Manners McDade's Harriet Moss talks new opportunities for composer signings, syncs and global reach

Manners McDade's Harriet Moss talks new opportunities for composer signings, syncs and global reach

One year on from Faber Music’s acquisition of Manners McDade, Harriet Moss has spoken about the new opportunities within the wider company.

New synergies are being created with Faber Music and Faber Alt as part of a wider creative hub. The Faber Music company, including Manners McDade, now employs around 75 staff in total.

Led by Moss, the Manners McDade publishing company and composer agency kept its brand identity following the seven-figure deal. Manners McDade also retained its team following the acquisition.

Moss, formerly head of international creative, has been promoted to commercial rights director across the whole company. She is interviewed alongside Faber Music CEO Richard King in the latest edition of Music Week.

Manners McDade’s specialism is in neo-classical and electronic music, including publishing for composers Nils Frahm, Max Cooper and Poppy Ackroyd.

“We have a renewed international presence,” Moss told Music Week about the integration with Faber. “We were also able to bolster the team with some sync support too.

“We've actually had significant growth across the publishing and agency businesses in year one of this acquisition, so it’s really all we can ask for.”

Up to the end of the third quarter of the financial year, which coincided with the acquisition, Manners McDade increased revenues by around 20% on the publishing side and 10% on the agency side.

As they mark the first year in business together, a new wave of promotions and signings – revealed by Music Week earlier this month – have brought Manners McDade, Faber Music and Faber Alt closer together.

Moss manages the commercial rights publishing businesses of both Faber Music and Manners McDade, and works strategically on their development with Richard Paine, who is now director of business affairs and rights.

Meanwhile, Faber Music’s Lucy Holliday has been promoted to creative director. Holliday leads both the rock/pop print publishing business and Faber Alt, as well as being widely involved in the creative business of the whole company. 

Holliday has signed indie acts and songwriters to the Faber Alt music publishing division since its launch in 2018. 

We've had significant growth across the publishing and agency businesses in year one of this acquisition

Harriet Moss

There are now plans for the combined operations to cover wider ground in terms of genres.

“It’s a joint ambition with myself and Lucy,” said Moss. “We're talking to some people that we are looking to sign. We can now be so competitive in this space. There’s the work that we put in on the sync front and collection tracking, but also the creativity that we bring to a relationship and our strength as part of a wider artist team. 

“We are being really ambitious in that because we feel really secure now that we’ve got a good solid team behind it. Moving forward, we’re hoping to make that impact on maybe a wider [range of] genres within the music industry too.” 

Asked about how Faber and Manners McDade can expand its remit on the A&R front, Moss said: “Manners has its own specialism in neo-classical and electronic, Faber Alt is a little bit more broad, it has a lot of indie bands, but also some new jazz and soul and other genres as well. So whilst we're retaining that spirit, there's a real feeling that we can play a wider game on the A&R front too.”

She added: “For us, there's always that interest in people who have an element of film and TV within their career, or where we see that as having potential in their music. 

“The composer agency part of the business is so important, it's such a calling card for us and we've got a lovely spread [of clients] now.”

Jenna Fentimen has become head of agency at Manners McDade. The latest signing across to the company, for both publishing and the composer agency, is Lucinda Chua, who last year released debut album YIAN via 4AD.

Faber Alt has agreed an expanded catalogue publishing deal with Keaton Henson and signed artist and composer Tawiah, an existing agency client for Manners McDade.

Meanwhile, longtime Faber Music publishing client Paul Englishby, a successful composer for film, television, theatre and dance, has joined the Manners McDade agency.

The company is building its sync business across TV, film and advertising. It follows a period of disruption caused by  the Hollywood writers’ strike in 2023.

“We still had one of our best years at the agency, the growth was still there, and that’s really testament to the amount of media that we touch,” said Moss. “We do some huge film and TV projects, but we also do a lot in the advertising space and video games.”

Recent successes include the film All Of Us Strangers, scored by London-based, French pianist & composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, and One Day, which was co-scored by multi-instrumentalists Vanbur. The Bristol-based duo also had a prominent sync in the Netflix series with In Cold Light for the final episode.

“They had a TikTok moment,” said Moss. “It was the big emotional [finale], so it was lovely to see that in effect.”

Manners McDade works with the international collective licensing agency IMPEL on its digital rights.

“Our music is much better placed for film and TV,” said Moss of the TikTok moment. “We do work on adverts that touch on social media. But I think it's lovely to have a moment like that on something like One Day and TikTok where there's a little spike, because it's not the sort of world that we are in as much – [we’re not] publishing someone like Dua Lipa.”

Laura Harrison, music services manager, works closely with advertising clients, including fashion brands on campaigns, alongside project managing film, TV and global sync efforts.

“It's just about our team matching the genres of music and composers with those different media and how we can best service those clients,” added Moss.

Subscribers can read the Music Week magazine interview here.

PHOTO: (L-R) Richard Paine, Lucy Holliday, Jenna Fentimen, Harriet Moss and Richard King

PHOTO CREDIT: Louisa Rechenbach


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