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December New Music playlist out now

The latest edition of the IQ New Music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by international booking agencies, is now live.

The playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents. Click here to read the latest issue of IQ now.

The December edition of the New Music playlist features tracks hand-picked by agents at CAA, ICM, ITB, Paradigm, UTA, X-Ray, WME and Mother Artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on last month’s playlist first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for the December playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAADJ ShadowBuilding Steam with a Grain of Salt
ICMMontell FishFall in Love with You
ITBHoneyglazeCreative Jealousy
ITBLIFEFriends Without Names
ITBNaima Bock30 Degrees
ITBOwennBaby Girl
ITBPeaks!Black Guns/White Drugs
ParadigmDvr, Kenny BeatsLowlife
ParadigmNemahsisPaper Thin
ParadigmOliver MalcolmRolling Stone
ParadigmProspaLove Someone
ParadigmTalkSave Me
UTAMaya DelilahNeed a Word with Cupid
UTAPip BlomI Know I’m Not Easy To Like
UTAThe Kingdom Choir, Jake IsaacTogether Again
UTASerena IsiomaCrying In The Club
X-RayShaSimoneHushpuppi
WMELuke CombsDoin’ This
WMEMasked Wolf, Bebe RexhaIt’s You, Not Me (Sabotage)
WMEAnne-Marie and Niall HoranEverywhere
WMEFuture and SprngBrkMushrooms
WMETygaLift Me Up
Mother ArtistsIdlesCar Crash
Mother ArtistsCorookSims
Mother ArtistsFaouziaPuppet
Mother ArtistsThomas HeadonStrawberry Kisses
Mother ArtistsKills BirdsCough up Cherries

 


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November New Music playlist out now

The latest edition of the IQ New Music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by international booking agencies, is now live.

The playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents. Click here to read the latest issue of IQ now.

The November edition of the New Music playlist features tracks hand-picked by agents at ITB, Paradigm, UTA, ATC and Mother Artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on last month’s playlist first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for the November playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
ITBBeatrichHands Tied
ITBConradWeightless
ITBStrawberry GuySun Outside My Window
ITBThe Inspector CluzoA Man Outstanding In His Field
ITBPortlandAftermath
ParadigmAlewyaPlay
ParadigmMartha Skye MurphyStuck
ParadigmOvermonobby
ParadigmShallouHeartaches
ParadigmThe Royston ClubInfatuated
UTAAuroraGiving In To The Love
UTADITZDet Wurst
UTAGrandsonDrop Dead
UTAPa SalieuBad
UTAYoung ThugPunk
ATCGrace CummingsHeaven
ATCHurray for the Riff RaffRhododendron
ATCMetronomyIt's Good To Be Back
ATCSurfbortHappy Happy Halloween
ATCTonstartssbandhtPass Away
Mother ArtistsIDLESThe Beachland Ballroom
Mother ArtistsCMATNo More Virgos
Mother ArtistsCate le BonRunning Away
Mother ArtistsEnola GayScrappers

 


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Rebecca Nichols joins Mother Artists as agent

Rebecca Nichols has departed FKP Scorpio’s UK business to join artist management and live agency Mother Artists as an agent.

Former CAA agent Nichols will build her own roster at Mother and be charged with growing the live side of the business alongside co-founder Natasha Gregory and agent James Tones.

Nichols was most recently head of live coordination at FKP, where she helped set up multiple UK shows and tours for artists such as Ed Sheeran, The War on Drugs and Self Esteem. She also worked on special events and festivals for the European promoting giant as it established a footprint in the UK.

“I’m really grateful to FKP Scorpio for the fantastic year I’ve spent with them but very excited to be returning to the agency side where my passion for working with artists and being a part of building their careers can flourish,” she says.

Mother Artists was founded in late 2020 by ex-Paradigm agent Gregory (nee Bent) and her brother, Mother Artist Management boss Mark Bent.

“I have huge respect for what Natasha and Mark are building at Mother Artists, their commitment to the artists is at the heart of everything they do alongside a strong company ethos of integrity, inclusivity and empowerment, which really connects with me,” adds Nichols.

It’s amazing and humbling that Rebecca is joining us

“They care and they want to make a difference whilst creating a supportive and empathetic environment which is mirrored in the culture at Mother Artists. These values are important to me and how I connect with people and are what I will offer to the artists that I work with too.”

