It takes a special kind of person to manage artists, let alone artists who are pioneering a new sound or building a brand many don't understand. Most would jump to the conclusion that this person has been in the business for quite some time. A seasoned veteran of management artistry. Nope, not this guy. At the ripe and hungry age of just 21, Myles Shear began his career as a manager to Thomas Jack, soon adding on Kygo and now, Riff Raff. While it seems like a random roster, each artist is making a splash in the music industry and Myles is behind the stage working his ass off to make it happen.
Impressed by what little we knew, RPM had to chat with the fellow YoPro, Myles, to learn more about what he does and how he landed this unbelievable position. Check out the interview below and stay tuned for a second half of the interview. Myles laid down too good of stories, advice and inspiration to keep it within one blog.
R: Have you always wanted to manage artists?
M: Actually, no I didn’t. I was originally a DJ, making music when I was 15. I wanted to figure out a way to push my music. My music wasn’t the greatest but I figured out how to promote it. I was reaching out to blogs and really figured out how to promote through online platforms. When I first started managing my first client, Thomas Jack, I was still producing and DJ’ing and it made me think that it wasn’t the right music, wasn’t the right product. Actually pushing the music was something that I wanted to go further with.
R: How did you first connect with Thomas Jack?
M: I knew I wanted to get involved and manage. My best friend called and showed me his song “The Final Speech”. It probably had around 23K plays on Soundcloud and 1K on Facebook and it was on maybe one blog. So, I reached out to him and said “I want to manage you. This song is so hot. Let’s push this.”
I pushed the song and it was absolutely amazing. He went number one on Hype Em and got 30K plays in 24 hours. At the time there weren’t many people doing that. He’s a genius. He’s just on another level. I’m so happy that he’s been there since the beginning. He actually showed me Kygo.
R: Did Riff Raff come to you or did you come to him?
M: I came to him, I guess you could say. But, it was a combination. Riff Raff is such a smart guy. He's a genius. He has done everything himself. He has another manager. They're great managers who have worked with other artists. They're phenomenal. I think he just needed someone to go kill it for him. He doesn't need a big name, or anything. He just needs someone that will eat, sleep, and breathe Riff Raff. Simple as that.
By the way, Thomas Jack and Riff Raff are best friends. Even Kygo. They were all hanging out. He (Riff Raff) was talking to Thomas Jack about managers, and Thomas kind of told him what I do and what I was accomplishing. I said "Hey, If you want to come hop on the ship and join Captain A-Hab (that's me), I'm down to make it happen." Let me tell you something, couple of long nights. Lots of long nights. But that's my job and I love it. Riff Raff is going to be the next Jody Bieber.
R: Why do you think Thomas Jack, Kygo, and now Riff Raff chose you to be their manager?
M: I think what's kind of cool about what I have to offer is enthusiasm and the attitude to make shit happen. That's what all these guys care about. It's not about being with the biggest management, it's more so wanting someone who is going to fight until the end of the day. That's how I felt and even now, I will live and die for my guys. I will literally do whatever it takes not only to make them happy but to bring them success and bring them endless opportunities. Also, I think having a 21 year old manager who is very hungry and wants to break as much ground as possible... I think that's what attracted them to work with me. Especially when I pitch my artists with the first skype call , they're like "this kid is insane. He has so much energy and wants to make so much happen." That's how I reel them in and then I make it happen. Skype calls are very vital!
R: Do your tasks/strategies vary with each artist?
M: It depends on certain things. Obviously, everyone has their certain tasks. For Thomas Jack, I want to build him up like a Pete Tong or Diplo with his mixtapes. But with Kygo, I want him to be more so like an Avicii and Calvin Harris, strictly a producer. Then Riff Raff as this awesome brand that is super credible.
R: What do you think makes TJ and Kygo sound so unique?
