Ask The Industry – Sara Prendergast
In this Ask The Industry feature we speak to Sara Prendergast at SB Management about the daily grind, developing new artists and keeping the faith.
Tell us a bit about yourself Sara..
I have been working in artist management at SB Management for nearly four years now after starting as an intern. I started out with zero experience in the music industry and not really knowing what I wanted to do. It’s true to say I got lucky as I sort of fell into it but ended up really loving the job!
My main job role is assistant managing across the majority of our roster however I have recently started taking on my own artists too, which has been a slightly nerve-racking but very rewarding experience.
What does your day-to-day work look like?
Lots of emails and organising! Whatever the next thing is on our artist agendas is what I am working on – be it getting releases ready, advancing tours, putting in sessions, arranging shoots etc. My time naturally gets split equally between all of our artists making sure I am on top of everything for each of them. Some days – such as release days – there will be more of an emphasis on a specific artist so that the release (or whatever it may be) has maximum impact.
How do you generally discover new music?
In terms of discovering new artists – there are a number of ways. At SB is it a combination of checking blogs/sites/playlists that champion undiscovered artists and new music, going to club nights/shows and word of mouth from others in the industry who know of great unmanaged artists.
What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
Keep faith in what you do. Keep chipping away at it whatever stage you are at, there will be knock backs and bumps ahead but that’s all part and parcel of the process and isn’t always a reflection on your ability. I would also say it’s important to be open minded and adaptable so that you can keep growing as an artist and not get stuck in a rut creatively. Keep going!
What do you look for in a new act when taking on new artists? How do you know they are ready?
They don’t always have to be ready. Sometimes a manager can develop an artist for a while before they are ready to release music if they see something special in them. I think the key things I look for in a new act would be that they show ability in their music, are hard working and that they are open-minded and grounded people. Being personable goes a long way as an artist-manager relationship needs have a foundation of trust and honesty. On a more external level it helps if the act looks like they care and make an effort on their social media platforms. Social media is a big deal for an artist and it’s important they look up to scratch.
Finally, what tracks do you have on repeat at the moment?
We manage some great acts at SB and I genuinely have a lot of love for them and their music. The Night Café are a Liverpudlian indie band who have just released their debut EP ‘Bunkbed’ which is well worth a listen. Also Uxbridge based Bloxx are killing it at them moment and I’m loving their song ‘Novocain’. Lastly, Dave C. Rupert who is an artist I manage myself, I adore his track ‘Cold’.
Sometimes a manager can develop an artist for a while before they are ready to release music if they see something special in them.
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