Earlier in her career, Nichols worked for over a decade as an agent at CAA with acts such as Lianne La Havas, NAO, Villagers and Charlotte Day Wilson amongst others.

“It’s amazing and humbling that Rebecca is joining us,” says Gregory. “She is quite simply a wonderful woman; kind, smart, personable, universally liked and respected and is just going to fit into the Mother Artists ethos and culture perfectly. I have personally wanted to work with Rebecca for a while and we are all just excited to learn from her and continue building Mother Artists as a team. Let’s go!”

Kelly Chappel, Live Nation SVP, touring, international, adds: “Beck is an absolute diamond, she loves new music and has exceptional ears. Most importantly she’s very easy to deal with, she listens and has a vision of where the artist should go and you’re part of that.

“I’m so excited to see her grow and flourish as part of Mother Artists ‘family’.  They are building such an exciting culture and team.”

Mother Artists (live) currently works with Idles, First Aid Kit, Tom Misch, Cate Le Bon, Fever Ray, Foster The People, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, RY X, CMAT, Thomas Headon and Do Nothing, while Mother Artists (management) represents the likes of Idles, Heavy Lungs, Mouth Culture and Blair Davie.

 


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October New Music playlist out now

The latest edition of the IQ New Music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by international booking agencies, is now live.

The playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents. Click here to read the latest issue of IQ now.

The October edition of the New Music playlist features tracks hand-picked by agents at CAA, ICM, ITB, Paradigm, 13 Artists, ATC, WME and Mother Artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on last month’s playlist first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for the October playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAALaurelScream Drive Faster
CAAGabby MartinMe & You
ICMDana DentataPantychrist
ICMJ.I the Prince of N.YMorning
ICMOtis KaneLost
ICMPhabo4K
ITBHoneyglazeBurglar
ITBPizzagirlBullet Train
ITBW.H. LungFigure With Flowers
ParadigmDora JarScab Song
ParadigmMini TreesSpring
ParadigmNala SinephroSpace 2
ParadigmPorijCan't Stop
ParadigmUltra QBowman
13 ArtistsOrlando WeeksLook Who's Talking Now
13 ArtistsHolly HumberstoneScarlett
13 ArtistsKid BrunswickBiploar Rhapsody
13 ArtistsHelveCabin Fever
ATCThe LumineersBrightside
ATCMetronomy, PintyHalf an Inch
ATCJoe & The ShitboysManspredator
ATCRosie AlenaGod's Garden
ATCGustafThe Motions
WMESam Smith, Summer WalkerYou Will Be Found
WMESteve Aoki, Armin van BuurenMusic Means Love Forever
WMECamila CabelloDon't Go Yet (Major Lazer remix)
WMEZac Brown BandFun Having Fun
WMECarly Pearce, Ashley McbrydNever Wanted To Be That Girl
Mother ArtistsThomas HeadonNobody Has To Know
Mother ArtistsUnknown Mortal OrchestraThat Life
Mother ArtistsCheap TeethI Am The Mud
Mother ArtistsKills BirdsGlisten

 


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Loud and Proud: IQ pride playlist out now

The Pride takeover edition of the IQ New Music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, is now live.

Launched last year, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents. Click here to read the inaugural Pride edition of IQ now.

