Manager Spotlight: Sarah Brooksbank

20 September 2021

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Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Sarah Brooksbank.

How long have you worked in management? 

15 years.

Who do you manage now? 

Bat For Lashes, Fat White Family, Working Men’s Club and producer/ mixer Ross Orton.

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

I’ve managed Natasha for 8 years, she was the first artist to come with me when I made the decision to set up on my own nearly 6 years ago. She’s an absolute genius and a truly unique singular talent, plus we get on.

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

A good day is new music, it’s a privilege when something new drops into my inbox and I’m the first person to hear it, I don’t take that for granted. When the artists are happy, when things are moving – you’ve got a plan together and you’re ticking things off the list, when the record labels are onside with it all and everyone is feeling positive, getting a song across the line at playlist, a TV or good festival booking.

On a bad day, chasing people or waiting for answers, budgets that you can’t make work, visa applications, trying to justify radio edits, band arguments.

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

There are obvious ‘CV’ moments like Natasha being nominated for the Mercury and winning an Ivor, but the real highlights for me are when you throw everything at a campaign and it pays off, I enjoy the process – getting the Fat White Family album in the top 20 was brilliant, we worked really hard, similarly releasing the Working Mens Club debut album in the middle of a pandemic with no touring and no idea what was really going to happen, and then it really connecting and getting a great reaction (and chart place!) was great. They’re all lovely people with great teams too, so it’s hard work but it’s fun. Trips to places that I wouldn’t usually get to visit are nice too.

What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2021?

In the short term the uncertainty means double or triple the work, everyone is nervous and a bit burnt out with it all – I’m constantly redoing budgets, re scheduling plans, everything is harder and planning anything international is a headache.
In the longer term as more and more online platforms become legitimate avenues for ‘promotion’ we’re being asked to service them all with free content.

What music are you currently listening to?

Priya Ragu, Tirzah, always PJ Harvey.

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