All photos by Sarah Louise Bennett.
The 2019 Artist & Manager Awards (A&MAs) took place last night, with Stormzy, his manager Tobe Onwuka and the entire team at #Merky scooping up the previously unannounced Team Achievement Award for their significant contribution to British music and culture.
If you didn’t already know, #Merky comprises music management, a record label, book publishing, a clothing brand, and a scholarship scheme. Stormzy described it as a “powerhouse” and “a family”, concluding with “My team is my everything”.
Founded by the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the A&MAs celebrate achievement and excellence in the artist and management world. This year’s awards were held at Bloomsbury Big Top and sponsored by the hospitality brand Selina, showcasing performances from Tom Grennan and Jvck James and hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens.
The winner of the career-best award for Artists’ Artist, sponsored by PPL, was the legendary producer and artist Nile Rodgers, who we recently interviewed for the cover feature of our November issue. Rodgers received his award from Blur’s Alex James and David Rowntree (FAC’s Artist In Residence). In addition, Rebecca Boulton and Andy Robinson of Prime Management were presented with the award for Managers’ Manager, sponsored by SJM Concerts, by their long-term clients New Order.
FEAR’s Debbie Gwyther was granted the Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by YouTube Music, in celebration of her ground-breaking work for Liam Gallagher, who although unable to attend, recorded a video of congratulations for her that was shown at the ceremony.
Also in true 21st-century fashion, Lewis Capaldi accepted his Artist of the Year via video. Sponsored by Selina, the award was accompanied by an all-expenses-paid week-long trip to Columbia to use the facilities at Selina Music Studio Medellin – which Lewis generously gifted to a brand new artist, 21-year old Hull-born singer CHARLOTTE. Following this announcement, CHARLOTTE was invited to the stage by Alfie Lawrence from Capaldi’s management company Interlude Artists, and Nataly Rudasevski, Selina’s head of culture and Experience, to pick up her prize.
Moreover, the Spotify-sponsored award for Breakthrough Artist was picked up by Mancunian rapper Aitch, while the BIM-sponsored Breakthrough Manager award was awarded to YMU Music’s Sophie Bloggs in recognition of her leading work in dance and electronic music for Danny Howard, Krystal Klear, Hannah Wants and Kurupt FM.
Meanwhile, in recognition of a truly incredible career, Neneh Cherry received the Facebook-sponsored Pioneer Award from her close friend, the actress Noomi Rapace.
Sam Fender and his manager Owain Davies were awarded the FanFair Outstanding Contribution To Live Music, recognising their commitment to tackle online ticket touting; Andy Varley, who founded Insanity Group aged 17, building it into a multi-faceted global entertainment company, took home the Entrepreneur Award; and This Much Talent’s Sandy Dworniakwas named Writer / Producer Manager, sponsored by Songtrust.