Representing a significant breadth of artists, songwriters, DJs and producers, they include managers working with more than 70 highly talented acts such as Blinkie, Shygirl, Idlewild, Ay Em, BC Camplight, Employed to Serve, Mirra May, and Porridge Radio.
Recognising the increasingly pivotal role of the music manager to finance, develop and facilitate artist careers, the programme provides both financial and educational support – offering 12-month grants of up to £15,000, alongside expert-led professional development training.
View the full list of participants below:
Prior to launching VRTU Music in January 2020, Adam was an Artist Manager at Key Music Management working with the likes of Pixies, Agnes Obel, Dead Can Dance, The Fratellis, Mew, 808 State, The Slow Show, Jane Weaver, and many more.
Adam currently manages BC Camplight and LoneLady, as well as working across a number of management consultancy projects ranging from major label artists to developing new acts.
One of the most dynamic creative entrepreneurs in the UK. His versatility on the projects that he works on makes it difficult to put him in a box. From managing talent, organising foodie events and even producing radio shows for airlines such as British Airways.“I guess I am like a creative architect, I like to plan projects, but I also roll up my sleeves and work in the trenches, I love to build too, so I guess I’m an architect and a builder”.
Build he does, T Oyelola has developed the careers of many artists and helped them to self-actualise. He works with a diverse roster of talent from jazz to gospel, comedy to animation. His clients have won multiple awards, appeared in national press like the Guardian, London Tonight and BBC Breakfast and regularly tour the world.
Event management is a key part of his skill set, having organised and promoted successful concerts, festivals and tours around the world, from small venues to arenas. For 3 years, he was the event producer of the Pre MOBO Awards and since 2016, he has been on the BRITs Award Voting Panel.
Following a career in tour management and as a promoter rep, Ben began to shift his focus into music management after learning of a degenerative eye condition, meaning inevitably in time he would need to come off the road. Harbourside Artist Management was born out of the lockdown in 2020, with Ben having time to take stock of the changing industry and his own future, which saw him unite the artists he already managed alongside touring, under one new business.
Based in Bristol, but with an international roster, Harbourside Artist Management represents Viktoria Modesta (Los Angeles), Lachi (New York) and Lucy May Walker (London). The company has a significant interest in disability and a focus on bridging the gap between the mainstream music industry and the disability arts world.
Originally from Sheffield, Ben became a tour manager in 2013 with clients down the years including Donny Osmond, Bananarama, Shayne Ward and Rebecca Ferguson, as well as big names outside of music such as Gino D’Acampo, Paul Hollywood and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Danny’s current roster includes Ivor Novello nominated singer/songwriter Dyo, rapper Ay Em & Grammy winning producer Maestro ‘The Baker’. Partner at NOWHERE—NEAR, he also is involved in building a management company that is home to some of the country’s finest musical talent.
Some highlights in the past few years include songwriting cuts for Dyo with Luis Fonsi, Maroon 5, Fifth Harmony as well as building a record business with independent rapper Ay Em which has generated to date over 20 million audio streams and counting.
With a label background, both major and independent, Danny has enjoyed stints at EMI (Universal) and ADA (Warner) working on campaigns for the likes of Naughty Boy, Alessia Cara, Krept & Konan, Jamie T, Ocean Wisdom and Charlie Sloth.
In 2013, Danny started work as a founding member of YGN, a networking group for young professions in the music business – which ultimately led to him landing a major label role at Virgin EMI (now EMI).
West London based, Artiste Manager, Demonie “Squidell” Wilson has been sharpening his skills in the music industry since 2009. Originally, he started off as a Disc Jockey at an early age of twelve with his uncle in his birth country, Jamaica. Demonie’s passion for music allowed him to create beats and further collaborate with youths from the communities in Kingston who had a similar passion. His vast experience gained from working with his internationally known brother “Popcaan has created numerous opportunities for him to extend the range of his skills even further.
