Industry Advice: Jackie EYEWE
Written by: Lauren Demir
Photos: David Franco
Collages: Annie Mcgill
We met up with Atlantic Records UK Marketing Manager Jackie Eyewe. She looks after a range of artists in the UK from WSTRN, Kehlani, Wiz Khalifa and D.R.A.M. Her role entails helping to shape and execute the artist’s vision, the development of new artist’s careers and continuing to creatively market and build campaigns for her roster of artists. She also co-runs with NANG alongside Ralph Hardy where they showcase alternative R&B and Hip Hop talent with their radio shows, events, compilations and parties.
The 23 year old has always had a love for music from an early age. Frequently watching music channels to the point where she remembered the adverts. Her interest in magazines got her working from early age ‘I used to love magazines, I’d buy and harbour them, like Word Up. I still have them now, I remember seeing an advert for Live Magazine ‘Do you want to work for a magazine?’ It took me a year to actually go there because I was too shy at first. My first piece I wrote was called ‘Hero Of The Week’ for the online site. It was on Noel Clarke, who at the time, I was obsessed with, Kidulthood was game changing for me.’ After attending University for a few months she decided it wasn’t for her so she dropped out and moved back to London to enrol to LCC. Determining that wasn’t for her either she found a job at Bauer, a media owner, who own a collection of music and entertainment brands within the UK (4Music, Kiss FM, Empire magazine) where she gained invaluable and transferrable skills she uses today.
She explains how the internet has affected the music industry and how that affects her role and artists, ‘The gatekeeper is the internet. The people are really the influence that decides what becomes a viral moment. Whether it be the music, or because its funny.' It doesn’t mean the best, most lyrical things are always going to make it to the top but then maybe thats not what the audience wants right now. Capturing attention and capitalising on that moment is key. JuJu On That Beat, a track that Jackie worked over here in UK is a great example of the use of the online dance craze fuelling success. Devz Blackbox freestyle went viral almost instantly and has garnered 873,000 view since thanks to his Who What What Where bars. Its not just that simple to go from a viral sensation to become successful however, as once eyes are on you, Jackie explains it’s key to build strong brand and deliver consistent quality music to sustain the attention. ‘Its not just music the audience is interested in. It’s a good thing because it provides a broader playing field in terms cutting through.’ She uses Stormzy' Nandos Merky burger, FKA Twigs Nike campaign and Little Sims’s festival as examples of artists who have managed to do this successfully. Because of the ever changing industry it has kept Jackie on her toes to stay on top of her game. ‘Aritsts and their teams have to learn to react quickly and be ready. If you don’t take that shot thats fine, but someone else will take it.’
Jackie emphasises the high efforts that she has previously and is still continuing to put into her work. ‘You're handling someones career. If there was someone handling my career who was like ‘I can’t be bothered, I would feel a way about that. So I take it really seriously when I work with artists.’ Her efforts have paid off, with WSTRN’s ‘In2’ becoming a platinum single in UK and Gold in Australia. It wasn’t overnight where she gained the ability to trust herself but she is getting there, ‘Its taken me time to get to the point I’m at now, in terms of confidence. Now I don’t look at myself and say I can’t do that because I just think why not? Its like that in anything, train and train and you get better.’ She gave us plenty of advice for surviving the music industry.
Do your research. If you know your stuff and your information is helping people then you become a real asset. If you love urban music, you should know urban music. The radio stations, the djs, which artists right now are the most popping? Why are they the most popping? Who runs the channels? What are the biggest urban playlists on Spotify? How is that working? If you want to be a marketing manager thats all the stuff you’re going to have to know.
Internships, apprenticeships and work experience are your best friend. Whether that be an indie, a label, a management company. I started from being an intern at Bauer, a media owner. I started doing two weeks work experience, then I got brought back for an internship because I made myself literally indispensable. So wherever you get in make the absolute most of it, to the point where they can’t go a day without you, they kind of miss you because they need your help. When you’re that indispensable they will do what they can to make space for you.
It’s not a 9-5 industry. Be passionate, if you’re not you’ll be like I should really go to this event but just go home. That could be a great networking opportunity, so but you’re not doing yourself justice. Relationships don’t form overnight so it does take being around people and building those relationships. If you’re passionate about it whether your tired, you’ll be like I’m going to go because I care. Its about relationships, knowledge and experience. You have to be on a constant grind for that.
Focus on yourself. Fear is definitely something that can hold you back massively. Stay focus on your goals and what you’re working towards, everyone goes through their own things and has their own insecurities. Tackle your own and what you need to deal and then you’re doing the best job for yourself.
Work hard really hard. Stay the most agile and competitive with yourself. To do the best work I can, there is no time to get lazy and to think theres time to chill. I’m seeing it a lot in my generation. The executives, artists and creatives are really exciting because we are all so hungry and all motivate each other to try and do better, no ones settling. We don’t have time to not be on a hustle because at the end of the day if you don’t get it for yourself whose going to get it for you?
ADVICe for artists
It sounds cliche but find what is that makes you different and really run with that. You don’t want to be a clone of someone else. You don’t want to be the other guy who does the same thing.
Consistency timing wise. If you release a track in November why are you waiting till June to release another track, you should have one in January or December. Things move so fast its a constant 24/7 social media world now where no one is going to care or be as interested in them because they’ve moved on and someone else has taken your spot. 67 are releasing music at least every single month and they keep their fan base excited and wanting more
Be consistent with your product. Quality consistency will keep people engaged. Ray BLK has had a string of great songs she’s been consistent with her releases and visuals, There is a bunch of consistent artists that we have at the moment and i think that that is so important because thats how you build.