Manager Spotlight: Kwame Kwaten

18 November 2020


Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers. This week in the spotlight is MMF Vice-Chair and all around music-legend Kwame Kwaten!

How long have you worked in Management? 
I have been a manager since 2003 WOW just worked that out….. But started really in 2006 at ATC management.

Who do you manage now? – Luckily for me I have a great team and co-managers who do day to day. So I’m more of an MD now. I love the acts on the roster and am not talking any more on .

Ferocious like many management companies is becoming an all round music company. I learnt that at ATC – you can’t stay in one lane – You HAVE to adapt – so we are very used to change at Ferocious – we live by it – we drink “change juice|” !! 😂😂 for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?
First clients are great lesson providers Louise Setara was my 1st client as a manager- I remember seeing her perform and thinking WHAT a voice. I simply had to take her on. Got her one deal- which was with SONY BMG the timing was wrong so then got her another with Manhatten records that didn’t hit – ! The  Album came out – She toured with Lionel Ritchie – I did A&R on that record too and had a hunch that an old Bob Dylan song was due to be a winner so got her to cover “make u feel my love” -but alas it was 3 years before Adele – Louise’s version is still up too. Timing with acts is so important! That was the lesson I took from that and I’m actually grateful for EVERY lesson.

What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you? 
Wow well a good day is like today…. got a call last night from a huge series about one of the acts – so negotiated fees last night – and they want her to be in the series and have asked for her to come down for casting TODAY. Now thats the kinda start to a day I love.

A Bad day involves lots of miscommunication on WhatsApp and Emails – something we are ALL guilty of!! That miscommunication just chews up time in your day uggggghhhhhhhhhh😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😥😩😩😩😩

What has been the highlight of your management career to date?
Oh Wow – its usually the small wins that I love.

Blue Lab Beats progression has been amazing to watch.Them getting the Apple Advert and me sitting at home watching the game of thrones closing episode and the advert coming on was a. Wow moment!

Caitlyn Scarlett as a new writer being invited to write for the Rihanna camp was pretty special.

Managing Laura Mvula was special…the journey of her being a temp at CBSO not being allowed to touch the Steinway because she was a receptionist. So she had to look at the keyboard from her desk and imagine where the chords were going to go- she would send me short videos for many of the sings that ended up on album one in this way…. her tapping out the rhythm on her desk. From that to main-stage Glastonbury TWICE – yep that’s pretty special.

As a manager we have to forget those that said the artist was not what they were looking for and dig deep/hold on to our belief that they are all wrong!!!

What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2020?
Covid!!! And making sure that your artist can keep their hope alive during the lean months.

Your artists mental health in lockdown – done be afraid of therapists – use them.
Artists being accounted to fairly/ royalty transparency is a big one that will roll into 2021 and beyond. Making sure your artist is not consumed by social media.

What music are you currently listening to?
A strange blend really.

Keifer- Especially ” be encouraged” it helped me thru my covid bout in hospital-i listened to it every day
Kaidi and NK-OK -the ep is just WILD
New Blue Lab Beats Demoes
Fleetwood Mac-TUSK album (go figure!!)
Wang Chung’s 1st album ! Huang Chung….(seriously u asked 😂😂😂)
Simple minds -Sons and fascination / sister feelings call
Wizkid “Made in Lagos”
PA Salieu (who I think are brilliant)
Ghetto Boy Me vs You 2

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