Interviews / Music

Manager Chloe Mia Gives Creative Insight to Your Favorite Artists

Long before she was drawn to artist management, Chloe Mia was grooving to her own beat. “I started off in the performing arts myself. I danced for probably about 10 years in the UK,” she reveals. “As I began to age out of the dance world, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.” Faced with a season of change, she trusted the flow of life. “The only other thing that interested me was music. Obviously, music is a big part of being a dancer and the performing arts. I actually started off in an internship in music PR and then I got offered a full-time role in the PR world. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. I think a big part of that was being stuck in an office environment. I came to learn that it wasn’t really me. I have to be on the go and on the move doing things in different places and being on video shoots, which I then came to realize was more my thing.” The prospect of another pivot left her undaunted. “From talking to people in the industry, I thought that management might be a good path. Helping artists from the beginning and growing with them. It’s remote and on the go. I started assisting different managers from the roster of the clientele that we had at the PR company. I loved it.”

Serendipity was on her side. After launching a management company in the UK, Chloe discovered a talented young rapper who inadvertently led her to a new chapter stateside. “I ended up connecting with these two producers that were based in New York and they went crazy over my artist at the time. They were saying, ‘We have to come to London to work with her. She’s amazing. We have to produce her music.’ The second time they came over, we came to find out that they were managed by this huge executive over in Los Angeles who had produced and written for every big artist, from J-Lo to Michael Jackson. That’s really how the journey started because their manager decided that he wanted to work with my artist.” The pace of LA spoke to her ambition. “I was just taken aback by how open people are here and how much opportunity there is for people on the business side of the industry. I joke that in my first five day trip here, I got so much more done than in my entire career in music in the UK. We came back over a period of a couple of years. First it was five days, then it was three weeks, then it was three months. We kept extending every time we came until I made that executive decision that this was where I needed to be. I didn’t rush to officially move here until I had ironed everything out in terms of building a network. The US came into my lap. I wasn’t specifically looking for it, but it just happened.”

Now, Chloe manages some of the biggest artists out there, including Saweetie, Rich the Kid, and Travis Barker. Labels and executives flock to her, both for her résumé and distinct flair. Building a brand involves determination and a strong sense of self. “I’ve worked with artists of a high level who already have an established brand, so it’s just dependent on what level they’re at in building their career. But when I start with an artist from scratch (which is what I’m focusing more on now_, it’s a lot of conversations at the beginning with the artist. There are times where I’ll have artists that come to me and they really don’t know what they want to do or what their lane is. A lot of people come to me saying, ‘I want to do everything,” and that’s great. However, in order to give yourself the best chance of getting signed or whatever it may be, we have to go into these labels with a complete package of a brand that they know what they can sell. Because if we go in there and we have a rock song, a pop song, an R&B song, or any compilation of different genres without a vision of who you want to be as an artist, it’s going to be very difficult for them to know how to market you.” The journey starts with a flurry of sessions with countless writers, producers, and engineers, all in an effort to help the artist discover their signature sound. Their music has to speak to themselves before it can speak to anyone else. Success follows genuine energy. “You are creating that sound for them that they also have to love themselves,” advises Chloe. “At the end of the day, I always say to an artist, ‘There’s no point in listening to a hundred people tell you what you should do sonically.’ You are the one that’s going to be performing this type of music for the rest of your life. You are the one that has to go up and get on stage and sing those records 300, 400, 500 times. You have to feel that you love it and not just think, ‘I’m going to stick with this style because this person says it’s the best for me.’ If you don’t vibe with it, you’re never going to be your best. You’re never going to be a hundred percent in how you are portraying that music across to people and your fans. And that’s how fans get engaged with music and with you – by you being authentically yourself.”

