MMF Board Elections- Read The Nominee’s Statements

24 May 2017

Our first board elections process is now under way, and we have recieved statements from 7 candidates who wish to stand for the MMF board.

We will be hosting our Hustings event on June 14th (in our new offices in Clerkenwell!) where you will have the chance to meet our candidates, find out what they stand for, and what they are going to bring to the board.

Stephen O’Reilly and Tom Burris from ie Music will be joining us to talk through how to take advantage of affiliate deals and track sales.They’ll talk you through taking advantage of existing partnerships, and understanding when partners- rather than your artists- are capitalising on these deals.Affiliate reports can also help you better track your sales from your campaigns. The talk will take place from 6-6.30PM- places are limited so please register your interest here. If you would just like to attend the Hustings, please arrive from 6.30pm- no need to RSVP.

Below you can read all of our candidates board election statements.

Brian Message

I became a partner in courtyard management in 1995, the management business for Radiohead.  Having travelled with my partners and the band on their remarkable journey, much of what I know comes from those shared experiences. Together with those partners, we established ATC in 2001 and despite a fumbling, failing and often miserable number of years, we learned enough to start getting it right such that the company today is something of small significance.  Based out of L.A. and London, we have a dozen managers managing some 40 front line artists and a dozen live agents representing some 300 acts.  I have personal responsibility for co-managing Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Katie Melua and now Johnny Marr and I’m a senior member of the business management team across both management and live.

I joined the MMF board 10 years ago and became chairman in 2010 (I think).  During my tenure we established the associate programme and secured the long term support of Spotify and Google.  We revamped the board, targeted a younger demographic and started proactive initiatives such as Amplify as part of a strategy not just to be a trade body that represents but also to take a lead in areas most needed by our members.  I stepped down as chairman in 2014 so I could focus specifically on the difficulties being experienced with the growth of the streaming business.
Having financially contributed both personally and via ATC to Fanfair Alliance and the FAC, I am committed to seeing a successful conclusion of the formers aims and the continued development of the latter.

Being a continuing board member for the MMF will hopefully be useful to the organisation as well as rewarding for me personally.

Claire Southwick

Beginning my career at indie label, Blue Dog, I went on to work in PR, publishing and management before producer management at Sanctuary Music. I then partnered up with Transgressive, setting up and becoming director of Transgressive Producers whilst managing Archie Bronson Outfit.

I launched Primitive Management, an artist and producer management company in 2014. Under this banner I have managed Spring King and Hannah Lou Clark as well as 5 record producers.

I was shortlisted for the ‘Breakthrough Manager Of The Year Award 2016’ for the MMF Artist And Manager Awards

I’ve always been a passionate protector of artist’s rights. When I started attending MMF agenda meetings a year and a half ago it felt like a natural progression and I would now like to be an MMF board member to help instigate changes within the industry.

I also want to be part of a support network for managers. I have learned my skillset on the job over many years and want to help develop mentoring schemes that will inspire and motivate as well as helping upcoming managers have the skills and knowledge that are needed.

I want to help improve on the lack of diversity in the industry, its still a huge problem and I feel education is key.

As a member of the MMF board I would continue to champion current causes including transparency issues, ticket touting and mental health awareness amongst managers and artists.

Since April 2016 I have also been representing the MMF as a member of the Mayor’s London Music Board, with the purpose of enacting the recommendations set out in the Grassroots music venues rescue plan.

Ellie Giles

To be part of something that helps to educate, empower, communicate and push forward managers and artists rights is something very important to me. The MMF board is a vital wheel in the mechanics of change.

Asking questions at every point in time is vital to moving the MMF into a changing music world.  My background in promoting and A&R allows me to see many different view points and understand what everyone is requiring in that world. The job of an A&R is very similar to management as it is developmental. In my time at Fiction/Polydor I was very fortunate to have brought in people such as Ellie Goulding and White Lies. Plus also A&Ring acts such as The Music. The campaigns on each varied and gave me a good stepping stone into management. Allowing me to realise that strategy, personal development of others and business development were all things close to my heart.

I’ve now worked in management for 6 years, initially starting my own company Jigsaw Music Management that represented artists, writers, producers and engineers.  Last year I moved into a partnership last year with Various Artists taking my own clients with me including Bill Ryder-Jones.   Both these roles have given me a good understanding of the mechanics of management.   Plus the breaking down of old business models has allowed managers and artists greater opportunities to do it their own way, whatever that might be.  More recently I have been instrumental in writing about the mental health challenges that affect artists and managers and recently published an article in Vice encouraging all of us in the industry to discuss these issues 

It would be an honour and humbling to be part of something that can support managers young, old, big and small.  

My job on the board will be to always remember the following; Why? How? What?

Stephen Braines

I wish to join the board to give something back to the industry that I am extremely passionate about.
I am keen to offer a voice to a wider range of musical voices as part of the MMF; in my career I have managed artists in dance, indie, folk, grime, electronica and trip-hop. I hope that I can strengthen the ties between the MMF and bodies such as the AFEM of which I am also a board member.

