Describe your job in couple of sentences:
I work in the music industry and strategise the careers of the performers we manage/ represent. Usually they are recording artists, but sometimes presenters.
When did you know what you wanted to do?
From Primary school I knew I wanted to work in the music industry – but always on the other side of the fence (never performing – I can’t sing or play a note)! I also wanted to be a journalist, so for the first ten years of my career I mixed the two and worked at various music magazines, including launching and editing Top Of The Pops magazine for the BBC.
I spent a lot of time with the Spice Girls in the 90s and my work with them was noticed by Lucian Grainge (now worldwide Chairman of Universal). He offered me a job as Marketing Director at Polydor Records. In 2010 I left to set up my own music management company.
Did you go to university, go straight into the workforce or do an apprenticeship?
I didn’t go to University. I participated in numerous short magazine internships from the age of 16. I have never been asked my qualifications! Six weeks at Smash Hits magazine in 1988 was more valuable that 10 years at school. It lead to a staff writer job at BBC Magazines.
Have you done other jobs in your life – if so what were they?
I worked in the record department of a store called Woolworths and in the 80s I ran the fan club for a band called Bananarama.
How did you find out about your job (how it existed)?
Working at both TOTP magazine and Polydor, I would deal with music managers every day. I always thought “I could do that!”
How did you get the job you wanted – steps and process?
By 2009 I had worked my way up to General Manager at Polydor Records. One of the acts I worked with at the label had parted company with their manager and asked if I would consider changing roles and managing them. The moment was right! I acquired some funding, resigned from my Polydor role and set up Fascination Management. It all happened very quickly.
What qualities do you need to have to be successful in your field?
Excellent people skills, creativity, patience, a good knowledge of music, the ability to listen, passion, a mind for business, thick skin and stamina!
Give 3 tips for someone hoping to follow in your footsteps:
1: Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up!
2: Be willing to work all the hours necessary. Even if you aren’t financially rewarded for them.
3: Seek some work experience * NB – this can often be difficult for insurance purposes, so the larger management companies or record labels are the best bets!
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by the artists I represent and also by the managers of worldwide super stars such as Tina Turner!