Nazlican, please tell us your story! How did you get to where you are today?
First of all, I just want to give a shout out to my parents because they are the real reason to how I got to where I am today. That immigrant work ethic doesn’t come easy, and to have family that support you unconditionally, particularly when you work in a creative field that is so different from where I was initially heading is indescribable.
Originally from Auburn, my parents and I moved to regional Australia, a beach town called the Central Coast. We were one of the first POC families in a predominantly ‘white’ town so I found solace in spending hours on Myspace, Tumblr, Blalock’s Indie Playlist and any music blog I could get my hands on as I felt so disconnected from everybody. Music was my comfort from such a young age but I pushed myself to get into law school as I thought that was what I was supposed to do. It took me dropping out of law school (to my dad’s disdain), getting three jobs and working my ass off to move to London at the age of 19 which was absolutely life changing for me. To be around all that culture, that energy, that MUSIC. When I came back at the age of 21 I knew exactly what I wanted to do; to work in the music industry.
My longtime best friend Ally Lane was working as head publicist at the PR Files under the incredible Nat Files and she set up an interview between myself and Nat so I could intern and get my foot in the door. At the same time I started studying at AIM and started meeting likeminded people that were also, like me, hungry to get into the industry.
After interning and learning all things PR from Nat and Ally, I then started an internship at PR and management company Fingerless Gloves Projects with Tessa Kerans, Andy Bryan, Melita Hodge and Darryl Bailey. I feel really lucky that I was able to gain experience not only with PR but also with management at FGP, and to be so hands on across the whole roster which included Northeast Party House, Odette and Kasey Chambers, amongst others.
The pandemic was a turning point in my career. I had just finished university, had no responsibilities and had booked a two month trip back to England and Turkey, where my parents are from. When that all fell to pieces, I was offered a full time publicist role at Six Boroughs, where under Tessa and Darryl, we spearheaded three album campaigns that all debuted in the Top 5 of the ARIA Charts in 2020 (Ball Park Music, San Cisco, Hockey Dad). I can’t thank the FGP and 6B team enough for being the launchpad to where I am today.
During that same time, a close friend got me across BOY SODA, a new R&B talent coming out of the Central Coast, and I just knew in my heart, this is the artist I want to manage, because I believe in him and his vision more than anything in the world. Cherub Artists was then born, my artist management company which I manage Brae under.
In 2021, I was headhunted by leading hip hop managers Adit Gauchan and Nick Lupi to launch One Day Entertainment as an official management arm. It’s been almost eight months since I joined the team and we’ve now expanded to five people, have added two amazing female artists to the roster (Tiffi, Mulalo) and I couldn’t be happier. This is exactly where I’m meant to be.
What does your day-to-day entail?
My day to day is so different everyday! I start off checking my emails and getting myself prepared for the day. We then either have internal WIPs to check in with each other and our artist roster which has about 10 artists, producers, and influencers.
The rest of the day consists of more meetings, listening to demos, liaising with our wider teams, labels and stakeholders and negotiating deals. Then its off to a shoot or a show!
Have you had to overcome any challenges or adversity in your career, and if so, how did you approach them?
I feel super fortunate and also, slightly indebted to the pandemic, as my career trajectory over the last two years has been on the up and up. I grew my network, honed in my chops as an artist manager and landed my dream job at One Day.
The hardest thing I would say I have faced, and continue to face, is work load and mental health. I am not the best delegator and am currently learning that I don’t need to work on everything by myself, and that I have an amazing team around me that are there to make sure I am operating as my best self.
Who are your role models in the industry be they international or locally-based?
Where to begin… Ally Lane and Nat Files for giving me the opportunity to be where I am today. Tessa Kerans who is now at ARIA, my backbone for over two years. She is an absolute weapon. Mardi Caught; I’m her biggest fan. Adit Gauchan and Nick Lupi. Their drive and passion for the work that they do is inspiring and is the driving force behind my work. Lucy Smith for being one of the best radio hosts to come out of this country. Carolina De La Piedra; she is one of my biggest role models and so authentically herself, keeps it so real which is very important in this industry. Also, keep an eye on Jordyn Grant, that man is phenomenal.
Who are your top 3 artists to watch?
BOY SODA (I’m biased)
What does the rest of 2022 and 2023 hold for you? Anything exciting you can tell us about?
So many exciting things! All the things!
I’m working with about four developing artists currently who all have releases slated for the next 12 months. Mulalo is about to share her first taste of new music since her critically acclaimed hit M31 (Racing Down The Hume) and BOY SODA is about to drop the hottest mixtape of all time, and I’m taking both of these artists to BIGSOUND for the first time!
Triple One are working on the follow up to their new mixtape A Dangerous Method after playing an epic packed set at Splendour In The Grass.
I have my very first residency at FBi Radio for the whole month of August launching next week which was a huge goal of mine when I started presenting at FBi last year.
2023 will show no signs of slowing down but I don’t want to give away too much…I have some sleep and R&R scheduled in there as well 😉
Let’s talk about the highs vs the lows of your career, what is your greatest achievement?
The music industry is a field where the highs are VERY HIGH and the lows are VERY LOW. My greatest achievements are that I get to manage BOY SODA – we just went to the UK for a writing trip where he worked some really incredible producers including Daniel Merriweather, super life affirming and a privilege to experience that together.
Another achievement would be signing Tiffi and Mulalo to ODE, two artist that exist in very different genres and are destined for great things. And last of all, my work at FBi Radio and getting to host the Tuesday Up For It breakfast show alongside my co-presenter Dan Ripsler and producer Sam Clark.
What has been your biggest lesson?
Empathy and communication. As someone that is business minded, working with artists and creatives there is always going to be an area that doesn’t overlap and you will tend to disagree on. It is such a hectic time for artists right now and we are asking more from than than ever.
I’ve learnt (and am continuing to learn) to just listen and to show up. Artists need to be supported and to be shown that the people on their team are on the same page as them. Also, to DELEGATE! Can’t stress that enough.
What are some words of advice given to you that you often find yourself going back to?
To back myself, and to believe in myself, and to not limit myself. As a young woman in the industry that is still getting on her feet, I have had to quash those feelings of doubt when in an important meeting and to just trust my gut. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t meant to be.
What do you think is the biggest threat to artists or the industry and what would you do to change it?
I would change the way that we gatekeep our own artists. Commercial radio needs to step up and play more Australian artists, because the talent we have here is undeniable. We need communities within each state to connect, instead of turning on each other or not collaborating because in the end we are all working collectively on one goal, and that is to break locally and internationally, and be successful.
Also there need to be more people from the on ground communities who are taking things into their own hands working within the major labels and DSPs, particularly BIPOC, women and GNC. How can you execute a hip hop campaign if you have no one from the scene working it?
Do you have any activities that you do for self-care that are non-negotiable?
A bath, SES Radio mix (shout out Buse for providing the vibes), a delicious meal and a rom com. Love that. When the weather is stunning, I head straight to the beach. That salt water is a necessity when you’re feeling a bit low!
How firm are you with boundaries between work/life balance and how do you try to enforce them?
Honestly, my boundaries currently are so blurred but because I honestly love what I do. My weekends though are sacred, unless it’s an emergency, I’m pretty good at not getting stuck into any work and enjoying myself. I don’t hesitate to ask if I need a mental health day, or to work from home and get my life in order. I’m very lucky to be in a position to work alongside a caring and nurturing team and have a lot of freedom to take the time off if needed.
Any tips for a quick ‘pick me up’ if you’re having a shitty day?
Going outside and touching grass figuratively is a good, grounding reminder. Being around my loved ones as well, can’t go past that. And a cuddle, I just love a big hug.
What was a source of inspiration during the pandemic for you?
Honestly, getting to do FBi radio throughout the pandemic was my biggest inspiration. To still have access to community radio, getting to connect with people and literally discovering new music and artists was what allowed me to keep bringing fresh perspectives and ideas whilst we were literally boxed in.
All time favourite gig and why?
This is like asking who your favourite parent is! My all time favourite gig would have to be Foals at Enmore Theatre when they first performed in 2011. I was 15 and had never been to a show in Sydney before. It was life-changing.
What is your go-to Karaoke song?
Blu Cantrell – Hit ‘Em Up Style. Goes off.