming out of the pandemic I think we will have learned a lot which will only work to our advantage at the end of the day.
As mentioned previously, being an Independent Manager during this year is tough due to not having the opportunity to meet up with other managers and bounce ideas off each other. However, the power of Zoom has really helped here and I am thankful to have met so many other great managers online during this time!
What music are you currently listening to?
I am listening to a lot of Dry Cleaning, I think their album is absolutely brilliant, also listening to Wet Leg, Katy J Pearson, Nation of Language and Weird Milk.