Demonie’s development into music allowed him to birth his own booking agency and Management Company called Artistic Production in 2017. His use of creativity and knowledge allowed Demonie to challenge the boundaries of the music industry both locally and internationally. Artistic Production has been and continues to be the home of two of Jamaica’s top-tier artistes: Chi Ching Ching and Govana whose discographies included their recent albums. The element of touring and performing at live events and festivals globally has been another major achievement as Demonie continues to make this possible through his diverse Agency.
Despa Robinson is an entertainment mogul from Birmingham, England. After founding his first successful Grime record label, StayFresh Entertainment in 2008, Despa went on to found his next start-up, BE83, a creative content company, that specialises in content production, artist management and recordings.
Despa is a pioneer in UK urban music and through the management arm of BE83, Despa manages the careers of Jaykae, Smoke Boyz, Dapz On The Map, Tana & Grim Sickers.
Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Despa is a driving force behind Birmingham’s prominence in the British Rap industry, and continues to work to cement the city’s place in the music landscape.
Ella-Bonai Gordon is a 25-year-old London based Artist Manager. Formerly part of Renowned Management, she works primarily with fast-rising Hackney singer-songwriter Hamzaa and Presenter/DJ Henrie.
Hailing from Lewisham, South London, Ella-Bonai started out in the industry from an events background with the social enterprise Bigga Fish, Ella-Bonai tan over 25 sold out events across the country boasting early performances from the likes of Krept and Konan, Yungen, Cash and Sneakbo.
During her time there she was also involved working with young creatives, educating 14 to 25-year-olds in events management and marketing, and developed a passion for nurturing talent and managing artists. She began working alongside Zeon Richards at Renowned Management, as an A&R Scout and artist manager, and discovered Hamzaa in 2017 and Henrie in 2019.
Italian native, Feedy Frizzi, has resided in London for the past 14 years. After being awarded a First Class degree in Music Business in 2010 she was hired as an A&R and Lizzie Francis’ assistant at Spilt Milk Music management, giving her insight into the world of songwriting by overseeing relationships with writer clients such as Eg White (Adele, Florence, Will Young, Sam Smith, Pink etc) Justin Parker (Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Bat For Lashes) and Jim Duguid (Alex Clare, Paolo Nutini).
In 2013 Feedy moved into Moshi Moshi’s office in east London and with them started co-managing Boxed In (aka Oli Bayston) as an artist and also producer/co-writer for the likes of: Petite Noir, George Fitzgerald, The Bohicas, The Two Bears, Rosie Lowe etc. This partnership also extends to a second co-management client, NZCA Lines, who she signed to Memphis Industries for records and Because Music for publishing. Between 2017 and 2019 Feedy lived between London and Los Angeles and took part in various panels discussing the current state of the music industry, international markets, artist development and current state of the ever-changing media.
While at Breakout West conference in Canada she discovered Boniface and took them to the UK to sign them to Transgressive Records. Since then she relocated to the UK, started her own management company MBF Music who currently represents Daniel Brandt (Erased Tapes), Max Pope (Caroline) and NZCA Lines (Memphis Industries/Because Music).
Having previously worked for End Of The Road Festival’s management arm doing the day-to-day management for Ezra Furman and Du Blonde, Ina Tatarko has developed her independent roster alongside working as a promoter for Parallel Lines, Crosstown Concerts, Famous Friends and Girls & Boys and other areas of the music industry, ranging from royalties accounting, film and music video work, set design, label set up and structures, pr, promotion, various roles at festivals, stage managing and tour management.
She is now managing BBC Sound Of 2020 artists and Warp Record signees Squid, hotly tipped singer-songwriter and Nick Cave collaborator Martha Skye Murphy, experimental guitarist and songwriter Kiran Leonard, multifaceted producer and songwriter Tony Njoku and saxophonist and singer-songwriter Laura Misch under Hoof Management.
With an amazing passion for music, Jamie started his management career following a successful music scholarship course with Music Business School in conjunction with London school of sound. Previously releasing a record himself under a label when he was very young, he went to launch some exciting club party nights before turning his attention to managing and executive producing with talent.
