Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Megan Burns, who is on the 2020 Accelerator Programme.
How long have you worked in Management?
I have worked in management for just over 3 years now. Although I have been involved in the entertainment industry in various capacities since the age of 13.
Who do you manage now?
I currently work with Palm Reader, Isolated Youth and TARLD
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
I found my first client through a friend of mine who played me a demo track and I fell in love with them instantly, their sound perfectly encapsulated everything I adore about music and I knew I had to work with them. My daughter was a toddler and I had a full-time job at a university at the time so it was a struggle, but I just really wanted to try and help them out.
My approach to management is very passion based so it took me a little while to come to the realisation that I can’t always just follow my heart, I must also use my head and look at things from a business perspective too. Now when a band approaches me I try my best to not fall head over heels and dive straight in based on songs alone. I get the boring (important) chat out of the way in the initial meetings to be sure they can invest in themselves and do actually want to be managed/put in the work to build their profile.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
I feel like most days are good days. I’m incredibly grateful to be working in an industry I love with such inspirational and talented people. So whenever I think I’m having a bad day, I have to take a minute to check myself and remind myself I could have it so much worse.
The only truly bad days are when a decision is made to part ways with an artist, that’s always a sad day.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
As cheesy as it sounds, my highlight is hearing brand new material from my artists. Being involved in that process from phone recordings to studio to stage is so rewarding.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2020?
The artists I work with rely heavily on touring to promote and sell records/merchandise, so the pandemic has certainly affected how we are approaching business. As a manager there has been added pressure to come up with new and innovative ways to market my artists and because these ways are new, it all feels a little trial and error as nobody has the answer. That uncertainty can be unsettling but I have confidence that this need to think outside the box will freshen up the industry.
What music are you currently listening to?
On my playlist at the moment I have the new Deftones single ‘ohms’ and albums from Wode, Bambara, Drahla and SPQR.