Meet Metropolis/Live Nation booker Whitney Boateng...
How did you get into music?
“My first job in music was day-to-day managing at Renowned Group, which Zeon Richards owns. I had finished university and was working in Waitrose. I was training Zeon’s wife in the gym and she said they needed an intern. She was doing the job, but she’d just had a baby so needed a bit of assistance and they didn’t want to hire somebody they didn’t trust. I already had money from Waitrose, so it was a good way to learn about the music business.”
What made you move into live?
“I’ve always loved live music, my first concert was Kanye West’s Glow In The Dark tour. Once I started learning about live, I was like, ‘OK, this is interesting’. I loved management, but I never wanted a job that was 24 hours, it was too much. I wanted to make sure I had my balance in check, I felt management didn’t always allow room for it. A recruitment agency was sending my CV out and I managed to get a job at Coda, now Paradigm. I worked there for a year before Metropolis and I’ve been here for three years.”
What’s been your best moment?
“The Ends Festival, with Wizkid, Nas, Damian Marley and J Balvin. There were about four or five of us that curated it, did the set times, artwork, the events leading up to it and worked on the ground on the day. It turned out to be really successful and it’s my best experience because I learned so much and I still get messages about how it brought so many people joy.”
I still get messages about how The Ends brought so many people joy
And the hardest?
“Coming back from maternity leave was a hard challenge. I chose to return early, and Metropolis were incredible. As soon as I let my team know I was pregnant there was full-force support, there was never a second where they made me feel like I would come back and not be welcome. But when I did I felt very lost. I went back early because we needed to do work on The Ends and it was really hard to get my focus back, I didn’t really have the time to adapt. I had to snap back into it because we had something really important to do that was only a few months away.”
Who are your music role models?
“Zeon is the main one for a multitude of reasons. I can’t even put into words how important he is to music, especially black music between 2011-2015. A female role model would be Jackie Davidson. She always displayed calm as a manager. She gave me hope. She was very graceful, hardworking, she was a mum and a black woman, so seeing her in a high position made me feel OK.”
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