Please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to Melbourne from Dunedin, New Zealand when I was 19. After working a few years in hospitality, I met Nick Wallberg who had started Tram Sessions – for those not familiar, they filmed bands on trams, regular trams full of people. At the time I was obsessed with Black Cab Sessions and Take Away shows so basically begged him to be involved in any way possible.
12 months later, Nick made the decision to move back to Sweden and handed over the helm to me. I absolutely loved running Tram Sessions and did it for almost 6 years, during that time I met and worked with some incredible publicists, managers and artists and managed to see some of my favourite artists perform on public trams: Vance Joy, Cub Sport, Amy Shark, Paul Dempsey and Paul Kelly to name a few.
While I was involved in Tram Sessions I started working at a booking agency, after trying a few different roles I discovered that management was what I was really excited about. During this time I was lucky enough to tour The Philippines and China with Woodlock and launch Killing Heidi’s 20 year celebration tour.
Throughout this time I had been working in bars with The Hills Are Alive crew and actually worked the first two UNIFY Festivals backstage, these were my first proper interactions with the team at UNIFIED and then in 2016 Tram Sessions were one of the lucky recipients of the first year of the UNIFIED Grant alongside total badasses Michelle and Claudia from Her Sound Her Story. As part of the grant we were invited into the UNIFIED offices and got a chance to meet the team including the CEO Jaddan, it was such a great afternoon that shortly after when I saw a role advertised at UNIFIED I quickly jumped into applying for the role.
I started at UNIFIED as Jaddan’s assistant in 2017 which was an incredible experience. Basically a front row seat to watching one of our industry’s top leaders run a company and manage some of the countries biggest artists, I learnt so much during my time as Jaddan’s assistant and it’s truly shaped everything about how I operate today.
From there I began working with Jaddan on running the management business and that organically put me back into management taking on some of my own clients.
Fast forward a few years I am now on the leadership team at UNIFIED, the General Manager of UNIFIED Artist Management AU/NZ and manage Client Liaison, Dan Sultan, Harvey M and Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers (who I co-manage with Sarah McMillan)
What does your day-to-day entail?
The best thing about artist management is that no day is ever the same.
Currently I begin my day by dropping my almost two-year-old daughter Elliot off at childcare and jumping on the V-Line from Geelong to our office in Richmond. The train is where I get a lot of my focus and catch up work done – it’s actually where I’m answering these questions!
I’m currently in the office 3 days a week and try to fill those days with face-to-face catch ups with the team. Outside of that my days are filled with meetings with labels, booking agents or artists and from there it’s spent in timelines, budgets, calendars and just generally plotting out how our incredible artists can take over the world.
This year I’ve made it a priority to get home for bath and bedtime with Elliot so I board the v-line again and begin the nightly routine of books and bedtime negotiations.
Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so, how did you approach them?
Since welcoming Elliot in 2021 the biggest challenge has been working out the ‘balance’ between doing my job and being a mum and also navigating the huge identify shift I went through in those first few months.
In hindsight, I definitely dived back into work too early, and I know so many others feel this way. It wasn’t because I felt pressure to from my workplace or anybody else, it all came from myself and wanting to prove that I can do both.
I put this intense pressure on myself to be able to be available and as many know, when a baby is 3-4 months old it’s pretty hard to schedule in phone calls or meetings so ultimately it fell apart.
I’ve realised I can do both but I can only be great at one thing at a time, being a mum or work.
Do you have a single piece of advice that you can share, that has helped you in your career?
Embrace the chaos.
Who are your role models in the industry be they international or locally-based?
Mardi Caught is my hero and Rachael Tullloch is hands down the best artist manager in the country and watching her work is a masterclass.
What does the rest of 2023 hold for you? Anything exciting you can tell us about?
Lots of new music and lots of shows and some international tours which is exciting to say again!
Let’s talk about the highs vs the lows of your career, what is your greatest achievement?
I’m really proud of how we as a company managed to navigate the last few years. It definitely wasn’t easy or done perfectly but we got through it and have come out of it in a stronger place.
Who has been your greatest champion in your career, who has helped you along the way?
Sarah Guppy, Emily Cheung and Madeleine O’Gorman really embraced Tram Sessions and me from the start and were so generous with their time and bringing artists in for sessions, without those early connections I don’t think I would have been able to build it and end up where I am.
Jaddan Comerford has made the biggest impact on my career, working alongside him for over 5 years has been so inspiring. He has built an incredible company and genuinely wants everyone around him to succeed.
Do you have any activities that you do for self-care that are non-negotiable?
I need to get some form of exercise in every day. Recently swimming has been my go-to.
But re-watching The Office or Parks and Recreation is high on my list of self care.
How firm are you with boundaries between work/life balance and how do you try to enforce them?
Elliot as really helped me put some boundaries in place. Management is kind of an ‘available 24/7’ role but I’ve made myself not available from when I first get home and until she is in bed, that time is really important to me.
I also can’t be available for every single show or after hours events anymore.
It can take a while to adjust to the fact that not every piece of communication is urgent and if it truly was urgent we would be calling or texting so sometimes it’s just forcing myself to have distance from my phone.
Any tips for a quick ‘pick me up’ if you’re having a bad day?
I’ve been known to get up and do star jumps at my desk if I’m in a bit of a slump and getting others around me to join in
Otherwise, listen to Taylor Swift – always helps.
What was a source of inspiration during the pandemic for you?
Just watching the artists and people around me continue to find ways to be creative and share their work with the world.
What is your go-to Karaoke song?
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift