Each week, Music Week profiles the brightest new talents in the business. Here, we sit down with Jake Tasker, artist manager at Covert Talent...
How did you break into the industry?
I was always in bands from a really young age, which I’d usually end up managing as well. I learned a lot of things the hard way doing that! Then, six years and a considerable number of mistakes later, whilst in my last year of university, I landed a three-month internship at Three Six Zero, where I ended up staying for seven months. Someone from TSZ then introduced me to Simon King, who owns and runs Covert Talent, and he took a chance on me, which I will always be grateful for!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
‘If you’re in it for the credit, you’re in the wrong industry’ – which I realise is kind of ironic right now! Simon told me this shortly after joining, and it has definitely resonated since. It’s about working to the best of your ability and always being on the ball. Eventually, people may start to notice, but they also might not. Just work hard knowing you’re doing the best job you can.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
There have been so many landmarks, but I would have to pick when BBC Radio 1 chose Tom Walker as one of their Brit List artists last year, it was a massive turning point. A lot of us worked very hard to ensure Tom was worthy of being selected, it was a big pay-off for all the hard work in the years leading up to that moment.
What’s the music industry’s biggest problem at the moment?
Shortsightedness. A lot of labels and managers work with the mindset that you need immediate results and aren’t willing to give something time to grow. We started building Tom Walker from scratch nearly three years ago, with a lot of time, care and hard work going into every step. It’s only now we’re starting to see massive results worldwide.
What’s the biggest myth about the music business?
With enough money, promotion and power you can break any artist. I used to think that, but it’s simply not true. At the core of any great artist is great songs. Without the songs, you will struggle to connect on a worldwide level and you have to think globally.
What’s your greatest ambition?
To love the artists that I work with throughout my career [Tasker also manages Alex Stacey and Hight]. It’s the most important thing for us at Covert, as it makes you want to keep pushing every day. Who knows who or what is around the corner, but my love of music is what made me want to get into this industry in the first place and I want to try not to forget that.
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