In the current issue of Music Week we celebrate one of the world's most successful management companies: Tap Music.
Inside we not only speak to its co-founders Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, but also its superstar clients like Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding and Dermot Kennedy to get the full story of how they’ve taken the music world by storm.
For Dua Lipa, her journey with Tap Music began when she was just 17 and played Mawson her “rubbish” demos. It was a brief encounter that soon blossomed into an enduring artist/manager relationship that has turned her into one of the biggest popstars on the planet.
Dua Lipa opened up to Music Week about what Mawson and Millett’s early belief meant to her personally, and also how the pair have helped guide her through her career so far. And that includes supporting her decision to take more control of her musical direction on her blockbusting Future Nostalgia record.
“In so many interviews I’ve been asked, ‘Has anyone tried to change you, or your sound’ and I can really wholeheartedly say that I’ve had such a great experience,” Dua Lipa told Music Week. “I’ve never felt pressure to do anything that didn’t feel like me, or that I didn’t want to do. As I was making Future Nostalgia and sending over [musical] references to Ben and Ed to share my thoughts they were always the ones saying, ‘Just keep going, keep writing – the more you write, the closer you’ll get to where you want to be.’ What I wanted was always at the forefront. They’ve looked after me and nurtured me and let me find my own voice and direction – all those things have been really important.”
On the run up to the release of Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa also spoke candidly about some of the challenges she’s had to face in the music industry – one of which is negotiating trolls on social media. In the interview, Lipa saluted her managers for always putting her mental health first...
“There’s definitely a certain social pressure as an artist to be on social media and there just came a point where I wasn’t happy about the messages and awful trolls online that were really getting to me,” Dua Lipa told Music Week. “Ben and Ed were the first people I went to, like, ‘I have such a personal relationship with my social media, I do everything myself and I just can’t do Twitter anymore – is it OK if I get off it?’ They were the first people to be like, ‘We’re so happy for you to step away – do whatever you need to do for your mental health and what makes you happy’. That was very important for me to hear from them.”
The star went on to outline the plan both she and Tap Music are developing that will help her enjoy direct contact with her fans without having to deal with trolls.
“I want to do something like a fan club with written letters to have a different connection with my fans, because Twitter just wasn’t working for me anymore, I had to remove myself from it,” Dua Lipa continued. “It takes serious effort to send someone written hate mail – if they go through with that, I gotta give it to them! Social media can be quite toxic so it’s about trying to figure out ways that are healthier for artists. I’m grateful I have people around me that put that first.”
Subscribers can read the full Dua Lipa interview here.