Five A Side is a blog series that spotlights exceptional women in the music industry through a five-question interview.
In part four of our series, we interview Eva Trifonas, artist manager and owner of Sydney-based management company incgnto. With previous roles in marketing and digital media at labels such as Inertia and Ministry of Sound, Eva now runs her own company, managing artists Kučka and Nick Hill.
You were Inertia’s Digital Media Manager before starting your own management company incgnto last year, signing Perth artist Kučka, who’s worked in the past with the likes of Flume and A$AP Rocky. What inspired you to go out on your own and take on the world of artist management?
Yes I was and it was an excellent role! Actually Laura (who is known as Kučka) herself inspired me to be an artist manager. We met whilst I was working on her EP and I thought she was invincible and unbelievably talented – have you heard that voice? We instantly clicked from the moment we met and were on the same level in life and we musically connected. She asked me to be her manager and truly believed in me more than I did myself at the time and wanted me to represent her for the world. I just made the leap of faith to be an artist manager and I’m so glad I did, it’s the most rewarding job in the world!
What are some lessons you’ve learnt in the last year, and what goals are you hoping to smash (personal or professional) in 2017?
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that you truly need to believe in yourself and realise that the world IS your oyster and you can do anything you want. Nothing is unachievable and you shouldn’t ever be scared. No one can ever tell you you can’t do something and the power of overcoming self doubt is truly an incredible self realisation. I’ve also learnt that you will never know everything and it is perfectly fine to ask questions and for advice. No question is stupid and you should never be made to feel that way. The best thing about management is that most managers are so welcoming and very helpful!
I have a few goals that I’m looking forward to achieving in 2017. We’re gearing up to announce a new signing to the management roster from a band called Dress Théque and I will be co-managing this band. The first time I heard their music I was completely hooked and knew I needed to be part of it. We’re also about to release new music from Nick Hill who has been working with some incredible producers over the last few months and I truly believe he has the most promising career an artist could ask for. Another exciting part of this year will also be Kučka’s very own release that she will be putting out, and I’m so excited to share it with the world and be a part of it from the start this time and not just on the label side. Laura is such a hard worker and deserves a great team to make her musical dreams come true!
Who is someone you draw inspiration from, male or female?
There are a few people I take inspiration from, but one I’d particularly like to mention is Melody Forghani. Melody also left her job at Bossy Music two years ago now to start her own management and PR company (twnty three), and has totally smashed it since. She is the one stop shop for the band she manages called Vallis Alps, who are about to break internationally and sell out all their Australian shows. Melody is positive, believes in herself, super intelligent and a woman of wisdom. I remember the morning before I decided to resign from my job, I had a coffee with Melody and she said to me, “you can do it!”
She was 100% correct. Melody gives me guidance when I need it and is non- judgemental when I don’t know anything about some aspects of management. She is like a guardian angel who I very happily get to share an office with everyday and also have as a very hilarious friend in my life!
I’d also like to make a huge and very special mention to Natalie Files who is also another incredible woman in the music industry. Also, a mention to Vic and Tom from Astral People, Jesse Flavell my amazing mentor, and Hugh and Huw from Good Manners – all managers who have really helped me along the way over the past 7 months in my journey.
What obstacles do you think face women in the industry today, and what ways do you think things are changing?
I think some of the obstacles women have in the music industry today is that men don’t take them seriously. I personally don’t let this affect me and stand my ground – business is business and no matter if you’re a male or female, you can achieve anything you put your mind to and if you have a dream, GO GET IT! Women have more opportunity these days and if you look at companies such as Inertia, the Digital Sales Manager, Head of Promotions and two of the three Marketing Managers are females. I also feel that women collectively in the music industry are one very big team and always look after each other.
Who would you like to be the next Five A Side and why?
I would like to nominate Natalie Files who truely inspires me every single day. She runs a very successful PR company called The PR Files and is working on projects such as The xx, Adele, Passenger, Gang of Youths and plenty more. She [is the true] meaning of a business lady and was one of the first people in the music industry to believe in me and my career.