Manager Spotlight: Charlotte Caleb

20 June 2024

The manager spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers.⁠ This week in the spotlight is Charlotte Caleb!

How long have you worked in Management?

12 years.

Who do you manage now?

TĀLĀ, Lil Yamaha, Stone Cold Hustle.

Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?

The first job I had in management was as an intern where I worked with Tricky. Within 5 months I was brought on as his full time manager so I didn’t really ‘find’ him but I totally bonded with him and it was a fantastic as well as challenging relationship.

The first act I ‘discovered’ myself was Eloise Keeble. I met her when I went to speak at my old school and she gave me this rough demo. Her vocals were so incredibly powerful I had to work with her. Her voice was just so massive. I could instantly imagine her playing huge venues. Every time I saw her perform live it brought me to tears.

I’ve never been stuck on a specific genre so I can never pinpoint what it is about an artist. You just get excited. It’s a feeling.

What does a good/bad day at work look like for you?

A good day for me at the moment looks like taking half an hour to have breakfast and do some scripting (I’m fully into manifesting). Then I will lead a team call for ellevate. We’re planning an evening mini-conference for early stage artists and industry professionals at the moment so all hands on deck there. Then I will head into TĀLĀ’s studio for a listening session or some meetings. We’re gearing up to release music after a bit of a hiatus which is very exciting. She also has an alias called Lil Yamaha and we have two albums from her coming this year.

TĀLĀ and I have a new lunch spot called Honey and Co near her studio so we’ll do a bit of that.

Then I’ll do some consultancy calls in the afternoon with ellevate clients. I love meeting with new artists and learning what they’re struggling with. Getting that insight and then figuring out strategy to unlock those blockers is really satisfying. Then it will be a bit of creative admin, like drafting newsletters and working with social media managers on content scheduling.

In the evening I’m often hosting online ellevate sessions which involves me interviewing some of the most incredible music industry professionals who I hugely admire. Next month we have MMF Accelerator alumnus Chris Chadwick joining us and I’m really looking forward to it.

I recently started working with a new band called Stone Cold Hustle. They are based in Bristol so I am heading down there every other week and those days are super fun because the road feels so wide open for them right now.

What has been the highlight of your management career to date?

The highlight of my management career is the 10 year relationship I’ve had with TĀLĀ. We have had extreme highs and extreme lows and purposefully created a sustainable business for her. We’ve recorded around the world from Cairo to Istanbul, South Korea, Indonesia and the US and I’m so fortunate to have an artist who is a complete partner in everything we do. It’s a really special relationship.

What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2024?

Oooof where to start!?

The first is the lack of resources to develop early stage talent. The labels that would have taken a risk and invested in an early stage act 10 years ago aren’t really doing that any more so now managers are taking on a lot more of that risk, building that business from scratch. I believe independence is incredibly powerful but that requires financial and time investment from the manager.

The other thing is that because of the accessibility of releasing music via streaming and UGC platforms the market is flooded with artists and music at an unprecedented scale. Early stage artists can lack the patience required to build the sustainable brand and audience required to accelerate.

Then when you pile on the legal implications of AI, the closing of live venues and stagnating royalties, reduced institution funding it’s all a bit sticky. This is what has prompted me to build artist management platform, ellevate. We’re looking at how we can provide artist management services to artists in a more flexible, fractional way. So instead of artist managers having to invest everything they have into one act, we can fractionally develop more acts, putting them on a path to a sustainable business.

What did you gain from the Accelerator Programme?

I was one of the lucky managers to join the Accelerator in 2019 which was so incredibly powerful, especially with building my network of other managers. Having other manager friends to share resources, contacts and advice with is incredibly important when this job can be pretty isolated. I built life long friendships with managers there.

It also taught me the importance in building my business for myself, not just the business of my artists. Artists may come and go and I need a secure business that will last and ride the wave of anything that might happen. Having that time and focus really allowed me to do that.

Why would you recommend the MMF?

When I decided to give up a career in law to work in music I didn’t have a clue what that really meant. I signed up for any course and conference I could afford at the time and the first thing I did was an MMF course. I found the notes last week when I was having a clear out. It made me feel like I wasn’t bluffing so hard.

Today I love being part of the MMF extended family. The advocacy is so powerful when we all have such full plates as managers already, so having an organisation that is doing that on our behalf is invaluable.

What music are you currently listening to?

I have a ‘girly-pops’ playlist that I keep adding to. Girls are just killing pop right now. The playlist has Amanda Reifer (She was formally in a band called Cover Drive and her new stuff seems really evolved), BINA., this new rapper called Tills, Soluna (my friend in Portugal manages her), Jae Stephens finally put out more music, Genia and Alemeda. Oh and Sabrina Carpenter and Charli xcx are on there because everything they do is such a bop.

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