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Continuing a series of interviews with the 2023 New Bosses, IQ speaks to Daniel Turner, an agent at Earth Agency (UK)
By Lisa Henderson on 01 Sep 2023
The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.
To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Catch up on the previous interview with Chloé Abrahams-Duperry, artist & promoter relations manager at Ticketmaster, UK, here. The series continues with Daniel Turner, an agent at Earth Agency (UK).
After completing his mathematics undergrad, Daniel Turner jumped head-first into the music industry. After some experience on the ground at the newly opened Phonox in Brixton, London, he landed a role at Earth Agency as an accounts assistant. It swiftly became clear that his meticulous attention to detail and fluency with numbers could be combined with his desire to work more closely with artists in an agent’s assistant role.
Working with experienced agents Claire Courtney, Mike Deane, Naomi Palmer and Lucy Atkinson over a three-year period brought with it swathes of eclecticism, experience and an understanding of the many aspects of agenting. Now representing a wide-ranging roster of artists himself, including Amaliah, Coco Em, JADALAREIGN and Jordss, Turner champions the more underrepresented intersections of the industry, placing them in positions to thrive and disrupt.
You studied maths at university. Does that background help you at all in your day-to-day work as an agent?
Most definitely. Statistics and interpreting data are things I do every day as an agent so there’s definitely crossover.
Before you started in music, did you know about the roles of agents? If so, how did you find out? And if not, likewise, how did you discover that such jobs existed?
I didn’t know specifically what being a booking agent would entail before getting into the industry but I could hazard a guess. Once I left university, I sent out hundreds of CVs and cover letters to anyone in the industry who would accept them just to get a foot in the door – not thinking specifically about the job that I wanted. The concept of agenting wasn’t something I thought about until I joined Earth initially.
You’re obviously enjoying learning about the business a your career progresses. How would you encourage the next generation to choose the live music sector for their chosen career path?
If you’re passionate about music then there are so many roles within the industry where you can feel like you’re playing a part in something that you love. When I left education, I wasn’t 100% sure about the career that I wanted so I chose something that I had a real passion for in music and went all in on trying to make something work. It ended up being a great decision.
“I sent out hundreds of CVs and cover letters to anyone in the industry who would accept them just to get a foot in the door”
As a New Boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
We need to continue the progression of, and the conversations around, representation in the industry. Change is happening slowly but there are still not enough faces that look like mine or womxn of colour, represented generally or in positions of power. It’s deflating going to industry events and only seeing a handful of people that look like me. Every facet of life is enriched by diversity. The music industry is no different.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I just want to see the amazing artists that I work with progress and stay happy in their careers. As well as bringing in new and exciting artists who buy into what I want to do as an agent and the strategies I have for them. As long as my roster and I are progressing, year on year, I’ll be happy.
What ambitions do you have for your artists over the next 12 months – and who should we all be looking out for?
My ambition for my artists is to put them in the best possible positions to thrive and shine. Not wanting to single out names as everyone has exciting things coming…but Amaliah, Coco Em & Tom VR all have new music coming out in the next six months or so!
“I only work with artists that I would like to see live as a punter”
You represent artists that other agents might turn down. How do you go about creating strategies for them to expand their fanbases?
Well firstly, I only work with artists that I would like to see live as a punter. It definitely makes it an easier job working with people you actually enjoy their music! When I speak with prospective artists, strategy is key. I speak with them about the best places for them to be positioned to prosper, the network that I’ve created to get them there and link it with their own aspirations as an artist.
Do you have a mentor, or anyone you rely on to bounce ideas off?
I don’t have a specific mentor to shout out but there have been lots of colleagues at Earth throughout the years, some that have moved on and some that are still here now, that have helped me tremendously. There are people that I work closely with that I know would give up their time to help me with any issue and that’s a really valuable thing to have and one that I’m really grateful for.
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