M: I think there has been so much of a similar sound in dance music for a little bit and I think that Kygo and Thomas Jack are a part of something new and fresh. This has not occurred just now, but it's been happening in Europe for a couple years now and I think that these guys were able to pioneer the sound and bring it over to the U.S. People are just looking for something new. Music is music, no matter what you're listening to. Whatever you like, you're going to like. I think people really enjoy listening to Kygo and Thomas Jack. Like I said, it's something refreshing. I think it's really cool even for Kygo to hear other people mixing his sound. People love his sound so much, they are inspired to create something similar. Kind of like when Skrillex made this fresh new music and all these producers loved his sound and wanted to know how to get involved with it. That's what I think Kygo and Thomas Jack have right now; something everyone wants to get involved with and be a part of.
R: I noticed that you and Thomas Jack trademarked Tropical House? What was the reasoning behind that and is this something that artists normally do?
M: The thing with tropical house is it's a genre but it's more like a sub genre, or just a term we use. We really wanted to use the name because everyone is saying we're tropical house, all these record labels, and we wanted to be able to say "This is our Fxcking sound". We're not going to sue anybody, but it's more of a statement to say "We own this work, we curated this sound, WATCH OUT."
Another reason we did it is because we're also going to be doing parties, as well. Something I'm working on right now, is me, Kygo and Thomas Jack are starting an event series that we're going to be launching at the Red Bull guest house during Miami Music Week. Then we're going to do a little entrance called "trop", a little exclusive for you. But, It's going to be absolutely incredible. We just want to make sure that when we're throwing events, really using the term, having radio stations and being involved with BBC, we really want to have this. It's really important for us.
R: Filling in for Avicii at TomorrowWorld was a huge task for Kygo and your team. How did you make it happen?
M: So Me and myself were sitting down and I saw Avicii cancel his shows. I thought to myself whoa, really sad to hear he's sick, but I think this could be a really cool idea. This would make sense. Last minute, who is going to fill in? And I thought Kygo. With everything going on and people already calling him Avicii, I saw an opportunity. So, I called my agent they really pushed for it and really built it up. We were getting a lot of offers, but I turned them all down because I wanted to get the opportunity for TomorrowWorld. Finally, we got a formal offer and I was blown away.
It was a fun day. To actually see him play TomorrowWorld, to hear the typical main stage stuff then Kygo hops on and plays "I see fire”. It was absolutely nuts to see peoples reactions. It was something that people never... It was such a change of pace and it was the coolest thing I've ever seen. I've been to a lot of these festivals and it was mind blowing. Dancing and cheering for him. TW really took care of Kygo and provided all of the production for him which was extra special.
R: I had read in a Billboard piece that you were running around shouting commands through a walkie talkie at TomorrowWorld. Do you normally take over the production aspect for Kygo?
M: I will do anything for my guys and I know exactly what I want. In this sort of situation, I will always step in and do it. Do I always do that? Kind of, not really.I will step in and make it happen because that's my job. The visuals were running and they weren't that great. Idk how to do visuals, but I saw the guys messing around with it and being lazy. So, I told him to move over and I started doing Kygo's visual and I had a blast. While Diplo and Dillon Francis were right there watching, instead of being that guy on the stage, I was over there doing the visuals to help give him the best show possible. So, I do, step in a lot because no one ever does their job.
R: You have to make things happen if other people don't
M: Exactly. I think that's why they like me so much.
R: Do you go to a lot of the tour dates?
M: Well, Kygo has a tour manager and Thomas Jack sometimes has a tour manager. But, I like to be present to support them and show my face, so yeah, I'm pretty present on tour. I will say this... It's very important to keep balance in everything that you do and I think going to too many shows distracts you from working. So, I don't like to go to every show. I need to work. But, there's nothing wrong with being at a couple shows. Especially when you have an artist like Kygo, right now. This is his first time touring in Europe, so it's very important for me to make an appearance over there and support him in the U.S, Europe, or wherever he is.
R: Lastly, what’s your favorite song right now?
I forgot to mention that when I first started to managed Thomas Jack and Kygo, I really loved their music but I wasn't really familiar with it. Whenever I get a new client and have to work on new music, I get so involved in exactly what they are. I become my artists, if that makes sense. So, I'm on my hip hop game right now.