Seen as one of the brightest future management stars by Music Week, Jamie is currently managing a roster of super talented artists. His artists roster includes Geovarn, Kadeem Tyrell, Lottie Jade & Richy Rambo. Along his journey he has also had festival production experience, content creation experience and studio ownership experience. Also as one of Spotlights UK music executives to watch, his journey is interesting already amazing millions of streams.
Joe runs Braw Sailin’, managing, booking, releasing and producing projects for Scottish folk acts Tannara, Westward the Light and Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach. Billed as an artist led music company, and with a wealth of experience as a multi-instrumentalist, performer and producer, he’s focused on sustainable business and creative development, and the development of links with wider genres and worlds of music.
His career to date has taken him across the creative sector, freelancing as a copywriter and fundraiser, as well as roles with The Federation of Scottish Theatre, The Touring Network and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, of which he is a graduate.
Growing out of a bedroom cassette label, Memorials of Distinction focuses on cutting-edge, underground artists who have big potential. Currently, the roster includes Mercury-shortlisted post-punk band Porridge Radio, Rough Trade signed folk-experimentalists caroline, and emerging queer-club vocalist/producer/DJ Grove.
Managing Africa Express for the last decade has given Lauren an overactive imagination and a thirst for the unusual – resulting in projects that, according to the BBC, “no sane person would attempt”.
Now under her all-female management company Band of Wolves, she manages the inimitable Moonchild Sanelly (recent collabs with Beyonce, Gorillaz, Wiz Kid, Diplo), Eliza Legzdina, The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, and continues to manage Africa Express. Band of Wolves was founded on the values of creating incredible new music, women supporting women, artists supporting artists, and all of us having a LOT of fun along the way.
Lu has over 25 years experience in the music industry. Starting her career as a music video and live DVD producer for artists including Diana Krall, Judas Priest, Usher, The Cure and Kylie. She then moved on to work at 19 Management in creative TV development with Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller. Lu returned to the live sector of the music industry, producing live shows and working as a tour manager for 15 years for many artists such as Will Young, Lisa Marie Presley and Roisin Murphy to name a few.
Lu formed Cardiff based Wild Management in 2015 after working for numerous management companies as a day-to-day manager, deciding to start her own artist management company.
Her roster includes Welsh based rock band HIMALAYAS, who have amassed over 25 million streams on Spotify, sold out UK and European tours, secured international sync deals and have been awarded the PRS Momentum fund in 2020. THE WHITE LAKES, an indie pop band from Oxford who are currently in the studio recording new material and Welsh singer songwriter CAROLINE HARRISON who is continuing to write and collaborate with various European artists and producers.
Michael Lambert is the co-owner of Edinburgh-based A Modern Way management representing alternative indie band Fatherson, who have released three studio albums and recently across EU & UK arenas with Lewis Capaldi.
He also works with emerging singer-songwriters Tom Joshua and Zoe Graham, recent signing Rudi Zygadlo and co-manages alternative rock band Idlewild who celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2020.
Having spent almost a decade working across various areas of the music business – from indie club promoter to A&R for a global distribution company, Michael is passionate about artist development and building career longevity for his diverse roster of artists.
Inspired from his early childhood by his music-producer brother Blinkie, Nigel Munjoma, the founder of Profit X Loss Management, has always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur, motivated by his desire to get the best out of people. Profit X Loss is spearheaded by Nigel and his tireless passion for managing people and projects whilst acquiring talented artists and producers. In 2016, his relationship with Blinkie, who has been producing for at least 16 years, was formalised when Nigel became his official manager, and since then the two have been working hand-in-hand.
Some highlights include Blinkie’s debut single, Don’t Give Up, which went Silver in the UK with 200k singles sold, as well as recently surpassing the milestone of 100 million streams on releases and remixes on Spotify. Blinkie also produced Bugzy Malone’s highest-charting record to date: M.E.N. III, which hit number 18 on the official chart.
