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Runway Artists announces four hires, new showcase

Independent UK booking agency Runway Artists is expanding its team with four new hires and launching a new live showcase event for the music industry.

Joining founder Matt Hanner (formerly of ATC Live) and agent Steve Backman (formerly of Primary Talent) at the agency are agents Dotun Bolaji and Craig Wylie, new music A&R scout Amy Greig, and assistant Heather Mosselson.

Wylie previously held positions at promoters CPL and MAMA Group, as well as London’s Roundhouse venue.

Over the course of his career, he has promoted artists including Pete Doherty, Maroon 5, Ray Lamontagne, Fall Out Boy, Madeleine Peyroux, Roxy Music and Kris Kristofferson.

Prior to joining Runway, Wylie was operating as an independent, at a grassroots level, since 2018.

“As a new agency, it’s been really exciting for us to have the opportunity to put some of our key principles into practice”

Greig has worked as a promoter for a number of London’s famous grassroots venues including The Grace and The Camden Assembly, as well as promoting her own nights at The Amersham Arms and The George Tavern.

During his time at university, Bolaji booked and promoted a number of acts that would go on to become big names, including Giggs, Chip, AJ Tracey and DJ EZ. After leaving university, he promoted London’s SuperLative Sessions.

Mosselson began her career as assistant booker for Glastonbury, where she organised the festival’s very first hip hop day in 1999.

She went on to become a senior assistant at VAT Agency before moving to Primary Talent International, where she worked as director’s assistant.

During her time at Primary, Mosselson was the booking agent for DJ Noize, MC Supernatural, Foreign Beggars, Mystro, Braintax, Skinnyman and DJ Flip.

“We’ve been able to bring in a real range of experience, knowledge and ages”

Commenting on the new appointments, Hanner says: “As a new agency, it’s been really exciting for us to have the opportunity to put some of our key principles into practice – not just in respect of our artists but also our team.

“We’ve been able to bring in a real range of experience, knowledge and ages – from a rookie agent such as Dotun, who we’ve been able to bring in as he makes his first moves in representing talent, and Amy who has worked at a grassroots level across London; through to the varied industry backgrounds of both Craig and Heather who are able to bring so much to the table as we continue to grow.”

Runway will also launch a new live showcase this month, which will see the agency collaborate with other music companies to put together line-ups of new talent.

The first edition of In Transit, at London’s Strongroom on 23 February, has been curated in partnership with independent publisher Bucks Music Group.

Beharie, Amaroun, Hallan and Catty are slated to perform at the showcase, and Steve Lamacq is billed to deliver a DJ set.

“We know we’re not reinventing the wheel by launching a showcase event, but there’s always demand from our artists”

Hanner said: “We know we’re not reinventing the wheel by launching a showcase event, but there’s always demand from our artists to play low-pressures shows, be it to test out new material, invite curious industry or just shake off the cobwebs after a couple of years of inactivity. As an agency, Runway wants to be proactive in helping our artists practically, even if it doesn’t fall into an agent’s traditional wheelhouse.

“It also gives us the opportunity to further collaborate with our friends in the industry. For the first edition, that’s Bucks but we’re looking to develop the brand in a way that means we could even accommodate artists from other agencies in the future if it made sense. At times over the last couple of years, there has been a renewed sense of co-operation across the live industry and we certainly don’t want to lose that just because touring’s back on the agenda.”

London-based Runway was one of the rafts of new agencies to launch during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It represents a number of acts including Lanterns On The Lake, A Certain Ratio, Sleeper, Art School Girlfriend, Pom Poko, Mourning [A] BLKstar, Astrid, Brother Zulu and Flo Perlin.

 


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Steve Backman joins Matt Hanner’s Runway Artists

Independent UK booking agency Runway Artists has hired Steve Backman, formerly of Primary Talent International, as its first agent appointment.

Set up by former ATC Live agent Matt Hanner in the spring of 2020, Runway represents artists including Lanterns on the Lake, the Futureheads, Sleeper, Highasakite, Ned’s Atomic Dustband and Wyldest. It was one of the first of many new agencies to have launched in the UK since the start of the coronavirus crisis, being joined since by Ben Ward’s Route One Booking, Jon Ollier’s One Fiinix Live and Natasha Bent’s Mother Artists, among others.

Backman, who joins following a 19-year stint at Primary Talent, brings a roster that includes Emmy the Great, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Steve Lamacq, Gabriella Cilmi, the Bootleg Beatles, the Mission, Art School Girlfriend and Odina.

“It’s great that an agent of Steve’s pedigree had enough belief in what I’d started to want to come on board,” says Hanner. “We have a shared ethos and approach to the way we work with our artists, and I think we will benefit from working together.”

“We are the masters of our own destiny, and that is really freeing”

“It’s a chance for me to put my knowledge to something new, fresh and exciting that we have control of,” adds Backman. “We are the masters of our own destiny, and that is really freeing.”

“The independent agency world has ballooned over the last 12 months; there are some big players in it now, and there is a lot more scope to shake things up and work in a slightly different way,” continues Hanner, who says that having achieved financial backing, Runway Artists is looking to bring more agents on board in the near future.

“We have the freedom to push into areas where we might be able to offer more for our acts and benefit them in the long term. Different artists want different things from their careers, and we’re committed to delivering whatever it is they are trying to achieve, rather than feel we have to push every act into trying to fill arenas.

“It feels like a really exciting time to be putting a new company together. This is a serious proposition. We are ambitious and we are looking to grow over time.”

 


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