Rollo & Grady has a new feature called ‘Manager Spotlight’, where we will be talking to rising stars in the music management business. Our first installment is with Jody White of JD White Management in Nashville. His clients include Tony Joe White, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Royal Bangs and Warpaint. Jody also runs two labels, Polymer Sounds and Swamp Records.
R&G: How did you get your start in the music business?
Jody: I started in music publishing with my dad, Tony Joe White. His manager at the time was Roger Davies, who manages Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Pink and other huge acts. He was super busy, so as time went by, I just started setting up the website/online store, booking shows, and working on record releases. Roger called one day and was like, “you should take over his management, you are doing it anyway.” So my dad and I had a discussion and decided to move forward.
R&G: What advice would you give to aspiring managers?
Jody: You only have two things: time and contacts. Use them both wisely.
R&G: If I had known then, what I know now – I would….
Jody: I would not have spent so much time chasing labels and would have started my own earlier.
R&G: How important are social media sites like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and music blogs in promoting your acts?
Jody: Very important. Never in the history of the music business have artists had the ability to connect directly with their fans on so many levels. I think we are still figuring out the best ways to generate income from these sites, but as a whole, they definitely help create more of a synergy between the fan and artist.
R&G: Most interesting or humorous situation you’ve dealt with as a manager?
Jody: I’m currently working with a band that neither I nor the agent have seen live. Usually, I’ll see the show, get to know the band, and take several weeks or even months to make a decision. However, this was just one of those no-brainer situations where I heard the music, spoke to them on the phone, and knew it would be the right fit. I literally heard the music on Monday, and by Friday we were working together and had an agent on board.
R&G: Blackberry or iPhone?