Chloe is accustomed to wearing many hats for her clients. Managers often present a vitally unbiased viewpoint. “We are able to help guide them because we’re also looking at it from not as much of a personal perspective. A lot of the artists get in their feelings, you know what I mean? Sometimes they can’t see what’s best for them. So it takes people like myself to bring that out of them and obviously other creatives like producers and writers.” Embracing artists enables Chloe to unlock an echelon of creativity that she herself never expected to possess. “Working in so many different avenues has really helped me to catch on to different things that I also want to experience through my own career. It’s not just about being a manager – you are part of their entire creativity. But just for myself personally, I’ve been around so many different types of people, so many different walks of life, so many different people coming from different backgrounds that it has really built this foundation for me to get super creative.”

Necessity has transformed her into a modern renaissance woman. ”As an artist manager, most people don’t really think you need to be creative because you think about an artist manager and you think about business, but there’s also another side to it where you have to be able to do everything as a manager. Being able to help create and guide the artists Is super important because they don’t have a lot of people around them that do that.” This flexibility becomes even more invaluable when she works from the ground up. “Obviously when you become a little bit bigger, you have more people around you, but from the very beginning of an artist’s career, they don’t have a huge team around them. They just have their manager, so you are everything to them at that point. There are some managers that will just do business and that’s fine, but I think to really push them and to really get the success that they want, you have to be able to really hone in on the creative aspect of it. To me, that’s the best part of it. You can’t beat that because it’s a really cool experience to be able to be part of creative processes with different artists. One day you’re working on an artist that’s super Avril Lavigne vibes, and then the next day you’re working with an artist where you are being creative in a rap way. It just really opens so many different creative avenues and it’s awesome.”

Chloe is always seeking new ways to challenge herself and expand her perspective. The greatest gratification comes from exceeding expectations. She was bold enough to venture into new territory with an alternative rock artist. They found her sound together as a duo and the rest was history. “The music we came out with was just incredible and it was a real eye opener to me. Working in a genre that you haven’t ever worked in before is number one, challenging. Secondly, seeing all the pieces come together made me sit up and realize that I really do know what I’m doing considering I haven’t worked in the genre before, yet I was able to go to this producer, this writer, this engineer and put them all together. It came out amazingly, and she has some incredible records now. Now it’s onto the next step, which is building her brand up, building her social media, working on content, working on music videos, and then pushing her out there.” Conformity has a tendency to repel growth. “I’m a ‘think outside the box’ type person. Whether it’s from a business perspective or from a creative perspective, I’m always throwing different ideas out to these artists to help them set themselves apart. The one biggest thing that I will always tell my artists is never try to be the next anyone. We don’t need the next anyone. We need the new you. If you look at specifically the urban world, you see a lot of the same kind of sounds out there and the same kind of artists being signed. And I think for me, it’s super important for artists to just be themselves and not try to follow in anyone else’s footsteps.”

She also aspires to be a port in the storm for those who have never had a refuge. Chosen family can provide the most sunlight for neglected seeds to flourish. “I want them to feel that they have a tight knit unit around them that actually cares about them, instead of just, ‘We want to make money from you.’ It’s more of a family vibe – making them feel safe and comfortable to be themselves and not have to try and be somebody else. That’s the way that you get the most authentic outcome is by allowing them to be themselves. Whether it’s good or bad, it doesn’t matter. It’s who they are. You find a unique aspect to them. How I like to help artists is through making them feel safe, making them feel like they can be themselves, and just really creatively trying to stand them out from the crowd.” The young manager envisions plenty of gems in her trajectory. There’s a certain kind of pride that stems from climbing up the come up in its entirety. “It’s amazing to work with bigger artists, but they’ve already gotten to a certain level in their career where that work has been done for them. Building with an artist from the ground up is more of an inspiration to me. I’m going to keep growing and keep building. There are a lot of great people out there that want to work with me, from companies to artists, so it’s definitely looking good. But it would be great to have a first breakthrough for me in terms of actually being with somebody from the bottom and growing with them and then having an artist that breaks out and does really well.” She will be approaching the coming year firing on all cylinders. 

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Manager Chloe Mia Gives Creative Insight to Your Favorite Artists. Photo Credit: BLKLotus Productions.