The New Bosses 2022: James Craigie, Goldenvoice
The 15th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 114 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 2022’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Catch up on the previous New Bosess 2022 interview with Grant Hall, director of business services and strategy at ASM Global. The series continues with James Craigie, a promoter for Goldenvoice in the UK.
James Craigie is a promoter for Goldenvoice UK. Having previously worked as head of specialist programming at a popular online radio station and A&R scout for XL Recordings, Craigie brings an especially keen ear for new artist discovery to the promoter role.
Prior to joining Goldenvoice, he co-founded a soft-ticket showcase-style live event/content brand called Lucent, which aims to platform artists with the potential to be culturally important, regardless of any genre tags. Often booking artists for their first shows. Previous success includes booking BBC sound poll winner Pa Salieu for his debut London gig, just a month before Covid hit.
Craigie’s strong grasp of the cultural landscape in the UK and internationally allows him to branch out into all kinds of musical styles and scenes, with his taste encompassing rap, R&B, pop, electronic, jazz, rock, afrobeats, and other alternative styles.
Some artists on his Goldenvoice roseter include: N-Dubz, NSG, Skillibeng, Knucks, Overmono, Alexander 23, Q, Robert Glasper, Omah Lay, Pa Salieu, Montell Fish, Sad Night Dynamite, Sons of Kemet, Joy Orbison, Alewya, BNXN fka Buju and much more.
In addition to working in events, radio, and A&R scouting, Craigie also manages an up-and-coming artist called Mrley.
Your background in A&R must give you an edge in finding new talent. What tips do you give colleagues and friends when it comes to them discovering artists in their specialist genres?
I would say to use all of the tools at your disposal, including regularly checking music publications, playlists, Insta pages, radio shows, YouTube channels etc. If the genre you love is thriving on TikTok, then that’s where you should be looking for new talent. If it’s trawling through BlackBox freestyles, go there. If it’s Sofar Sounds sessions, look there. It’s also important to have friends with good taste in other roles in the industry, like A&Rs, managers, lawyers. People are always down to share a tip, especially if you’ve got a good one for them in return.
What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
I would say successfully being granted Arts Council funding to start my own live and content brand (Lucent) with my friends, whilst I was going through the worst time of my life. This was a time when no one would give me an opportunity to show what I could do. So I created my own opportunity. Lucent is the reason Oscar (Tuttiett) at AEG found me and therefore opened the door for me being there today.
“I think all facets of the live entertainment industry need to stop racially profiling artists and their fans”
As the manager of an emerging artist – Mrley – what has been your biggest challenge in guiding their career in the post-pandemic environment?
Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever been a manager. So everything in this role is new to me, and there are a lot of challenges. But every challenge is an opportunity to learn and do better next time. If anything, the pandemic allowed us more time to develop his craft and also build our relationship. I really value that I was able to spend that time in the studio with him and our producer Tommy Wallwork in those early days. I only started managing him about a month before Covid hit! Post-pandemic has been about unleashing him into the live world and really honing his skills. He’s still doing his ‘10,000 hours,’ but Mrley and his band are just getting better and better and earning new fans at every gig, which is what it’s about.
As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
I think all facets of the live entertainment industry need to stop racially profiling artists and their fans. The colour of an artist’s skin or that of their fanbase shouldn’t immediately throw up a red flag that it’s going to be ‘trouble’ and call for stricter measures. It’s entirely unfair and almost always totally unfounded. We should pride ourselves on being a progressive industry and not openly endorse this backwards mentality.
“Make sure to celebrate the wins more, too, even the small ones”
Are there any particular events or shows you are looking forward to this year or next?
I’m really looking forward to the N-Dubz tour. I’m very proud to have played a part in one of the biggest success stories in the industry this year. I grew up listening to their music from the Channel U days, which makes it all the more special. I’m still searching for the perfect Ecko or Akademiks tracksuit to wear to the shows, so if you have a nice one in a size L, shout me. Other than that, I’m really looking forward to Kid Cudi at the O2, Overmono’s tour, BNXN fka Buju at Indigo, and Knucks taking over in 2023.
Who do you turn to for advice or bounce ideas off?
First and foremost my mum and dad. I wouldn’t be who I am without their constant support and advice. William Aspden at XL, who has been such an important mentor figure to me over nearly a decade. He’s offered amazing advice in pretty much everything I’ve done in that time. Oscar Tuttiett who, as I mentioned, is the reason I’m at AEG and has always made time to show me the ropes and helped me out however I need it since day one at the company. Special shout out to Steve Homer, too, for all the support and belief in me. Also special shout-out to Eliza-Jane Oliver for all the help. I feel very blessed to have so many amazing supportive figures in my life.
If you could offer the 18-year-old James one piece of advice, what would it be?
I’d probably offer 18-year-old me the same advice 28-year-old me should follow more: don’t be so hard on yourself. Everything is going to work out in the end. Offer yourself the same level of compassion, patience, and understanding you would offer a friend.
Make sure to celebrate the wins more, too, even the small ones. Not [saying] every day “What do I need to do next,” before even recognising your achievements. Stop finding reasons to belittle your accomplishments. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
The New Bosses: Introducing the class of 2022
The 15th edition of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses can now be revealed, highlighting 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.
New Bosses 2022 inspired the most engaged voting process to date, with hundreds of people taking the time to submit nominations. The final 20 comprises executives working across agencies, promoters, ticketing companies, charities and venues in 12 different countries.
In no particular order, the New Bosses 2022 are:
Benji Fritzenschaft, DreamHaus (DE).
Clara Cullen, Music Venue Trust (UK).
Dan Rais, CAA (CO).
David Nguyen, Rock The People (CZ).
Daytona Häusermann, Gadget ABC (CH).
Grant Hall, ASM Global (US).
James Craigie, Goldenvoice (UK).
Kathryn Dryburgh, ATC Live (UK).
Resi Scheurmann, Konzertbüro Schoneberg (DE).
Seny Kassaye, Fort Agency (CA).
Agustina Cabo, Move Concerts (AR).
Sönke Schal, Karsten Janke Konzertdirektion (DE).
Steel Hanf, Proxy Agency (US).
Steff James, Live Nation (UK).
Stella Scocco, Södra Teatern (SE).
Vegard Storaas, Live Nation (NO).
Lewis Wilde, DICE (UK).
Zoe Williamson, UTA (US).
Jonathan Hou, Live Nation (US).
Maciej Korczak, Follow The Step (PL).
Subscribers can read shortened profiles of each of the 2022 New Bosses in issue 114 of IQ Magazine, which is out now. Full-length Q&As will appear on IQ in the coming days and weeks.
Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £7.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below: