Top CAA agents talk long-term artist partnerships, breaking talent and the dance boom

Top CAA agents talk long-term artist partnerships, breaking talent and the dance boom

CAA agents have spoken to Music Week about their commitment to supporting artists in the UK. 

The London office is headed by Emma Banks (recently promoted to co-head of global touring) and Mike Greek.

Last month CAA triumphed in the Live Music Agency category at the Music Week Awards. They were joined at the ceremony by one of their longstanding clients, Charlie Simpson of Busted, who reunited in 2015. 

“I've actually looked after Busted very, very happily for 20 years,” CAA agent Paul Franklin told Music Week. “Charlie is an incredible artist – not only with Busted but also his solo career and Fightstar, so he's got three acts under his belt. Busted are one of the best pop acts of the last 20 years.”

Busted achieved the highest-grossing UK arena tour of 2023, moving 200,000 tickets as the run expanded to 27 dates across the UK and Ireland. The band hit No.1 with a 20th anniversary greatest hits/remakes album.

“I started representing Charlie when he was 16 years old and we’re still great mates,” said Franklin, who joined CAA in 2009. “He's the loveliest man in the industry. As an agent, it's all about building relationships and maintaining relationships.”

Fellow CAA veteran Maria May (pictured) added: “The signature of CAA is also that we’re amazing at breaking acts from the ground up. But many of the senior agents of the company have repped quite a lot of their roster for decades, and they continue to be phenomenally successful. So the partnership of the artists, the manager and the agent is clearly a winning one.”

As well as steering reunion success for Busted and McFly, Franklin also helped guide Sugababes’ live ambitions with substantial arena sales in the UK last year.

Busted are one of the best pop acts of the last 20 years

Paul Franklin

The agency’s live successes in the past 18 months also include 5 Seconds Of Summer, Florence + The Machine, Muse, Sam Fender, Shania Twain and, of course, Harry Styles, who played 81 shows and moved 3.5 million tickets on his world tour.

“We're delighted to work with such an incredible artist,” said Franklin. “We've worked with him from the very start in One Direction, and he just gets better and better every year. He's one of the best performers out there. We're honoured to be working with him.”

The agency also represents Music Week cover star Yungblud, who will stage his own BludFest event in August. Becky Hill and Hozier, both in the midst of impactful album and live campaigns, are also CAA clients.

In terms of breaking talent in the UK, CAA represents new acts including Olivia Dean, The Last Dinner Party, Rachel Chinouriri and Ezra Collective.

“We are an agency all about artist development,” said Franklin. “We're always looking for new acts. We obviously have a lot of stadium acts. But the core of what we are trying to move forward for the next few years is to find new artists, and that's what we do on a daily basis. I think we’re one of the strongest, if not the strongest, in the market.”

Maria May is known as a key figure for the dance sector. She represents clients including David Guetta, Roisin Murphy and Purple Disco Machine.

May spoke to Music Week in 2022 about the growth of dance music. In 2024, she assured us that there’s no sign of that going away any time soon.

“I would say that dance music is booming at the moment, it's in rude health and we're seeing massive gains year-on-year across the whole business,” she told Music Week

“I would probably consider myself to be one of the architects of the scene, starting in 1995 with many others,” she added. “So it's quite nice to see where it's gone… and where it's going next.”

Click here to read our UK festivals report including insights from CAA’s Emma Banks.


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