The Loud and Proud (July) playlist features contributions from CAA, ICM, ITB, Paradigm Talent Agency, UTA, ATC, WME, Mother Artists, Primary Talent International, FMLY and Hometown Talent, each of which have picked several tracks apiece, showcasing some of their best queer touring artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on the June playlist first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for the Loud and Proud (July) playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAATodrick HallQueen
CAAJodie HarshNo Sleep
CAAMAY-AApricots
CAAMUNANumber One Fan
ICMTayla ParxDance Alone
ICMAmorphous, KehlaniBack Together
ICMdrumaqInsecurities
ICMTygapawFacety
ICMMarzzCountless Times
ITBAnnabel Allumordinary life
ITBBrandi CarlileThe Joke
ITBCherymListening to My Head
ITBDream NailsKiss My Fist
ITBHot MilkI Just Wanna Know What Happens When I'm Dead
ParadigmPabllo VittarModo Turbo
ParadigmLynksThis Is the Hit
ParadigmEzra FurmanI Can Change
ParadigmPerfume GeniusOn the Floor
Paradigmgirl in redSerotonin
UTABitch FalconGaslight
UTAJake Wesley RogersMomentary
UTAMadeline The PersonAs a Child
UTAPrincess NokiaIt's Not My Fault
UTASam LeeThe Tan Yard Side
ATCJoe & The ShitboysDrugs R'4 Kidz
ATCBeverly Glenn-CopelandEver New
ATCAlice LowLadydaddy
ATCALMAChasing Highs
ATCAnjimileMaker
WMEMaya Jane ColesRun to You
WMEJazmin BeanHello Kitty
WMECarla PrataCertified Freak
WMEserpentwithfeetFellowship
WMEKim PetrasHeart to Break
Mother ArtistsJoy Oladokunsorry isn't good enough
PrimaryRina SawayamaChosen Family
PrimaryRufus WainwrightGoing To A Town
PrimaryMoore KismetFlourish
PrimaryJoesefLoverboy
PrimaryMarika HackmanClaude's Girl
FMLYEliza LegzdinaEat Your Greenz
FMLYRalph TV4 U
FMLYDu BlondeAll The Way
FMLYLazy DayReal Feel
FMLYRome FortuneLovezone
Hometown TalentJerry PaperCholla
Hometown TalentAngel HazeBattle Cry

 


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A Brave New Agency World: Meet the independents

Last year presented the agency world with a raft of unforeseen hardships, from the shutdown of the concert business to widespread job losses. Faced with the choice to adapt or founder, many agents rose to the challenge of the former, ushering in a new age of entrepreneurship. Some agents banded together in the wake of redundancy and others decided to strike out of their own accord, spurring a wave of brand-new independent agencies across the globe.

The UK gained the likes of Mother Artists, One Fiinix Live, Route One Booking, Marshall Live Agency, Runway Artists and Playbook Artists; the US welcomed Arrival Artists, Mint Talent Group, TBA Agency and Paladin Artists; and the Spanish agency landscape expanded with Rebel Beat Agency – all “born out of the most unlikely of scenarios,” as Arrival puts it.

For the founders of Arrival, the most unlikely scenario was being laid off from Paradigm Talent Agency in the US, along with hundreds of others. But co-founder Ali Hedrick says this turned out to be a blessing in disguise: “I’d hoped that one day I would be my own boss, but I’m not sure if I ever would have done it, so it’s kind of fortuitous that it happened and forced my hand, in a good way.”

Hedrick founded the agency in October 2020 with her former Paradigm colleagues Erik Selz, John Bongiorno, Karl Morse and Ethan Berlin, as well as Matt Yasecko, former COO of Chicago- based agency The Billions Corporation – where she previously worked for nearly 23 years. A

Arrival’s roster includes the likes of Everything Everything, Denai Moore, Sons of Kemet, Wild Pink, Andrew Bird, and LOMA, booking from offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.

After clocking in time at other agencies, both major and independent, Hedrick says that setting up her own shop has given her a new lease of life as an agent. “It’s made me love booking again and being an owner just feels right… all agents are entrepreneurs in their own way.”

Jon Ollier, an ex-CAA agent who used the pandemic as a jumping off point to launch his new UK-based agency One Fiinix Live, echoes that sentiment: “As agents, we’re problem solvers – we make things happen – but the whole live business was being asked to just sit things out [because of Covid restrictions], and I’m not very good at doing that.”

Ollier took the likes of Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, JC Stewart, Lauv and 2Cellos to One Fiinix, which he set up following his exit from CAA in October 2020, after nearly six years at the agency.

“No one single factor led me to this decision. If that was the case, I’d probably be foolish – but a major factor is the reaction to Covid-19. I’ve got young kids and I want to be able to look them in the eyes in years to come and tell them I did all I could to make sure we came out of this stronger.”

“I always really just hated the competitiveness among agents and agencies – or even agents within the same agency”

A sense of fortitude is something Amy Davidman, founder and partner at US-based TBA Agency, is striving for too, after the “emotional upheaval” of the pandemic and her own redundancy from Paradigm.

“I chose optimism. I choose to believe in my work and my clients and my partners, and our ability to start a company and be successful and do right by our clients,” she says.

Davidman formed TBA in September 2020, alongside Marshall Betts, Avery McTaggart, Ryan Craven, and Devin Landau, to whom she felt “a natural gravitation.”

