Ashley Page

The 2016 NZ Music Manager Awards take place on Wednesday May 11th at The Tuning Fork in Auckland.

Up for the main prize of Manager Of The Year are Alastair Burns (Marlon Williams, Julia Jacklin), Ashley Page (Broods, Jarryd James, Joel Little, Alex Hope) and Scott Maclachlan (Sol3 Mio, Leisure, Thomston, Parson James).

We had the chance to fire some questions to Ashley Page ahead of the awards.

Who was the first musical act that you managed and how did you become a music manager?

I became a manager when working at a label. I'd seen the way the label treated a band who'd spent two years pouring blood, sweat, and tears into making their album only to be dismissed the week after the release when it didn't meet expectation. I remember thinking I didn't want that to happen again.

Joel would've been my first act, along with Kids Of 88.

How were Broods, Jarryd James, Joel Little and Alex Hope each brought to your attention?

Joel through A&Ring his band. Goodnight Nurse at FMR and Warner Music. Broods through the Rockquest when Georgia was singer in the 7 piece band The Peasants.

Jarryd was a performer at the Australian APRA Awards, their Silver Scrolls. Joel and I were there to accept an award Joel received. Jarryd was covering Matt Corbys Resolution,  and it was literally a moment that stopped me in my tracks. I was looking round the room full of A&R thinking "Can no one else hear this guy?". Incredible.

Alex had written with both Jarryd and Joel. She's phenomenal. 22yrs old and leads the charge in production and writing.

You’re up for Manager of the Year, how does it feel to be nominated for the main prize?

It's incredible really. Very humbling. I've been working at this for 8 years, building things slowly and steadily. It's a long ball game. I've had the privilege of watching Campbell Smith, Paul McKessar, Teresa Patterson and Scott MacLachlan lead the charge open doors, and allow people like me to get a chance. I love what Alistair Burns has been doing this year too. There hasn't been an event in Australia or NZ that I've been to that Marlon hasn't been nominated for, or in many cases won. There's a strong group of NZ Managers around, and no doubt some incredible minds to come through in coming years.

Any up and comers we should keep an eye out for?

New Zealand has always punched above its weight in talent. There's certainly more to come. Looking at artists other managers have on their rosters, also the people we've been working with, thee will be some great success stories ahead.

What's the hardest part about being a manager in the music industry?

Travelling and the disruption it causes to family life. You always have to check yourself that the business is making sense and that the passion for music isn't all consuming.

What is the most rewarding part?

Actually, for me, it's when an artist is able to be financially stable and focus wholeheartedly on their music and goals without compromise. I remember when one of my artists was able to buy their first house it felt unbelievably more rewarding than any chart position or gold disc.

If you could manage one person / band, either dead or alive, who would that be?

Tough question as I look at things too pragmatically. As a huge Nirvana fan I'd love to say Kurt Cobain but I instantly think of the pain in the arse dealings as a manager. Hahaa. I love Buddy Holly and wish he'd been around recording longer than the 18 months we got.. let's play safe and say Buddy.