“We really want to start making proper waves.” These were the concluding words uttered by Ben Mawson in Music Week’s recent cover feature on Tap Music.
And rest assured, Tap Music – co-founded by Mawson and Ed Millett, and home to Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Dermott Kennedy and more – continue to make some rather colossal waves.
Take this week for instance, as Mawson and Millet accepted the coveted Manger Of The Year honour at the Music Week Awards 2020. It is yet another milestone on a 2019/2020 hotstreak that has seen Lana Del Rey earn her fourth UK No.1 for Norman Fucking Rockwell, Dua Lipa release her blockbusting Future Nostalgia record, Ellie Goulding secure both a UK No.1 album and single and Demott Kennedy top the UK and Irish album charts with his debut.
In the new edition of Music Week – which features interviews with all the winners from this year’s MW Awards – Mawson and Millet reveal what the honour means to them, and also salute the people who have helped them along the way.
“I love all our artists and I cannot shout loud enough about how honoured I feel to work with such brilliant creators but also to our amazing team who deliver everyday,” said Ed Millet. “In this truly horrendous global situation I cannot thank them enough for their energy creativity and focus.”
“Tap is so strong because we are a team,” agreed Mawson. “Ed and I get many of the plaudits as the founders of Tap, but like any team-leaders we look good because we have a multi-talented team of people around us supporting us and our artists and I think there are at least two or three more ‘Ben and Eds’ in our younger managers and some older ones such as Tony Beard – sorry, Tony! – who have had many years more than Ed and me at being very top of the management game.”
Both Mawson and Millett also told Music Week bout their hopes for the future, hinting at some exciting new developments.
“We are ambitious as always and that isn’t just about growth but about lots of exciting new opportunities for us and our artists as well as for our industry as a whole,” said Millett. “Personally, I cannot wait to get back to live shows and we are involved with a programme that will hopefully help make that a reality sooner rather than later, watch this space!”
“These next few years are inevitably going to be tough for the industry but we have a great team, we are looking for great managers with great artists to join us – we will be stronger together,” said Mawson. “At Tap, the coming years will be a time for further growth across records, publishing and management. We are working on several firsts for us and our clients and excited to see all those come to life as well as continue to launch outstanding new music and artists. We should all revel in the power of music to enrich people’s lives and improve mental health and wellbeing. Music and the arts should for this reason be one of the first things on the education curriculum, not the one which suffers first with economic cuts.”
To that end, both Millett and Mawson stressed their “responsibility to incorporate social justice work” into Tap Music’s DNA, hinting that they have several programmes that will launch soon to help affect positive change in the music industry. And they’re looking for people to join them.
“We’re seeking to build coalitions that will create change,” said Millet.
“We were about to launch a ‘music in schools’ programme just as we went into lockdown,” explained Mawson. “While we had to pause that owing to the pandemic, we’re now reactivating it and will focus on breaking down the barriers to a musical education and opening the doors of the music industry to young people from all walks of life. Bringing equality of opportunity and access to this industry to get the best talent is key to the future success and global influence of the British music industry and it should not be restricted to anyone who has talent or passion, irrespective of gender, race, class or background. Tap will be announcing more on this in the coming weeks. We would love to collaborate with other management or music companies on joint programmes that can extend the reach and impact of these kinds of programmes. Please get in touch!”
Subscribers can read Mawson and Millett's winners' interviews here. You can revisit our June 2020 Tap Music cover feature interview here.