Manager Spotlight: Nikki Acute

11 April 2024

The manager spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers.⁠ This week in the spotlight is Nikki Acute!

How long have you worked in Management?

13 years.

Who do you manage now?

Flowdan, Neffa-T.

Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?

At the age of 21 (in 2007) I set up a booking agency named Acute Promotions, representing DJs and MCs in Drum & Bass and later, Dubstep. In 2011 a friend, DJ Hatcha asked if I would represent MC Flowdan. I was a huge fan (and still am) of his work, as, aside from his huge influence in Grime, he was also responsible for one of the biggest tracks in Dubstep, Skeng. So after a meeting with him I jumped at the chance of working with him.

After a few months of Agency representation, Flowdan asked me to be his Manager, and help craft his career in underground music. Whilst I didn’t have any management experience, I did have an unbound passion for helping people, developing careers alongside a thirst for knowledge.

It was then that I joined MMF. The resources and connections I gained helped my journey immensely.

What does a good/bad day at work look like for you?

For me, defining a day as good or bad hinges largely on perspective. Each day brings its own set of challenges, ranging from the straightforward to the tricky. But what truly makes a day fulfilling is when I tap into that creative mindset. It’s about finding the silver lining, even in the most daunting situations. So, a good day is when I’m able to navigate those challenges with creativity and resilience, turning obstacles into opportunities.

What has been the highlight of your management career to date?

It’s hard to pick just one highlight from my management career. One unforgettable moment was when Flowdan clinched a Grammy this year – a monumental achievement, marking him as the first British MC to achieve such a feat. It was groundbreaking and a true testament to his talent and hard work.

But you know, there’s another highlight that never fails to leave me in awe: seeing the artists I work with thrive onstage. It’s electric, watching them command crowds, and even more so as those crowds grow in size over time. That consistent sense of growth and connection between artist and audience is something truly special.

What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2024?

Navigating the landscape of artist management in 2024 comes with its fair share of challenges. One significant hurdle is keeping up with the ever-evolving digital landscape and leveraging it effectively to promote and support our artists. With the constant emergence of new platforms and trends, staying ahead of the curve is essential to ensure our artists’ visibility and success.

Another challenge is balancing the demands of the industry with the well-being of our artists. In an era of relentless schedules and pressures, maintaining their mental and physical health is paramount. Finding that delicate equilibrium between pushing boundaries and preserving their artistic integrity is a constant juggle.

Additionally, the music industry itself is undergoing rapid transformation, with shifts in distribution models, revenue streams, and audience preferences. As artist managers, staying adaptable and agile in response to these changes is crucial to ensuring our artists’ longevity and relevance in the industry.

Ultimately, the key challenge lies in providing comprehensive support and guidance to our artists amidst a dynamic and fast-paced environment, all while championing their artistic vision and helping them navigate the complexities of the industry with grace and resilience.

Why would you recommend the MMF?

The resources, support and networking opportunities in MMF are unquantifiable. I have learned, and still do learn, so much from interacting with others on similar journeys to me, a particular highlight was attending the Managers Retreat last year in 2023. Just to be in the same space, sharing stories, ideas and struggles with a great bunch of people who just ‘get it’ was profoundly helpful. I find the role of a manager can sometimes be quite isolated, so to be able to connect with others who understand the role is priceless.

What music are you currently listening to?

I listen to all sorts. Regularly press play on an ambient playlist on spotify, or seek specialist radio sets on Rinse FM or NTS Radio. At this exact moment I’m listening to the CASISDEAD Radio playlist which has put me onto some artists such as Hilts – loving the track ‘Swings’ right now.

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