The new agency has unveiled a clientele that includes The War on Drugs, Courtney Barnett, Chvrches, Tune-Yards, Cut Copy, Beirut, Guided by Voices, Jungle, Cuco, Purity Ring, José González, Tycho, Caribou, and Alvvays, operating from offices in Los Angeles and New York.

“As a group, the five of us really could cover all the bases of what we needed to launch the Sons of Kemet are one of the acts helping to launch Arrival Artists company. Typically, none of our contracts would have ended at the same time so it would have been very difficult for all of us as partners to come together at the same time and launch a company,” Davidman says, pointing out the fortunate timing.

Timing has been a crucial factor for Route One Booking founder Ben Ward, who says that his redundancy from United Talent Agency (UTA) in London, along with the pandemic, has provided the perfect storm in which to launch his UK-based agency.

“I’d previously thought about going independent and the redundancy just accelerated things. I thought I’m not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself… I’m going to see which clients I can retain. There was nothing I could do but throw myself wholeheartedly into it,” he says.

The veteran rock agent and Orange Goblin frontman launched his new booking agency in November 2020, alongside co-director Jules Chenoweth, during England’s second national lockdown.

“When you want your numbers to be good, you’re thinking in a different way. Going independent has lifted a layer of self-inflicted stress that I didn’t need”

“If touring and festivals were all going ahead at the time, we would have been scrambling around trying to get things sorted in time for the summer,” he says. “But because there was nothing happening, we could reschedule shows and look to 2022 and 2023 and have time to get everything in place and bring everything up to speed.”

The new agency’s roster includes the likes of influential punks Discharge, fuzz-rock legends Fu Manchu, Canadian thrash act Voivod and country artist-producer Shooter Jennings, alongside emerging acts such as King Creature, Video Nasties, Daxx aand Roxane, and Blind River. In addition to bookings, Route One offers clients transport options for touring, backline, and links to digital music distribution company RouteNote, of which Chenoweth is a board member. The company also owns The Yard, a music venue in Cornwall.

Like Hedrick and Davidman, Ward says that going independent has renewed his “enthusiasm and clarity” for the job, which had diminished during his time working at a major agency.

“You can get really down and lose focus on what it’s all about. I had periods of that at UTA,” he explains. “If you want to be really hands-on with your artist, then being a small fish in a big pond isn’t as good as being the big fish in a small pond. A lot of artists fail because they were swept under the carpet at bigger agencies, and I feel that a lot of agents probably felt the same way as well.

“You get your big hitters at every agency who deliver millions of pounds worth of commission each year, and younger agents won’t be regarded in the same light. That’s understandable because every company is in it to make money, but the money comes secondary – it’s the artists’ satisfaction and seeing bands’ careers develop that comes first for me. I think with bigger agencies that satisfaction is lost with the pressure to deliver and keep the big wheels rolling.”

Davidman, who spent three years at Paradigm, agrees that both artists and agents are at risk of “slipping through the cracks” in a major agency. “I saw the benefits at a larger full-service agency, and yet I’ve maybe felt a little bit less in control of those benefits,” she says. “I think major agencies can work for a lot of artists and managers, and then I think others really slip through the cracks. There should really just be space for everybody to be successful and have access to a lot of different opportunities.

“I always really just hated the competitiveness among agents and agencies – or even agents within the same agency. I have hoped that there could be a way that we could all just say, ‘Yeah, you offer that thing, and you offer that thing,’ but if a lot of people are going after the same artists it just naturally becomes competitive.”

Davidman says that being her own boss has alleviated that sense of pressure and competition and has helped reaffirm her unique offering as an agent.

“If you want to be really hands-on with your artist, then being a small fish in a big pond isn’t as good as being the big fish in a small pond”

“After we launched TBA, there were a couple artists that I tried to sign that I didn’t, and I was less broken up about it than I maybe would have been before. I was, like, ‘Yeah, if this doesn’t fit what you’re looking for then cool, go and find the thing that you’re looking for, because this is what I’m doing and I’m really in it.’ Now I don’t have to wake up every day wondering what my value is or how I fit into a larger picture or what my numbers are going to be.”

The pressure to hit targets and go up against peers are two things Hedrick says she won’t miss either. “You have to do projections a couple times a year at a major agency,” she explains. “You’re always looking at your numbers and when you’re not one of the top agents at the company, there is that pressure to be doing well. There’s in-built competition. When you want your numbers to be good, you’re thinking in a different way. Going independent has lifted a layer of self-inflicted stress that I didn’t need.”

