If you haven’t heard of Joel Little, BROODS or Kids Of 88 – then clearly you need to change that and hook into more NZ music!
We chat to Ashley Page in our Fascinating Jobs and find out what it takes to Manager these guys. Plus we are always happy to support kiwi musicians and their Managers – especially being NZ Music Month!!
Ashley Page started life in music nearly two decades ago in the U.K. as International Promotions Manager at Mushroom / Infectious Records, overseeing the Worldwide campaigns for a wide variety of major artists from Garbage, Ash, and Peter Andre.
In 2000 Ashley moved to New Zealand where he took up the A&R and Label Management post at Festival Mushroom Records and Flying Nun Records – signing the Mint Chicks in 2003. Ashley was Head of A&R and Australasian Marketing Manager at Warner Music New Zealand from 2005-2008 .
Ashley Page left Warner late 2008, and now owns and runs Page One Management where he manages BROODS and KidsOf88. Ashley also co-owns the Dryden Street label, home of both BROODS and KidsOf88, as well as overseeing the NZ arm of boutique music supervision company Level Two Music NZ, and of course using his knowledge to help artists coming through at theaudience.co.nz.
1. When you were a kid, what was your ultimate career going to be?
Quite honestly anything but band management.
2. One of the very first jobs you had after you left school?
I actually left University to work packing CDs in the warehouse for a record label in the UK. From there I worked my way to work in the offices packing envelopes and answering the phones. Then landed a job working in music licensing and promotions.
3. How did you become a Music Manager, who was your first client(s)?
I started Page One Management in 2008 after leaving my post at Warner Music NZ. My first client would’ve been Joel Little, alongside Kids Of 88, and I’d say Jimmy Christmas’s new project Luger Boa.
4. How hard is it surviving in the NZ Music industry, is it all like P Diddy – private jets and lots of gold medallions???
Ho Ho Ho… from the management point of view if your artists isn’t earning then you are not earning. If they are then you are earning a minor percentage of their income. Ultimately this means any full time managers are generally forced to manage a variety of different artists to make a living or, as many do, managers will also have a day job.
5. What are some of the greatest myths about what you do, that people may not realise?
That it’s glamorous!
6. What is a typical day “in the office” for you?
At the moment ‘the road’ is the office. This week has been 3am lobby calls, 3 hour carnet and customs clearances, flights, picked up to oversee artists promotions in each territory, head to venue for soundcheck, show, pack up merch/load out for midnight, back to the hotel by 1am. Up again at 3am…and repeat. In between this deal with all emails and calls from the UK, US, Australia, NZ and in-between with labels, agents, lawyers, and sponsors.
7. What is your favourite part of the job?
Really when a plan works. It could be three years in the making but when things fall into place from the long term planning, especially when you go through tough times to get there, it’s gratifying.
8. If someone was interested in a career in the NZ music industry, where would be a good starting point for them?
If someone really wants to become a manager I’d say they’d have to truly believe in their artist and their music. They’re about to put all their chips on black at the table so they need to be very, very sure. There will be many people that don’t share your vision, belief, and understanding, so you really just need to.
9. Name some of your most proud moments in your job or biggest highlight so far?
Clearly recently Joel Little’s success. When you take on managerial responsibility, you are ultimately wanting to help earn a sustainable living for your client. I remember back to a few years ago when we would discuss how tough times were, and frankly where the next pay check may be coming from. With this in mind my proudest moment wasn’t the Grammy, the Silver Scroll, or the #1’s, but it was when Joel was in a position to buy his first house. I was so proud that afternoon. He knows that.
10. What is one of the hardest parts to your job?
Actually when things don’t work out with an artist. Things don’t always run smoothly, and artists can blame you when things don’t go their way. However we don’t go into manage an artist without anything but the intention to make a success of that artist. It’s never fun when things turn septic, and I really don’t like things not working as planned.
11. What do you do to keep you balanced between work and life? What gets you through tough times?
This is honestly the hardest part of what I do hands down. I actually would say I handle this incredibly poorly, and I miss my wife every day that I’m away. Everything works in cycles in management. Some years you will be sitting at home, and some years when things are working you need to run as fast as your band runs and push every opportunity possible.
12. Name someone who inspires you? Someone who maybe helps you keep you doing what you do? Or they are just simply someone you think rocks at life!!!
God, so many people. My wife….daily! Her work ethic is second to none and her support is likewise.
A constant inspiration is my mum who passed away 10 weeks after I left Warners in 2008. I actually spent those 10 weeks essentially setting up my business from a palliative care unit in Devon, England. Working on NZ time through the night, and nursing mum during the day. She said “You’ll be very successful”, and I work towards that every day.
I also bear in mind something Adele’s manager, Jonathan Dickens, said to me which is “It’s not the people who are with you through the good time, but it’s the people who stick by you during the tough times that matter”.
To that effect my lawyer and business partner Chris Hocquard, Paul McKessar, and Campbell Smith who have always backed me.
13. Who are you listening to at the moment?
A lot of Broods! Any new NZ music I can find on theaudience.co.nz, Jungle, Tove LØ, Erik Hassle, Tuneyeards & Sam Smith…and no doubt some Neil Diamond and Spiritualized’s ‘Ladies And Gentlemen” album.