This week in the spotlight is Charlene Hegarty! The Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers.
How long have you worked in Management?
Officially since 2017 however I’ve been working in a management capacity for decades mainly tour management and project management within labels and publishing houses for various artists over the years.
Who do you manage now?
I manage Kitt Philippa, Gemma Bradley, New Pagans and The Darkling Air.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
Kitt Philippa was my first client. They nurtured me into the management space with gentle encouragement over a number of years while we spent time together, going to gigs, sharing our favourite songs and then ultimately framing what would be their debut LP release. I’ve a lot to be grateful to KP for, not least the music.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
To be honest, most days at work feel like good days as I feel in my right place and motivated, with something to contribute. I like the fact that the music industry doesn’t remain static so rich learning and evolution is part of the package if you are willing to embrace it. That doesn’t mean this job is easy, far from it – it’s actively challenging and wildly frustrating at times. I will say I feel most alive during the planning stages of a release campaign – I love the energy in that space and the shared experience when you are working with a focused artist to help them weave together a vision or a patchwork into a workable longer term plan. That work is never boring.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
I take real pride in some really obscure details. For example, I love calling singles really early in the demo process and then watching them grow and connect with complete strangers all over the world via streaming services. I remember hearing ‘Harbour’ by New Pagans and ‘Grace’ by Kitt Philippa very early into the writing/demo process and feeling absolutely confident that those songs would connect on a wider level than perhaps other tracks – and they have. Gemma Bradley has a few solid gold singles under her belt and I can’t wait for those to grow and connect. I also really love when the hard work of an LP campaign comes into focus around a release date – it takes so much to get to that point that there is a certain joy in seeing it all play out in real life.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2022?
Boundaries. In a boundless industry like the music business, setting and keeping functional boundaries remains to be a challenge, not only for managers as individuals but also for managers working in sustainable and healthy ways for their artists. But that challenge remains more vital than ever against the backdrop of burnout.
What music are you currently listening to?
Yune Pinku, Shura, Lapsley, Grace Ives, Kelly Lee Owens, Sinead O’Brien to name a few.