As the founder of Red Tape Management, Chloe Freedman has a lot to do with upcoming talent in the music industry. Red Tape Management provides comprehensive management support to highly talented musicians, which is something they have been doing for many years. In fact, it takes a lot of persistence, compassion and hard work to keep a management business afloat, particularly in an industry as volatile and dynamic as the music sector.
Fortunately for us, Chloe was able to take some time away from her business to answer a couple of questions about her personal journey and her current professional life.
Chloe, how did you find yourself where you are now and where did it all begin?
Well, before starting Red Tape Management, I was involved in dancing and the performing arts. I basically joined dance school right after finishing high school, and I ended up teaching dance for over 5 years. Unfortunately, I picked up an injury during this time and had to move on. It was tough because I wasn’t interested in many other things, except of course, music.
So, I managed to pick up an internship with a terrific PR management firm and I started to hone some very good interpersonal skills. It was at this point that I realised I wanted to get into the managerial side of things. Naturally, success wouldn’t happen overnight, and I knew they I would have to start from the bottom. So that’s exactly what I did. I worked my way up the hierarchy and managed several top-end clients. I even trained with Cory Rooney in Los Angeles, a Grammy-winning songwriter.
Where did your love for music begin?
My love of music certainly started with my family. My family love music and all of them play instruments or have pursued musical opportunities; my mother – the piano, my father – the guitar and my brother starred in musicals (sometimes with me). My father used to be in a band and my mother even picked up a career in music. So, there’s no doubt that my passion for music started at home.
What was the main reason behind starting Red Tape Management?
In all honesty, the main reason I started Red Tape Management was because of the lack of employment opportunities. During that time, it was very hard to find a regular, full-time position with any management company in London. I had the experience, the necessary knowledge and skills for many companies – the problem was they simply had no vacancies for me to fill.
Consequently, I was at a “professional crossroad” – either continue my current career or perhaps switch to another career that had more employment opportunities. As you can guess, I chose the former.
What would you say have been your greatest achievements thus far?
As I said before, I was so lucky to work with Cory Rooney, who is an awesome songwriter and producer of amazing music. I’ve also collaborated with Rodney Jerkins and ChisNTeeb, who have been developing acts for the UK and the rest of Europe. Overall, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with a wide variety of great musical minds!
From a company perspective, does Red Tape Management explore all genres or prioritise less mainstream tunes?
In the long run, we might be able to have more creative control and autonomy over the sounds we produce. Right now, however, we work with all types of musicians and genres, and we’ll always be open to exploring new genres, sounds and musical ideas. In terms of what dominates our current client list, I would say hip-hop, rap and pop are our top three working genres.
The music industry is obviously a highly competitive space. What does your company do to differentiate itself from the rest?
At Red Tape Management, we believe in doing things that possess a family-oriented feel. What do I mean by this? Well, my team are my family and, as a result, we endeavour to treat everyone like they are family. We don’t infringe on our artists and we make sure that they are given the right amount of space and time to let their creative juices flow. They are given complete autonomy of their music in terms of choice, style etc. I also like to set up teams that bring a diverse range of perspectives. This way, each music strategy benefits from having those different perspectives at the table.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you have faced as a music manager?
From my perspective, the biggest challenge happens on a day-to-day basis and it often revolves around the client. There are some artists who will rely on you to do everything for them and will criticise often (sometimes it’s valid, other times it’s not). At the end of the day, you must be strong-willed and have a thick skin. Don’t take things to heart and let it personally affect you. Having said that, while there are challenges, I continue to love what I do everyday and there are so many great, rewarding aspects of my job.