The Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is Thor Sutherland!
How long have you worked in Management?
I’ve been managing artists since 2018 when I worked at Anglo MGMT. This came off the back of an internship at the publishing company. I left in June this year to found Way Out.
Who do you manage now?
Glowe, King Kuda, Songer & Yxng Dave.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
My first artist was Harleighblu. Harleigh performed in Reading one night at the Purple Turtle when I use to rep the shows. Her performance left me blown away, I hadn’t seen anything like it. The vocals were next level and I could see that she had been hustling hard. We caught a vibe. So, when I joined Anglo, it was time to team up.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
For me, I try to make every day a good day – it’s only a bad day if you make it one. Of course, problems pop up and there are a lot of moving parts but everything has a solution.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
There have been a lot of great moments but a couple of them are: Yxng Dave was the first artist signed to KSI’s label. It took a while to get it over the line, but we got it there. I won’t forget the call from my guy Fricktion one Sunday afternoon after he had just played the records to Mams Taylor. This led to performances at O2 Arena and Wembley supporting KSI, which was pretty mental. Then recently: selling out Songer’s debut tour in less than a few hours and the having the best 3 weeks on the road. Every show was a shutdown, these are the moments I live for.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2023?
One of the biggest challenges is trying to stay true to the music without getting caught up in data/numbers. I come from a background of music I grew up DJing and throwing parties, it’s my passion. So for me, music always leads my decisions. Everyone just talks about Tiktok numbers which takes away from the creative process in my opinion. I agree that Tiktok is a powerful tool, but it shouldn’t stop great talent from coming through, and it definitely shouldn’t be the first question you get asked about your artist.
What music are you currently listening to?
I listen to a real mixed bag, it depends on what I’m feeling. But right now it’s gotta be Loyle Carner, Strandz, Kendrick Lamar, Jungle, Giggs and Foals.