The Music Managers Forum (MMF) has revealed the next wave of 24 independent music managers who will take part in the 2023 Accelerator Programme.
Now entering its fifth year, Accelerator is a grants and training initiative aimed at putting independent music management businesses on a more sustainable footing. Supported by YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association, the programme is overseen by Paul Bonham, the MMF’s director of professional development.
Since 2019, more than 100 independent music managers have participated in Accelerator, benefiting from £1.5m of investment and training.
Recent success stories include: Rob Harrison, co-manager of BRITs Rising Star winners FLO; Rich Goodwin, manager of UK album chart-toppers The Reytons; Alessia Avallone, manager of Soundwalk Collective, composers for Oscar-nominated documentary All The Beauty and the Bloodshed; Anique Cox, nominated in Young Music Boss Awards for her work with Bree Runway; and Callum Reece, winner of Breakthrough Manager at the 2022 Artist & Manager Awards for his successes at One House for Eliza Rose, Sherelle, Cktrl and Mwanjé.
Other ‘Accelerators’ have worked on Mercury and Grammy-nominated projects, as well as developing commercial partnerships and collaborations with a wide range of record labels, distributors, music publishers, live music companies, brands and other management businesses.
The support and funding provided by Accelerator can be life-changing
The MMF has two previous Accelerators - Clare Wright and Nike Durosaro - among its board members.
Representing artists including Lapsley, Sipho, Gee Lee, Jesse Boykins III and Felixthe1st, the latest crop of Accelerator managers are drawn from across the UK (65% are based outside London). As in previous years, they include a strong balance of genders and backgrounds.
The Accelerator class of 2023:
Alex Putman - TAAHLIAH, Jerskin Fendrix, Famous
Alfie Briggs - Piccolo Music
Ben Magee - Joshua Burnside, Dark Tropics, Lemonade Shoelace, Chalk
Bradley Kulisic - Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Holy Moly & The Crackers, Lindsay Munroe, The Dawdler, Lunge
Danni Skerritt - Kaspa, Ruby Tingle, Iora
Declan McAlister - Mack Jamieson, Parked Up, Carys Selvey, Unflirt, Chloe Qisha, Joe Hartwell Jones
Frances Barber - Shillito Ben Malone, Hugo Cantarra, My Friend
Hannah Turnbull-Walter -Tyson, Lapsley, Joe Winter
Isus Calmellow - Femi Tahiru, Jay Faded & DeBe
Jamil Carrol - Kwengface, VXMOB, VX Duse, M.G
Jamila Scott - Melle Brown, Jack Kane, Halfrhymes, Hannah Yadi
Jim Frew - Spyres, Uninvited, The Roly Mo, Ava in the Dark & The Katuns
Joel Reyes - Lo Lauren, Izi Redmond, Carys Selvey, Andysocialclub, Alex Wildwood
Kariss Andrew - Kitti , Moy, Park Lane Studios
Kieran Thompson - Sipho, Thai Mason, Cay Caleb
Leon Wright - Fabiana Palladino, Tex, Dane Burge
Marley Azu-Jones - Fonzie, Felixthe1st & DJ Mastaque
Nina Smith - Alfie Sharp, Kirk Spencer, Family Friend
Sade Lawson - Lil C, Jesse Boykins III, Bam Marley
Trina Smith - Victors, The White Lakes, Mutya Buena, Khalysis, Andrew Kingslow, Dan Carasco, Tomi (DJ Tazer), Luke Juby, Taper, Liam Geddes and Andrea Lepori
Vanessa Sinclair - Mr Macee, El Sam, Gambimi, Abz Winter, DJ Steadman, Claire Angel
Willem Lord - Ayrtn, Downtown Kayoto, Gee Lee, Jack Marlow, Jaish, Izadora
Willow Dingwall-Fordyce - Evalina & Leventis
Yvonne Ellis - Secret Night Gang
Annabella Coldrick, chief executive, MMF, said: “The support and funding provided by Accelerator can be life-changing and managers who’ve participated on the programme have gone on to enjoy incredible successes with artists, producers and songwriters such as FLO, The Reytons, PinkPantheress, Bree Runway, Joy Crookes, Wes Nelson, Eliza Rose, Squid, Dry Cleaning, Enny, Joesef and Moses Boyd. With the support of YouTube Music, I’m really proud that the MMF is helping provide this kind of focussed professional development and see it pay long-term dividends.”
Lyor Cohen, global head of music, Google & YouTube, said: "We are incredibly proud of our role in co-creating the Accelerator program with the Music Managers Forum five years ago. Being a manager is one of the toughest jobs in the music industry and through our Futuremaker partnerships, we are committed to supporting the next generation of talent on both sides of the mic. We've seen so much progress so far from this best-in-class programme and I look forward to what the future holds as we move forward."
Paul Bonham, director of professional development, MMF, said: “I can’t believe we’re now in year five of Accelerator! I am so proud of each and every individual that’s taken part in the programme, and incredibly grateful for everyone who has shown support. Through targeted funding and training we have been able to successfully address some of the fundamental challenges facing our sector and ensure that an upcoming generation of independent music managers can develop sustainable businesses that empower British talent to succeed.”