Moreover, I want to further develop the diversity of the MMF board as an LGBT voice and as a younger member. The MMF will work for me when its members feel that regardless of ethnicity, gender, social background, age, religion, geography, sexuality or ability feel that it works for them; therefore feeling included; their voices heard and most importantly listened to, resulting in full consideration given to identifying the barriers they face and ameliorating them.

I have grown as a manager through the ranks of Crown and Incentive music before founding “The Weird & The Wonderful” with my business partner Sophia Kearney.  Our acts have toured clubs and festivals in forty countries and released globally. I  have visited many of these countries and feel I have a rounded understanding of some of the challenges in breaking acts domestically and internationally on both majors, indies and through label services models.

I have spoken at conferences such as Midem, IMS, Sonar, Miami WMC, ADE on how the industry needs to work together collaboratively to prosper. I also hold a masters in psychology and have a keen interest in mental health in the music industry.

If elected I promise to strive for inclusion and development as well as delivering the aforementioned notions with passion across the board if you choose to give me your vote.

Tom Burris

Heading the digital direction at ie:music, I am responsible for managing our artists online, innovating digital marketing strategies as well as having extensive involvement in artist management. I have developed working relationships with major and independent labels, digital service providers, Vevo, YouTube, digital start-ups and the artist manager network. I have a thorough understanding of the challenges that face our managers, whilst supporting and adhering to artist’s demands.

Our recent success with Passenger led me to become a panelist at AIM’s Indie-Con earlier this year. I have an advanced technical understanding of the digital music landscape, and utilise analytical tools to understand audience behavior to influence decisions. I spend a substantial amount of time analysing and capturing data for our artists, whilst capitalising on affiliate opportunities, optimising revenue streams and ensuring that all data is owned by the artist. I take pride in teaching our managers the value of digital tools, and making them aware when third parties are unfairly exploiting or not sharing our artist’s data.

Education of the Music Industry is very important to me, having studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music. Subsequently I managed and produced Indie-Rock bands and Hip-hop artists as an independent manager, and worked with Shameless Talent.

I am supportive in the challenges that face the music industry including the lack of transparency and secondary ticketing. I am an advocate for mental health, having experienced issues within my family and personal life.
I am a member of MMF and actively support educational, business and social events. I feel that the Digital Dollar was a great and progressive move by the MMF. I am confident I could build upon this and help ensure artists and their managers take ownership of their data.

Paul Burger

Having served as a Board member since 2004, I would hope to continue to contribute to the strategic development of the MMF over the coming 3 years.

In recent years, I have served as Chair of the Remuneration Committee, working with our chief exec and co-chairs to set up a sensible compensation structure for our small, growing team.  One of the outgrowths of this work has been the need to create proper Governance within the MMF, and I have chaired this committee over the past year, working with Diane and Annabella to ensure we have clear rules defining the role and responsibilities of a Board member, Term of office, structure for the role of Chair and more.  I have been on the joint MMF/FAC committee which has been working to ensure better communications and working approach between the 2 organisations and trying to define both a workable budget structure for both organisations as we continue to support FAC financially while trying to secure our own economic stability.

While I have spent many years working in the UK, I have also worked in France, Canada and Israel.  My first career chapter was with Sony in various marketing roles before managing Sony Music Canada, then UK/Ireland, and finally Europe/Middle East/Africa.   Since 2003 I’ve been in management where I have focussed on niche repertoire areas including World Music (Yasmin Levy) and Folk (Sam Lee).

The MMF’s work providing support for young managers; representing managers and artists in front of Government and Corporates; and working with FAC to present the Artist’s position on key strategic issues is of vital and growing importance in our rapidly changing industry.  I would hope to continue to assist in developing strategies to ensure our voice is heard louder and more clearly.

Paul Crockford

I went to Southampton University in 1976 to study Environmental Economics where I became the youngest ever social secretary in the history of the National Union of Students but in 1977 having failed my exams I was thrown out!

Afterwards I was a Soundman/Tour Manager from 1977-78 at which point I joined Outlaw Management Ltd/Outlaw Concerts Ltd where I remained until 1987.

We promoted on average 650 concerts a year, becoming the largest independent concert promoter in the UK at the time. Promoted acts including Dire Straits, Genesis, The Police, Eric Clapton, The Cure, The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen.

Simultaneously whilst promoting shows Outlaw developed a management roster, which included amongst others, Teardrop Explodes, Tears for Fears, Level 42 and Marvin Gaye.

In 1987 I launched Paul Crockford Management, managing Level 42, The Blow Monkeys, The Blessing and Brendan Croker and in 1990 I joined forces with Jolyon Burnham and added The 60FT Dolls, Pete Wylie, 4 of Us and Corduroy to the roster.

In 2000 I was asked to manage Mark Knopfler / Dire Straits who I continue to represent and in 2015 I began co-managing Paul Simon.

In my management career I have overseen major tours in every territory in the world. I also found time to be a consultant for Manchester United, The RFU, and all the major record labels. I am also a promoter for the Prince’s Trust helping to raise in excess of 20 million pounds for the trust.

I am a passionate advocate of fairness and transparency for artists and have always been willing to assist/advise any manager I have come across in my travels. I would love to be able to bring my unique experience to the board to further the aims of the MMF and continue to champion the rights of the artist above all else.


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