Introducing an agency that’s gathering a constellation of rising stars.
WORDS DANIEL DUNKLEY / PHOTOS GARTH BADGER + SUPPLIED
Tenfold is artist-management agency with a knack for being ahead of the curve. Founder Mitch Lowe says, “It was born because I’ve been either side of management, both as a DJ and as a promoter talking to management agencies about booking their acts.
I could see there was a gap in the market that created an opportunity to manage artists the way I’d want to be managed, and also to deal with promoters the way I like to work in my job as a promoter, so I looked at acts that I could see had the same values, and approached them.”
Mitch set up Tenfold two years ago. Today, the agency manages musical acts around the world, from bases in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Africa. Its roster features some of Aotearoa’s fastest-rising artists, including Auckland-based singer-songwriter Mitch James.
The acoustic artist is one of the most-streamed musicians in the country and has already racked up more than 50 million listens. In May, he supported Ed Sheeran on his New Zealand tour in Dunedin, and subsequently signed to Ed’s agency. In November, he took home an MTV Europe Music Award and had his song 21 nominated for Best Single at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
“Being a pop artist, he has a wide market to play with,” says Mitch. “He has multiple gold records here and has gone gold in Sweden. He’s moving at a massive trajectory, and I’m having to make some big moves to keep up.”
Tenfold also represents Auckland hip-hop-crossover duo Times x Two, aka best mates Cader (Arshad Cader) and Zee (Zaidoon Nasir), who Mitch describe as “super-vibrant, crazy personalities. That’s the first thing I bought into. I was thinking, ‘These guys are destined to be stars’. Their music is great, and we’ve released an EP that debuted at number one on iTunes. They’ve got a collaboration with [British DJ, producer and musician] Danny Byrd that’s on A-rotation at George FM. It’s exciting times for them.”
Another Auckland act that Mitch is excited about right now is Written By Wolves. “This band is so good, they’ve turned me into a rock fan,” he says. They’re regularly described as ‘cinematic rock’, and we recommend heading to YouTube to check out their epic big-hair-and-leather-jeans cover of Sia’s certified-gold hit Elastic Heart.
The talented Thomas Oliver is a fourth local act Tenfold is stoked to represent. In 2016, he was the recipient of New Zealand’s top songwriting award, the APRA Silver Scroll, for If I Move to Mars, and he’s recently wrapped up a 17-date European festival tour.
“These four acts are so different – their music, their personalities and the strategies best suited to their journeys,” says Mitch. “I’m flying around the world constantly for them, and I love it!”