Five years of Accelerator: Callum Reece on the impact of the MMF and YouTube management programme

Five years of Accelerator: Callum Reece on the impact of the MMF and YouTube management programme

YouTube Music and the Music Managers Forums partnership programme, Accelerator, turns five this year. To celebrate, Music Week talks to the programme’s alumni about their journeys into the industry, their careers now and the future of the management sector…

CALLUM REECE - Creative director/co-head of artist development, One House

Fresh from No.1 glory with Eliza Rose, Callum Reece discusses emerging talent, diversity and breaking big...

There’s only one place to start – Eliza Rose’s No.1. How did you do it?

“We’re still all flying high but look, the lead factor on this is that it’s a we! The scene came together to propel a track to the top of the charts that was first owned by dancefloors at Panorama Bar, DC10 and Glastonbury’s Block9. Plus, it’s about the incredibly passionate minds who have worked across the campaign with such commitment and attention to detail, knowing in the build up that we were on the cusp of something. It’s been the definition of a team effort.”

What do these breakthrough moments feel like for a manager? 

“It’s these breakthrough moments and the buzz that comes with them that make you get up in the morning. Before ‘the’ breakthrough moment there’s always been so much work that has come before – from the artist, their friends and family who have encouraged them from day one as well as the wider teams that are on that journey with them. So, for me, the overarching feeling is ensuring you do justice to all the energy and graft that has come before… And, as soon as you can, you have to lay down a foundation that a legacy can then be built on. It’s not about the flash in the pan moment, it’s about using that as the catalyst for a longstanding career.”

Can you name the biggest obstacle in your industry journey so far?

“It was probably negotiating through that feeling of imposter syndrome and self doubt in the earlier part of my career and coming through the other side. You might feel a little out of your depth, or you’re scraping to pay rent and thinking, ‘Right, shall I just sack this off and go into recruitment?!’ But you’ve got to persist and stick to that passion and keep that hustle. That’s when things like a mentor or some extra support can have such an impact and tip the scales.” 

Are there any qualities that are essential for managers in 2022?

“Dedication and empathy! Also, one of the most important things is to build an extended team that you can trust. The sooner a manager can arrive at that dream team position, the more impact they can then have on their artist’s career. Only with that support can you become hyper-focused with your time and concentrate on the areas that will have the most impact.” 

You’re part of the Black Music Coalition’s independent committee. How has the landscape changed in terms of racism and discrimination since the BMC formed?

“It’s been a privilege to be surrounded by the incredible minds from the BMC. From my perspective, the main shift has been accountability. It feels like finally the penny has dropped. But look, companies, employees and individuals in positions of power have to continue to strive to do better at every opportunity. This is still the tip of the iceberg and keeping the multi-layered issues that surround discrimination an absolute priority should be the bare minimum.”

How has MMF’s Accelerator helped you most?

“For me, it’s been that direct line to shared knowledge and access to additional perspectives. I think the ability to observe situations you encounter as a manager from a wide range of angles is so important in helping you to arrive at the best possible decision. A network such as the Accelerator programme allows you to draw on that resource whenever needed.”

Click here to read our interview with YouTube's Lizzie Dickson.

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