One Fiinix Live’s Ollier believes the crisis of 2020 will have highlighted these issues and suggests that a paradigm shift may be on the horizon. “When the times were good, agents were being paid well and looked after by a company that seemed like it cared. But now, that whole concept has been shaken to the core. Agents need to feel a bit more like they’re in control.

“The business models of the big companies are not designed to withstand a pandemic. That’s not a criticism of anyone in particular – everyone has been far too complacent,” he says. The reality is that the major agencies have a huge amount of overheads, huge numbers of staff, and they’re not really able to move quickly in terms of making decisions and engineering their way out of it [the crisis]. There’s a unanimous sense that the shackles are off for these agents, and with a greater sense of autonomy each is revelling in their ability to abandon traditional ways of working and reinvent the wheel.

For Ward, breaking away from an established agency has empowered him to take a more “hands-on approach.” “We have that freedom to sign the acts we want to sign – whether it’s rock and metal bands or we want to get a bit more diverse with our roster. And you know there’s no fear anymore, just opportunities,” he says.

Davidman is also keen to ditch the traditional “strict rules” about who gets to work on which projects, and instead is adopting a more ad-hoc approach to TBA’s services, especially during the pandemic. “We have to be flexible about who we’re talking to and what opportunities we are putting in front of folks,” she says. “Whether that’s being open to an artist who doesn’t have a manager, or a manager who is independent but wants a team to help them with different things, or someone who’s asking for help in a realm outside of touring – those things are not what an agent would traditionally do, but we at least want to be open to these opportunities.”

Ollier has had a similar vision for his agency, revealing plans to be less “departmentalised” and more focused on the people within the company.

“We’re ripping up the old-school contracts and the old-school way of working”

“At the moment, all I’m saying to people is, ‘How can I be supportive? Come and talk to me and let’s generate some ideas,’” he says. “Ultimately, we would like to help some people out. I’ve been helped out over the course of my career, and we all need that – no one is an island. So, what I’m saying to people is: let’s get collaborative, let’s get creative, and let’s build our way out of this, however that manifests, in a mutually beneficial way.”

Hedrick, who has been an agent for over two decades, is looking forward to diversifying Arrival’s workforce and mentoring aspiring agents – something she’s never had the chance to do before. “[Arrival Artists] could easily just hire the people we’ve worked with before – that have done the job and that we know are fantastic – but we’re doing our due diligence to make sure that we include a more diverse set of people. We’ll probably even hire some people who haven’t done the job before that we need to train,” she says.

Hiring is also top of the agenda for Natasha Bent, who left Paradigm in December 2020 to set up UK-based artist management and live agency Mother Artists, along with her brother Mark Bent. “We’re ripping up the old-school contracts and the old-school way of working, and really trying to be diverse in not only who we work with but who comes on board in our team,” she says.

“It’s not only about clients but it’s about us and creating a company that – in my mind, wherever I’ve gone – I always thought should exist. A place where ourselves, our families, and those who decide to join in the future, are really well looked after,” she says.

Another thing that was important to Hedrick was the implementation of a profit share for all the employees at the company. “I want to make sure that we share the profits with all employees so they can buy a home someday and show that not everybody at the company needs to become an agent to make decent money. If the company has a banner year and profits, that will be spread throughout the entire company,” she says.

As for the sense of cut-throat competition that each agent has referred to: that has been replaced with a desire to collaborate – something Hedrick chalks up to the pandemic, “which made us all a little bit softer and nicer to each other because we’re all in this together.”

The Arrival Artists boss says she has calls with new agencies including Mint and TBA on a regular basis, as well as weekly meetings with UK agency ATC Live, with which Arrival has formed a strategic partnership to “facilitate dynamic global representation for shared artists.”

Davidman, meanwhile, hopes that this new spirit of collaboration will not only better the agency world but the industry as a whole. “The agency world should not be so divided, fighting over power,” she says. “We should collaborate and use the collective power to try to figure out the important things, like how to break down systemic racism within the music industry.”

Welcome to a brave new agency world…

 


Read this article in its original format in the digital edition of IQ 100:

 


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Mayday! The IQ new music playlist is now live

The latest edition of IQ’s new music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, is now live, showcasing some of the most exciting talent for May 2021.

