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Mike Malak, Tommas Arnby launch Special Projects

Having worked together over the last two years, Malak and Arnby are joining forces on a new company dedicated to talent development

By IQ on 13 Oct 2022

Tommas Arnby, Mike Malak

Tommas Arnby, Mike Malak


Mike Malak (Wasserman Music, Coldpress Music) and Tommas Arnby (Locomotion) are joining forces on a new company dedicated to artist and producer/songwriter development.

Malak has been in the agency business for 15 years, working with artists including Billie Eilish, Girl in Red and Denzel Curry. He launched Coldpress, a record label and publishing company, two and a half years ago with the intent of partnering with artists to build their careers.

Arnby, an entrepreneur and former Sony Music A&R exec, started Locomotion 13 years ago and is said to have been instrumental in Yungblud’s trajectory to arena artist, with two number-one albums behind him.

Having worked together over the last two years on various projects, the pair say now is the time to cement their relationship and look to the future with their current crop of talent and wider industry goals.

Malak says: “I’ve always been passionate about A&R and artist development. Working with incredible artists early on and seeing the growth and journey is truly the most rewarding part of the job. With that in mind, I wanted to take it one step further and really work with artists and producers from the inception.

“Spending over a year at the amazing Eastcote Studios during the pandemic working out of the Locomotion office, it felt as though Tommas and I had similar visions and work ethics so naturally several projects came together. This exciting step is now just formalising how we work together and grow as a team.”

Arnby adds: “Artist development has been my biggest focus and passion throughout most of my career. Mike has the same fire as well as the ambition to build global careers. I’m thrilled to take our partnership to the next level and together help our roster of artists and songwriters truly capitalise on their talent and to build audiences around the world!”

The goal is to create a space for artists and producers to feel nurtured and supported so they can do what they do best”

The Special Projects team is completed by Sam Cantlon, who will be focusing on the producer roster and day-to-day management of Nieve Ella – a 19-year-old artist from Albrighton who has gained support from BBC Introducing and Radio 1.

In addition, Sophia Gee joins Special Projects from Prolifica Management and will be day to day on artist Hannah Grae – a 20-year-old Welsh artist who recently signed with Atlantic Records.

The Special Projects producer roster includes Matias Tellez, who has worked with artists such as Girl in Red, Aurora and Sigrid, and Luke Grieve, who has cuts on records such as ‘Clash’ by Dave & Stormzy and ‘Roadside’ by Mahalia & AJ Tracey and worked with developing artists such as Henjila and Oliver Keane.

Finally, Rob Brinkmann has been developing projects from Hannah Grae and working with Daisy Brain.

Of the vision for the company, Malak says: “The goal is to create a space for artists and producers to feel nurtured and supported so they can do what they do best. Leveraging as many quality relationships as we can and having full faith in our team to implement.

“Between the incredible physical space at Eastcote and our brilliant team, we want them to go against the grain of the industry quick wins and play the long game to build careers we are really proud of. The roster will remain boutique in size to ensure all get full-time from our team. As we look to expand and join forces with strategic partners in the industry, Special Projects will release music and make further key hires in order to build a truly self-sufficient entity.”

Arnby adds: “I really believe in our ability to build a business that truly supports talent, giving our artists time to evolve and grow and with emphasis on authenticity and amazing music rather than looking at what’s working or not working out there. Our mission statement of identifying, empowering and breaking more UK talent globally directly supports that mindset.”

 


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