Manager Spotlight: Hide Whone

07 March 2024

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

How long have you worked in Management?

I’ve only ever exclusively worked in management. I did 12 years at Riverman Management, working closely day to day with Placebo and Wild Beasts. I had no idea what a manager was when I joined at 18, but I learned a lot from Alex Weston (Placebo manager of 25+ years) and the small in house management team which included finance and Business Affairs. 5 years ago I left to set up Theory Management with co-director, Ant Crook. 17 years later, I’m still learning what management is, it evolves every day.

Who do you manage now?

Bad Sounds, KAWALA and Biig Piig – Ant and I co-manage all our acts together.

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

Bad Sounds was my first client. They sent a cold email looking for a manager, the name was intriguing enough for me to open the email, the Facebook profile pic was enough for me listen to the music and the music exciting enough to go down to Bath to a rehearsal studio to meet them. They played a set and everything about them stood out so far musically and visually from everything else at the time, proud to be outliers – values they still hold true today as we still work together over 8 years later. Their business has evolved and grown by diversifying into new areas and they’re successful songwriters and producers for other artists now too such as Nectar Wood, Arlo Parks, Rose Grey, Lady Blackbird and VC Pines.

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

A good day is a day ticking tasks off from my to do list, putting issues to bed and moving forwards, towards a target or ultimate goal. Management is the long game, strategy and planning; success is the sum of many ‘good’ days… A great day, is a day that takes me somewhere where I totally didn’t expect it to, good or bad. When something goes wrong, take it as an opportunity to learn from it. The most frustration for me comes from a lack of momentum.

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

It’s great to see the results of a plan that comes together. It takes lots of planning with long lead times, venue holds are sometimes 18 months in the future, but live shows are always a highlight for me. It’s the time you see the artist truly connect with their fans, see the whites of their eyes, existing in the same moment. When I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, I know that’s a career highlight. To name a few; Wild Beasts playing their finale show at Hammersmith Apollo, Bad Sounds playing an amazing packed festival republic stage show at Reading Festival on the eve of their debut album release, KAWALA headlining Kentish Town Forum right after lockdown lifted, Biig Piig playing the penultimate main stage headline slot at All Together Now festival in her home city Cork in Ireland last year. Ultimately though, success is when an artist is at their very best creatively, and my job as a manager is creating the space, support and confidence for them to be that.

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

Nobody is an expert in everything. The same for a manager, and for an artist. The business is so wide now, so many different areas, each with their own expertise, different revenue streams, different platforms demanding our attention. You can’t expect the artist to be the best singer, the best songwriter, the best performer, the best social personality, the best content creator. Or for you to be the best negotiator, creative director, networker, strategist, social media manager, travel agent… Focus on the areas that you’re naturally interested in as you will invest more time and energy to develop, don’t force yourself to become an expert in areas that you’re not interested in. But accept input and don’t be afraid to relinquish control.

What music are you currently listening to?

There’s a French artist called Adèle Castillon who was in a band called Videoclub that I love, Pale Jay is insane, a UK band called PREP, US artist Ekkstacy, the Lil Yachty album from earlier this year is amazing, I’m a fan of Kenny Beats, Doja Cat ‘Paint The Town Red’ is one of my fav productions this year, a great flip on an old classic (and all the creative is fire), new acts I like Hot Wax, The Last Dinner Party. The best live show I saw this year was Bonobo at Forwards Festival in Bristol. But I still have my best hip hop tunes of all time playlist that never goes off repeat… gangstarr, tribe, Nas, big L…

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