Launched last summer, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The May playlist features contributions from CAA, ICM Partners, ITB, Paradigm, UTA, ATC Live, WME, Mother Artists and Primary Talent, each of which have picked up to five tracks apiece showcasing some of their hottest touring artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on the April playlist first.

Separated by agency office, the full track list for the May playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAAStefflon DonCan't Let You Go
CAAJoe PFighting in the Car
CAAMod SunFlames
CAAJonah KagenBroken
ICM PartnersImanbekDancing on Dangerous
ICM PartnersTygapawRun 2 U
ICM PartnersGaidaaLet Me
ICM PartnersTanerelleMama Saturn's Galactica
ICM PartnersCharmaineDouble Dutch
ITBBartleby DelicatePlastic Flowers
ITBCherymKisses on my Cards
ITBHaunt The WoodsElephant
ITBLYRWinter Solstice
ITBThe Slow Readers ClubEverything I Own
ParadigmDom DollaPump the Brakes
ParadigmFred AgainDermot (See Yourself in my Eyes)
ParadigmHenjilaPaper Boy
ParadigmThe ClauseTime Of Our Lives
ParadigmTirzahSend Me
UTAMarthaGunnGiving in
UTAWalk Off the EarthAnthem
UTADirty HoneyGypsy
UTAAyron JonesSpinning Circles
UTAPendulumCome Alive
ATC LiveJuan WautersMonsoon
ATC LivePintyFound it
ATC LiveWu-LuTimes
ATC LiveCrumbBalloon
ATC LiveCassandra JenkinsCrosshairs
WMEOlivia RodrigoDéjà Vu
WMEJ Balvin, KhalidOtra Noche Sin Ti
WMEEric ChurchHeart
WMEKygoGone are the Days
WMEThomas RhettCountry Again
Mother ArtistsCMATI Don't Really Care For You
Mother ArtistsGrandma's HouseSmall Talk
PrimaryIndigo De SouzaTake Off Ur Pants
PrimaryCookiee KawaiiVibe (If I Back it Up)
PrimaryImanbekRoses (Remix)
PrimaryEnglish TeacherR&B
PrimaryEthan TaschHow are you

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Mother Artists: “We’re ripping up old-school contracts”

In December last year, ex-Paradigm agent Natasha Gregory [aka Bent] and her brother Mark Bent, boss of Mother Management, launched brand new artist management and live agency Mother Artists.

The company – which is the latest in a legion of new UK agencies including Marshall Live AgencyOne Fiinix Live and Route One Booking – brings together the pair’s combined four decades of experience under one roof, with Natasha spearheading the company’s live division and Mark heading up management.

Having taken their artists with them (Natasha’s live roster includes the likes of Cate Le Bon and The Magic Gang, while Mark manages Idles and Heavy Lungs among others), the pair have hit the ground running and have already expanded the team with Natasha’s former assistant James Tones.

Now, the pair tell IQ why they’re employing a no-bullshit policy, what kind of company they’re determined to build and how the pandemic created the perfect storm in which to launch.

 


How did Mother Artists come to fruition? Was joining forces inevitable?
Mark: “We’ve always talked about working together as a kind of dream thing to do, but there was never any plan about when or how. And with everything that’s happening now and our situations, the timing felt serendipitous.”

Natasha: “Timing-wise, I feel like we’ve both got to the same level in business so that neither of us is carrying the other. We’re both strong in our own positions and in our own knowledge and skills…we’re on an even playing field. Mark and I are extremely similar in ethos and mind and ideas and we trust in each other.”

“Mother Artists is something that never would have happened without this pandemic”

Given the current climate of the industry, why is now the right time to set up shop?
Natasha
: “Obviously it’s a really, really tough time for the live industry – for artists, managers, agencies, agents, crews…it’s catastrophic. But we’re glass half full people.

“For 18 years, I didn’t ever have the time to think about anything but the job at hand because the live industry is so fast-paced so there was just never any time to make Mother Artists happen.

“The advantage of the pandemic is that neither of us is travelling so we have the space and mindset to get our heads together and make sure that Mother Artists is really the best to our ability.”

Mark: “Mother Artists is something that never would have happened without this pandemic.”

Why did you decide to stick with the name Mother? Is there a philosophy behind it?
Mark
: “When I was a tour manager, I saw some artists being pushed to the limits for the sake of people’s goals and we’ve never wanted to have that approach. I had a full-blown breakdown halfway through a tour and everyone was telling me it was gonna happen but I didn’t listen but my artists stuck by me through that when they could’ve so easily moved on.