Since working with Blinkie, Nigel has added 3 new talents to his roster: multi-genre producer Kevin Gani, artist WhoisOrion, and DJ and Producer James Bluck. Recently, Blinkie and Kevin Gani have been working on Bugzy Malone’s forthcoming album ‘The Resurrection’, and, in January 2021, released his surprise collaboration with Chip, Notorious.
Phoebe Gold, founder of Up Close Management, started her career throwing parties for and with friends in West London. She then started working at music management companies, learning the ropes of artist, producer and songwriter management.
Having studied music at university, she knew that her heart was in artist development and has since started her own business managing artists such as emerging artist tendai, tastemaker producer/DJ Tommy Gold (Bone Soda, NTS), and independent Bay Area-based artist kezia.
Rob Harrison’s passion for music management started early. As a teenager, he would send encouragement and ideas to unsigned artists on MySpace. His first taste of the music business came when one of those artists, a then-unknown Pixie Lott, was signed to Mercury Records. When her debut single hit #1, Rob was hooked. He then worked with YMU (Pixie Lott, The Script), Modest! (One Direction, Little Mix), and Tileyard Music (Sigala, Ella Eyre) before becoming an independent manager in 2019.
His roster now includes some of the most exciting and hotly tipped emerging acts in the UK, including teenage singer-songwriter Erin Bloomer, artist and producer TS Graye, and a soon-to-surface British girl group. As well as managing artists, Rob is the founder of Listen Generously, an independent record label, and an A&R consultant at Island Records. He is particularly interested in sustainable artist development, mental health and wellbeing, and building and belonging to diverse and inclusive teams.
Originally from France, Sarah moved to the UK over 10 years ago to pursue a career in music, starting in dubstep’s seminal label Tectonic, before moving into artist management and working in many teams developing and managing the careers of some of the house and techno’s most acclaimed DJs such as Seth Troxler, Eats Everything & Butch.
Sarah founded Muise Management alongside Shygirl and is currently managing some of the most exciting artists shaping the future of music & culture: Shygirl, LYZZA, Butch, Lou Hayter & Delilah Holliday.
Born and Raised in North West London Shikayla’s love for music started at a young age. Whilst growing up in a melting pot of cultures, she was introduced to a plethora of Black music including Reggae, Grime, R&B and Soul. With a family in Radio and sound systems, she was able to explore and subsequently cultivate her love for the music scene.
An Artist Manager for Rebecca Garton and Levelle London. Rebecca made her music debut featuring on Krept and Konan’s ‘Long Way Home’ album. Rebecca recently released her debut EP take me home including features from, Jeremih, WSTRN’s Louis Rei and Fireboy DML. Singer-songwriter, rapper & producer and engineer Levelle London; has worked with the likes of Ella Mai and Kojey Radical, he has also opened for Mario, Cardi B and Geko.
After realising her passion for artist management whilst assisting Waka Flocka’s Manager, Shikayla Nadine went on to study Music Business and Brand Marketing at Buckinghamshire New University. As well as artist management Shikayla expresses her love and appreciation of black music through hosting her own radio show. Hosting the Midday With Kay Show, she prides herself on helping to push new and upcoming artists to the forefront.
The Young Swaggy Hustler Taisha Jay was raised in the multicultural streets of Tottenham, North London. Her career began in venue management where she decided to explore her creativity, passion and skill set within the music and entertainment industry.
After signing her first act singer-songwriter Miraa May, Taisha has successfully navigated her way through the scene without having to conform to the industry’s norms and values.
Gaining influence from legendary music-business moguls, Taisha plans to continue building her brand, developing a successful roster of talented acts whilst advocating for the empowerment and opportunities for young women on the come up.
She has extensive ambitions to create a pioneering platform that provides vast experiences for talented individuals who are devoted to making a difference to the scene.
Thomas is the co-founder of Tone MGMT, a new type of management roster offering up a diverse, transparent, and no-nonsense approach to artist management in the creative industries.