Management Spotlight: This Is Music

30 November 2023

The management spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible management.⁠ This week in the spotlight is This Is Music!

Can you tell us when and how This Is Music was established? And who are the key members of the This Is Music team?

This Is Music was born in 2007, its initial client base built on founder Oli Isaacs’ music law practice including seminal electronic act Simian Mobile Disco and noted producer James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Jessie Ware, Depeche Mode, Blur).

Since then, our boutique management firm has grown to a team of 11 led by Managing Director Lisa Marxen, Oli Isaacs and Luke Williams. We’re lucky to count long standing managers Simon Gold and Sasha Edge as well as new hires Greg Wells, Xenia Evans, Alex Lemieux, James Carr and Amelia Holder.

Could you share some information about the artists and creative talent currently on your roster?

Over 15+ years This Is Music has truly honed a specialist service managing artists and producers in electronic music’s underground to cross-over space.

Our current management clients include Anish Kumar, Bicep, Cameo Blush, James Ford, Jas Shaw, Jayda G, JD. REID, MAFRO, Nala Sinephro, Roosevelt, Ross From Friends, Ruthlss, SHERELLE, Vegyn and 4am Kru.

What criteria or factors do you consider when making decisions on which artists and talents to sign?

We are highly selective but make signing decisions on fairly simple criteria. In the first place we want to make sure we are aligned with the artists on their vision for the business and their values, musical and otherwise. We’re looking for clients who really get what it is that they need to do to evolve and progress, who want to achieve success and who are exceptionally musically talented (whatever their lane).

In your opinion, what are the major challenges that music management companies are facing in 2023?

Managers’ main challenges are really the same as those that artists are facing. A big one is simply maintaining a work life balance. Probably, the biggest challenge for management companies like ours though is that it’s perhaps impossible to scale a boutique management company. The economics don’t work. So we need to make sure each project we do counts and to do that it’s an extreme amount of work often initially for little revenue at the development stage. We need to be able to provide a full range of services across a wide range of activities and this can be challenging in terms of both time and specialist skills.

What market developments or technologies most excite you about the future?

Technology moves fast. Sometimes we jump on it and sometimes we don’t. We’re glad we didn’t leap head first into the NFT world for example. We’re excited about any new tools which help us to create and engage fan communities so that we can super serve our artist’s core fan base without having to rely as heavily on social media platforms. That’s something we definitely want to be doing more of. The best market developments of late have been those that empower artists to operate independently outside of the traditional label system. It’s been great doing a lot of work with label services companies.

Can you provide any insights into the future plans or upcoming projects of This Is Music?

Next year is very much about delivering the new Bicep presents Chroma AV DJ Show and the accompanying releases. Having had such big success with their live touring after the last album we’re doing something different and super exciting in 2024 which will have a global footprint. We’re also super excited to do our first releases with Sherelle who we signed this year and to develop a number of new artists including Ruthlss, who has already attracted a lot of the right kind of attention.

What music is the team currently listening to?

The team has very wide ranging taste, whilst the beating heart of the company is electronic music the office stereo takes in everything from spiritual jazz to dub and drone. Recent favorites have been Cleo Sol’s LP Gold and Mia Koden’s Ilian Tape Mix

For more information, check out the This Is Music website here.

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