“That’s why the name, Mother Artists, is so important because we want the company to be like a family and, within a family, you can have those moments where you all have a difference of opinion or you drive each other crazy but that trust and that belief is always there in the background which is so important.”

“We’re ripping up the old school contracts and the old school way of working”

Now you’re both running the show, what kind of company do you want Mother Artists to be?
Natasha: “We’re ripping up the old school contracts and the old school way of working, and really trying to be diverse in not only who we work with, but who comes on board in our team. It’s not only about clients but it’s about us and creating a company that – in my mind, wherever I’ve gone – always thought should exist. A place where ourselves, our families and those who decide to join in the future are really well looked after.”

What will you change about the status quo of the agency/management business?
Natasha
: “This has always been quite a magical industry and that you know there’s this smoke and mirrors approach to what you do. When I started as an agent and there weren’t very many women, the only way that I’ve built this roster over 18 years is through hard work, kindness, respect and being honest with myself about who I am and what my capabilities are.

“Enough bullying. Enough shouting to get what you want – that doesn’t work so much anymore and actually that you should be proud of your differences and your vulnerability. Everyone is going to have bad days. Mistakes happen. Our number one rule is you put your hand up straight away so we can talk about it and deal with it. No ‘Oh my god I got that wrong, I’m going to be sacked’. We all pull in, sort it out, and it’s fine because we’re human.”

“You can achieve amazing things by being human”

Mark: “You can achieve amazing things by being human. Besides, everyone’s winging it. If you’re not learning if you’re sitting there thinking you know everything, then it’s game over really.”

You’ve been vocal about Mother Artists having a ‘no-bullshit policy’. What does this mean to you?
Natasha: “What we mean by no bullshit, is that there aren’t any shortcuts to being good at what you do. For example, when you pitch for a band. I can’t promise my bands that they’re going to get on another band’s support because I grow my artists to be in a position to pick their own supports. There’s no shortcut to building a great band – we deal with career artists.”

Mark: “Honesty is such a massive thing, especially on my side. Every artist I’ve worked with knows that they will get an honest answer out of me every time. Whenever we work with anyone, it’s never about the quick buck. The no-bullshit approach is the best way to achieve a long term career with anyone. Because if you don’t have the trust with the artists you’re representing, if you don’t have the trust of the team you’re working with, you’re not going to have those long term relationships with it which is exactly what you need for long term careers.”

“We have a no-bullshit policy…there aren’t any shortcuts to being good at what you do”

How do the artists on your rosters reflect the ethos and business model of Mother Artists?
Mark
: “[The business model] can’t be led by us, it needs to be led by our artists. So we’ll just have to see where their careers go and how they want them to go and then we’ll make sure all the pieces fall together when they need to. We want to make sure that we’re representing our artists in both of our fields, as well as they were before, but ideally better than they were before.”

Natasha: “The rosters that we both represent have very strong-minded artists in their own right. They’ve got something to say and they stand for beliefs that we have to be a reflection of that and do it ourselves.”

Natasha Gregory will be participating in Pulse: Best in Class at ILMC 33

 


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Mother Artists recruits James Tones as agent

Mother Artists, the new artist management and live agency launched by siblings Mark and Natasha Bent, has hired James Tones as an agent.

Tones follows Natasha from Paradigm Talent Agency, where he worked as her booker and assistant for the past four years. Prior to that, the pair briefly worked together at UTA.

At Mother Artists, Tones will continue to work with Natasha on her roster – which includes Idles, Amy Macdonald and Foster The People – alongside building his own.

“James is basically superman,” says Natasha. “Not only to us, but to our clients, his peers and all industry professionals. He leads with kindness, empathy, extreme efficiency and a go get attitude. We have no doubt that James will be running the company within a year. Like all our team, he starts as an equal and we, and our clients are so lucky and excited to have him with us. Let’s go!”

“Having worked with Natasha and Mark on Idles, I have seen first-hand what they can achieve as a team”

Tones says: “I’m so excited to join Mother Artists and start the next chapter of my career as an agent with Natasha, Mark and the team. As a mentor, I am so grateful to Natasha for teaching me invaluable skills and for giving me opportunities to keep progressing over the past four years, but also to grow as a person and treat everyone with respect and kindness, and lead by example.

