This week in the spotlight is Henry Carden! The Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers.
How long have you worked in Management?
I began co-managing Cattle & Cane 6/7 years ago and have managed them on my own for around 5 years. I started expanding my roster and really focusing on management early in 2020.
Who do you manage now?
I still manage Cattle & Cane and I also manage Joe Hammill from the band as a songwriter. As well as that, my roster includes an amazing emerging artist called Jodie Nicholson, cult indie-pop band Mt. Misery and the newest addition to my roster, a brand new collaborative project called Blue Lupin.
Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
Cattle & Cane approached Andy Carr, who I co-promote Twisterella Festival with, about becoming their manager. They’d had some interesting experiences with more established managers and they needed somebody to steady the ship and see them through the release of their debut album. Andy asked me to join him and I jumped at the opportunity as I felt like I had a bit of unfinished business! I’d self-managed my own band DARTZ! back in the mid 00s and having gained valuable experience in other aspects of the industry in the intervening decade, it felt like a no-brainer to kickstart my management career with a band I was already a fan of.
What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?
A bad day is one where admin takes over and a ten minute job ends up taking two hours. Meta Business Suite in particular has sapped the good energy out of too many days recently…! My favourite days are when I get sent new demos from my artists and I have loads of new music to listen to. It always feels really special being the first person, other than the artist, to hear something they’ve been working on.
What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
I love the early stages of artist development and get such a thrill out of those first touchpoints – when Jodie Nicholson got her first national radio play (from Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2), I was absolutely buzzing. There have been plenty of things that are ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ than that, but you can’t beat the feeling you get from those early wins.
What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2022?
You’re expected to know everything about everything, which obviously isn’t possible. I’m quite self-reflective so I’m well aware of the things I don’t know (yet!), which is why it’s important to have a good team in place and trusted contacts across the industry. I’ve reached a point in life where I would much rather ask for advice rather than just arrogantly assume I know everything.
What music are you currently listening to?
Aside from amazing new demos from the artists on my roster, I’ve been loving the latest releases from fellow north-easterners Lizzie Esau, Luke Royalty, Benefits and Zela. I can’t remember a time where there was so much good music coming out of our neck of the woods.