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YMU hires new artist manager Truce

International artist management firm YMU Group has appointed Truce Susan to the position of senior manager.

Based in London, Susan – known as Truce – will report to Iain Watt, managing director of YMU’s UK music division, and work closely with senior manager Sophie Bloggs, whose team he joins.

Truce started his career DJing and organising music events across London, before joining music broadcast platform the Boiler Room in 2010, where he became global creative director. He then launched the label Bone Soda, helping artists such as slowthai, Octavian, Bakar, Ama Lou, Sheck Wes and BenjiFlow find international audiences.

He will continue to run Bone Soda independently but brings two of his existing management clients, Bekah CC and Airhead, to YMU Group.

Founded in 1984, YMU Group (formerly James Grant Group) has offices in Los Angeles, London, Washington, New York and Manchester. Its music roster also includes the likes of James Arthur, Years & Years, Blink-182, Clean Bandit, Take That, Steve Aoki, Mika and Danny Howard.

“Truce is a natural music entrepreneur”

“Truce is a natural music entrepreneur who has enjoyed success across a number of different sectors,” says Watt.

“He understands both the creative and commercial aspects of artist management and is a great addition to our team. He is bringing two great artists, Bekah CC and Airhead, with him and the aim is to help him build an amazing roster of credible artists who we can help have long-term, successful careers.”

Truce adds: “I’m excited to join Iain, Sophie and the rest of the YMU team. Having known Iain for a few years, it feels like the perfect story for how I see my management career developing.

“YMU is a leading entertainment management company and has successfully brought on and supported a number of inspiring artists globally. I’m hoping I can mix it up a little and look forward to combining experiences, knowledge and ideas to support our clients.”

His appointment follows the hiring of First Access’s Sarita Borge as senior manager in February.

 


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Music managers named for 2020 Accelerator programme

The UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF) and YouTube have unveiled the 20 music managers that will benefit from the 2020 Accelerator programme, a funding and educational initiative for upcoming music managers.

This year’s participants – the second wave of managers to take part in the programme – represent a diverse range of 66 artists, songwriters and producers, and include managers of acts shortlisted for the Brit Awards Rising Star award, the BBC Sound of 2020 and the Mercury Prize.

Over half the group are based outside of London, with women making up 40% of the participants and 50% coming from BAME backgrounds. Only three currently operate as full time music managers, with the majority balancing this role with other freelance, consultative or short term employment.

Developed by MMF and supported by YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), 24 managers across England and Scotland took part in the inaugural Accelerator programme in 2019, receiving year-long grants of up to £15,000 and more than 80 hours of manager-specific education courses.

Over the 12 months the managers participated in the programme, the number of artists they represent went up by over 20% on average.

“The goal of Accelerator is to help these individuals grow their business, build their network and develop their skillsbase”

“I am delighted to welcome another 20 managers onto the Accelerator Programme,” comments programme manager Paul Bonham. “The quality of applications was, yet again, ridiculously strong, but after a tough and competitive selection process we have another seriously high calibre group onboard. It’s especially pleasing to have more female managers involved, more managers from BAME backgrounds and more managers from outside of London.

“The goal of Accelerator is to help these individuals grow their business, build their network and develop their skillsbase.”

“YouTube Music is proud to be continuing our partnership with the Music Managers Forum on the Accelerator Programme, which has proven to be a game-changer in providing emerging managers the opportunity to hone their skills and focus on their business,” says YouTube Music artist partnerships manager Roz Mansfield.

“We were over the moon to see so many success stories coming out of the last 12 months of the programme and cannot wait to see what the new class of 2020 will go on to achieve.”

A full list of 2020 Accelerator participants can be found here.

Photo: Accelerator 2020 participants, plus Annabella Coldrick (MMF CEO), Azi Eftekhari (Head of Label Relations (EMEA), YouTube), Paul Bonham (Accelerator Programme Manager MMF), Jayne Stynes (GM MMF) and Gemma Cropper (Manager, EMEA Music Partnerships, Google).

 


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The unstoppable Steve Zapp

… Branded one of the hardest working agents around, Zapp tells Eamonn Forde about his work ethic and his first 25 years in music…

If your earliest experiences of live music involved sleeping on train platforms, being physically assaulted and getting the sack for booking an act deemed enormously inappropriate, then the chances are you’d probably want to cut your losses and get into a more stable career path.

Steve Zapp, despite his placid demeanour and antipathy towards swearing, is made of sterner stuff. He is marking 25 years in the business and 15 years at ITB where he looks after a roster of around 55 acts that include Biffy Clyro, a band he spotted, like an alt-rock Brian Epstein, in The Cavern Club in Liverpool, and has taken to headlining festivals and touring arenas.

Zapp cites three London shows as pivotal in his early life: The Wonder Stuff at Brixton Academy, Energy Orchard at The Borderline and Pete Wylie & The Mighty Wah! At Subterranea

Born in 1973 and growing up in Folkestone, Zapp was introduced to music via The Smurfs and The Wombles but soon expanded into Adam & the Ants, Wham! and Duran Duran. His dad was into music, but it was Thursday night’s Top of the Pops that really kicked the doors open for him.

“I lived in Kent and there weren’t many acts that played live,” he says of the dearth of concerts in his formative years, which amateur psychologists would suggest he has spent his professional career making up for.

He cites three London shows as pivotal in his early life – The Wonder Stuff at Brixton Academy, Energy Orchard at The Borderline and Pete Wylie & The Mighty Wah! At Subterranea. “I hung out too long after the Pete Wylie gig and missed my last train so had to sleep in the station,” he recalls. “I got through it.”

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 67 of IQ Magazine.


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