“Having worked with Natasha and Mark on Idles, I have seen first-hand what they can achieve as a team. Mark has already built an incredible reputation for Mother Artists, so with Natasha joining on the live side, the sky’s the limit. I’m looking forward to building my own roster as well as being able to continue working closely with Natasha and everyone at Mother Artists. Exciting times ahead!”

Mark and Natasha launched Mother Artists in December last year with Mark’s wife, Lucy Bent (co-founder and director), and Liam Sexton (management assistant). The news followed Natasha’s departure from Paradigm.

Natasha spearheads the company’s live division with Alex Amor, Amy Macdonald, Benjamin Booker, Cate le Bon, CMAT, Darwin Deez, Do Nothing, Electric Guest, First Aid Kit, Foster The People, Gotye, Heavy Lungs, Idles, Kills Birds, Laura Misch, RY X, The Antlers, The Magic Gang, The Teskey Brothers, Thomas Headon, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Violet Skies and Westerman.

While Mark heads up the management side – continuing his existing company Mother Artist Management under the pair’s new guise – with Idles, Heavy Lungs and Avaera & Daffodils and the newly signed Magazines.

 


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Natasha and Mark Bent launch Mother Artists

Following last week’s news of her departure from Paradigm Talent Agency, Natasha Bent has revealed details of a new venture with her brother, Mother Artist Management (MAM) boss Mark Bent.

The pair have announced a new artist management and live agency called Mother Artists, taking ‘a human-first approach with compassion, understanding and a hard work ethic at its core… and a no-bullshit policy’.

Natasha will spearhead the company’s live division with Alex Amor, Amy Macdonald, Cate le Bon, Do Nothing, First Aid Kit, Heavy Lungs, Idles, Ry X, The Magic Gang, The Teskey Brothers, Thomas Headon, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and more to be announced.

While Mark will head up the management side, continuing his existing company Mother Artist Management under the pair’s new guise, working with Idles, Heavy Lungs and Avaera & Daffodils.

“I’m so happy to be able to work alongside my brother, who I love, respect and admire so much, on music we are all so passionate about,” says Natasha.

“We are each other’s biggest champions and to be surrounded by constant empowerment will be so rewarding and give the best results in business. Anyone who knows us, knows how we operate: we care about and fight for the people we work with – artists and our team – and we operate an honest, hardworking approach which we know people appreciate.

“I have loved being at Paradigm and am truly grateful for all the support they have given me. It’s been a difficult year for all in live but we are proactively getting ready for its return and will continue to put our artists first.”

“We care about and fight for the people we work with and we operate an honest, hardworking approach”

Mark says: “I cannot wait to get started on this new venture with Natasha. To have an independent family-run business where we can build on that ethos across our artists is exciting and essential to building long-term careers and relationships.

“Natasha has always been a huge inspiration to me with how she does business and how she represents her artists. To now be able to work alongside her with the same shared mindset of artists first is a dream come true. With the dramatically changing landscape in front of us, the timing couldn’t be any better and we couldn’t have placed ourselves in a better position to deliver.”

Natasha leaves Paradigm, formerly known as Coda, after four years at the agency. Prior to that, she spent eight years at The Agency Group (later UTA), where she became VP of the business in 2014. She joined The Agency Group in 2006 from her own company, The Village Agency.

Over the course of the last decade, Bent has worked with Foals, The Knife, Chvrches, Foster the People, Chvrches, First Aid Kit and Amy Macdonald.

She is also an Arthur Award recipient, scooping Agent of the Year (aka the Second Least Offensive Agent) in 2018, and was named Tomorrow’s New Boss at ILMC 22 in 2010.

Jim King, CEO, European Festivals at AEG says: “Natasha has been a friend and industry colleague for many years and during that time she has always shown the best attributes for artist representation. It’s obvious that she cares deeply about her artists and their careers and always seeks to find the best outcome in any agreement, not just in terms of that deal discussion but how it will contribute to the longer-term plan and artist development. We look forward to working with her and her artists for many years to come.”

Kelly Chappel, SVP, European Touring at Live Nation says: “I have worked with Tasha for over a decade now and what’s unique about her is she makes you not just part of the team but part of her family, this is how she treats her clients, she would go to battle for them, and she genuinely loves them. This is what will make her and Mark a formidable team, family first and it’s going to be one big family full of heart, soul and great deals. Me and my colleagues look forward to working with them on their new venture.”

 


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