Tap Music's Ben Mawson and Ed Millett have given Music Week the lowdown on the successes of their all-star roster - and shared their ambitions for their new wave of talent.
Longstanding Tap clients Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding have both scored No.1 albums in 2023, with Goulding also releasing one of the biggest singles of the year so far with the Calvin Harris collaboration Miracle, while Dermot Kennedy hit the chart summit last November and recently embarked on a UK arena tour.
The award-winning management company is about to launch Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock's solo career and has also taken on Christine And The Queens, as well as snapping up David and Victoria Beckham's son, Cruz.
In addition, Mawson and Millett have once again teamed with the BBC on the United Kingdom's Eurovision entry, selecting Mae Muller to represent the UK at this Saturday's song contest in Liverpool. Here, the duo talk through all that and more...
LANA DEL REY
Ed Millett: "She committed to these five shows around the world that were all completely disconnected, but she liked the idea of them. We had Glastonbury in the UK and then Hyde Park came along and she was just like, 'Why not? Let's do it.' And we did 52,000 tickets in the first couple of days so it's amazing, but I can't say that I'm surprised. She's so underplayed in all the markets - it's six, seven, eight years since she's played a lot of places so the demand is definitely there and she's adding more shows all the time. We're adding some European ones I think.
"[Did You Know That There's a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd] is a brilliant album, and it's obviously been received that way so we think that it's got a lot of legs to carry us through the year. It's always amazing with her, she just cements herself at the pinnacle of culture all the time in surprising ways, and the next thing is the video for Candy Necklaces with Jon Batiste, which is quite a statement. So it will be interesting to see how that goes down."
Ben Mawson: "The TikTok era has actually been really beneficial for Lana. We've done recent research on her audience and her original audience has grown old with her, but she has a whole new generation of teenage fans who've discovered her through TikTok. Both Lana and Ellie are at their highest ever Spotify monthly listeners, and Lana's album was the biggest week one of the year.
"Lana's dad has his album coming out in June and there's a song with Lana out in advance of that. Lana's dad signed to Decca, so they've got a song coming out together and he's proudly announced himself as the first 'nepo daddy!'"
BM: "It's a rare accomplishment to have a No.1 single and album in the same week. Since before we were managing her, we were just the biggest fans of Ellie - she's just so talented in so many ways, both musically and beyond. To be having a No.1 album and single after being successful for so many years is amazing, and we're very proud. The song Miracle demonstrates the Calvin factor, but the vocals on that song are from another planet and they are a very potent combination. I'm very proud that she's still delivering hit No.1 albums and singles and there's lots more to come this year."
EM: "It shows her relevance still this far into her career, and she's got such broad plans of what she's going to do next. It's given her the impetus to crack on with her next projects. It's the beginning of the next chapter for her, which will be really exciting. She got straight back in the studio."
BM: "When we were first approached, we were obviously intrigued. And when we met him, we were instantly super-impressed. He's super-charismatic, very dedicated to becoming a successful music artist, and extremely enthusiastic. He plays piano, drums, guitar, he's starting to learn the saxophone, and just has a general passion for music. He'd already been working hard since he was about 11 on songwriting and all this musicianship so we were very impressed. We heard some early demos he'd been working with people in LA, which were great.
"We've spent the last year putting him in lots of sessions - mostly in London, but some in LA and Miami too - and the results have been really exciting; there's a really consistent sound developing. For me, he's extremely talented and certainly charismatic and a really lovely guy, but such a large part of it is hard work and I've seen that with all of our successful artists. We're very excited and we're hoping to have something out this year. Obviously, with the family name, there's an unusual amount of pressure for a new artist, but he takes it in his stride."
EM: "He obviously is in the position he's in and we're all mindful of that. And the message is, there are no shortcuts and he understands that. He's got to win it by himself. He's young and he's got a long way to go, but he's also very talented. So we'll be excited to get his first bits of music out within the year."
EM: "The music is absolutely sensational, and she is a dream to work with. She's incredibly ambitious and what's been exciting about this process is it's not her carrying on doing Little Mix pop tunes as a solo artist; this is the birth of a new global artist. And the people that have jumped on the train when they've heard the music are the top level people. Whether it be stylists, or photographers, or creatives, or directors, people hear the music and are like, 'I want to be on this.' I don't want to jinx it by saying it's going to be massive, but culturally I think it's amazing positioning, and it's truly her. It's so different from Little Mix in a lot of ways. We've now done photos and trailers and we've shot the video. This is going to be a really exciting artist launch and I think people are going to be surprised but really impressed. It's all under wraps at the moment, but it's coming very soon."
CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS
Tony Beard (Tap co-manager): "2023 is set to be Chris’s strongest year to date with a sold-out UK tour, headline appearances at Glastonbury and Wilderness Festivals followed by a world tour that stretches into 2024 and beyond. Everyone at Tap is honoured and thrilled to be working with Chris, a truly unique artist."
EM: "He's partway through delivering this album trilogy. The next one is coming and I can't say who he's going to be working with, but it's really exciting and he's a great, great artist to have on our roster. The level of creativity that comes from him is mind blowing. It's not all about brash pop music, artists like that have real value in the world."
EM: "He's been on that interesting journey where it's slowly got bigger and bigger and bigger. He's started his tour - Europe went really well and the UK was great - pretty much sold out at all the arenas and he broke the record in Glasgow for the biggest sales ever [at OVO Hydro] , but that's partly because they've only recently opened the extra section so it will get broken again in a couple of weeks. Canada was the first date on the North American tour and that was a sold out arena - 15,000 people - so that feels good and I think we'll be sold out in a lot of it. It's just Texas and those places where perhaps we need a little bit of work but he's in really good spirits.
"He's just had the Fast X song [Won't Back Down] come out and he's got a new single coming at the beginning of June, which is another Steve Mac co-write so that'll be our summer single. He's headlining All Points East and we've built a bill out and are adding to it all the time, so it feels like he is in a really good spot and he's already thinking about the next record. He's started writing it and wants to go a certain direction. We've got a lot of touring to get through over the next year and a bit - Fuji Rock Festival and all of these first steps into Asia - and we've got a great Australian run lined up for the end of the year. In most markets he's raised his game and the numbers are getting bigger."
EM: "Mae's done an amazing job. At last count, she'd done nearly 100 interviews, so she is working it and she's as ready as you're going to be. I'm going to see the jury final on Friday, so now it's just about what happens on the night and we're really proud of her. Mae, she was on our shortlist all the way through, but we didn't feel she had the right song. And then she delivered that song at the last minute and it felt serendipitous."
BM: "Mae's been so wonderful in a similar way to Sam [Ryder], but in her own way. She has the best personality and charisma and she is embracing the opportunity and has worked really hard, doing lots and lots of promo. And the song's looking good, it's been added the A-list in the UK and is getting lots of traction around Europe. She's done a brilliant job as the UK ambassador and we're obviously crossing fingers and toes for Saturday."
Click here to read our exclusive Eurovision digital cover feature with Mae Muller, Tap Music, EMI and Modest! Management.