The Subtle Truth. 014 - Arcana Management
Created to help demystify the path through the music industry, I am stoked to introduce you all to the ladies behind Arcana Management, Honora McCormack (aka Nor) and Victoria Hurd (aka Vee).
Arcana Management is an artist management company currently representing Acrillics, Brunchbeatz, Klasey Jones and Muzzy Bear. Since their launch earlier this year, they have already made quite a name for themselves and taken on an incredible roster of artists. They aim to provide their artists with all necessary resources and means to facilitate their creative vision and are not focused on any genre specifics when it comes to selecting who they work with. Rather, they cater to hard-working, dedicated, and driven artists who fit their vision and growth.
Their branding is immaculate and can easily be recognized by the purple coloring as well as the inclusion of their logo which is a moon and star. They are already bringing so much light and positivity to the EDM World as they continuously post positive affirmations, support others in the industry and share their knowledge when people need their help. It is clear to me that these two ladies will see a lot more success in the years to come as will the artists they work with.
I am super excited to give you all the opportunity to know Nor and Vee a little better.
Q. Thank you both for taking the time to answer some questions! My first question is for Vee; How did you and Nor meet?
A (Vee). Nor and I met back in 2019 when I first joined Electric Hawk. It wasn’t until 2020, shortly after the lockdown started, that we became best friends. We spent every single day together, morning and night, on Discord. You’re probably wondering what the hell sitting on Discord 24/7 for 6 months looks like, let me tell you - outside of working, we watched every single 2000’s pop music video, played a ridiculous amount of Overwatch, bonded over Basics with Babish, and I think we watched the entirety of Jersey Shore all the way through, twice. We finally met in person later on in the year and it was like it felt like we had picked up right where we left off, even though we hadn’t officially met until then.
Working with Nor is like a constant brain blast, our chemistry truly shines in the work we get to do together. Nor and I are the same, but we are also very different and this is what makes our friendship and working relationship so special. We find ways to meet in the middle, merge our areas of expertise, and create greatness. Together, the opportunities are truly endless and I’m incredibly grateful for Arcana and Nor.
We are working so hard to make what we’re doing at Arcana unlike anything anyone has ever done before. We’re definitely heading in the right direction and we hope that Arcana will one day be known as a place where every single person that we work with feels capable of achieving the impossible.
Q. Nor, how did the Arcana Management company come to life? Can you walk us through some of the earlier stages of launching your own artist management company with Vee, and previously, Mary?
A (Nor). If you would have asked me a year ago if I would even consider starting my own Management company I would have thought you were absolutely out of your mind. Back in the beginning of March of this year, Mary and I were on the phone one night just talking about the trajectory of our futures and where we saw ourselves in the next few years. During that conversation we kind of came to the conclusion that maybe it was time for us to take the next step and start something of our own! We had been managing artists for a little over a year at this point so it really was a natural progression.
It all came together really quick from coming up with a name, a logo, setting ourselves up on the business end, etc. We contacted a few close friends in artist management as well for some guidance and advice to help during this process. At the same time, Vee was also trying to figure out the next step she wanted to take on her journey in music. I offered her an assistant position to start and hopefully it would grow into her taking on a project of her own!
Q. In which ways do you hope to make a difference in the music industry?
A (Nor). Oh wow. I’ve been working in different facets of the music industry for the past 5 years now and I still consider myself pretty new at this. It really wasn’t until we started Arcana and saw the way people responded and connected with us that I kind of realized that I had an opportunity to make a real difference. One of the biggest ways I try to make the music industry a more inviting and collaborative space is by helping anyone trying to get their foot in the door in whatever way I can. Back in 2016, as I was just starting to dip my toes in music, there were a handful of people that gave me a real chance to prove myself. I would not be here without the opportunities those individuals afforded me at the beginning of my career. I don’t believe in gate keeping information or opportunities from anyone- especially if you are a woman. I fully believe that the information and contacts you have does not determine how successful you are- it’s what you’re able to do with it that actually matters. I have had countless phone calls and messages with up and coming female producers and other women trying to get into artist management, event management, etc. to give them support and guidance. I really want Arcana to feel like a safe place for any woman to connect with in hopes of getting into the music industry.
In recent months I’ve had quite a few women express how grateful they are for our presence in music. I’ve never tried to make it a point that Arcana is women owned and operated- I love to see a more natural and less performative progression of seeing more women in music in important roles and spaces. I really hope that we can inspire more young women to get into music and show them that they can be in roles like management, agency, tour management, etc. There are so many women I look up to in this industry and I really hope that we can live up to their legacy.
A (Vee). Back in 2019, when I first got into the music industry, I had no real expectations. I was just happy to finally be here. At the time, my goal was to give back to a realm of music that welcomed me and helped shape me into the person that I am today.
I have always seen music as a focal point for real connection. This was proven to be true during the pandemic, when hope and the joy for music was all that we had left. It opened my eyes to something much deeper than the longing for a live experience, it showed me that music can’t survive without community. I finally understood how I could truly make a difference. I believe in the power of music and I know the importance of community, so why not do everything that I can to help merge the two so that they’re no longer seen as separate entities? Every single person deserves to have a community around them where authentic support can help overcome any barrier.
My goal is to continue finding innovative and interactive ways to bridge the gap between listeners and artists. I want every single person to know that they play a large role in the success of this musical realm.
Q. What has been one of the biggest challenges for you when it comes to managing artists?
A (Nor). Luckily I've not run into too many big challenges yet! Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles I've come across is simply figuring out how each artist needs to be managed and kept on track. Our entire roster is full of so many different personalities at different points in their careers, so each artist is going to require a different style of management.
A (Vee). I’ve only recently gotten into artist management, so I haven’t had to overcome anything too challenging just yet. However, I’ve found that the joy of it all is having the opportunity to help an artist bring their vision to life but this can only be achieved with authentic support, proper navigation, and organization.
Q. Do you have any advice to give to any aspiring artist managers out there?
A (Nor). I think the biggest piece of advice I can share is to understand your position in relation to the artist. At the end of the day you are their employee. They are trusting you with their entire career and oftentimes livelihood, so it’s up to you to make sure that you have all of their best interests at heart and you can deliver on everything that they want to accomplish. You should be your clients biggest advocate and have an extremely vested interest in all aspects of their project. Artist management is a lot of work and it can be very tempting to work with every incredible project that falls into your lap- but understand how expanding your roster will affect your time commitments to your existing clients. This is truly one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had and I hope more aspiring artist managers can find their place!
A (Vee). Some of the best advice I’ve ever been given was by my closest friend and partner at Arcana, Honora - In order to help your artist succeed, you have to understand what success means to them.
Artist managers need to be ready to wear many hats. Since taking on artist management, I’ve started studying marketing, graphic design, and branding so that I am prepared for anything that my artist may need.
You have to be ready to sacrifice free time and you NEED to stay organized. Meet regularly, even if it’s just to catch up. Pay attention to little details that make your artists different from the rest and build off of them. This may seem like a no-brainer, but during meetings, come prepared with questions and genuinely listen to their answers. Make goals, lots of them, big and small. Connect with their audience and create a community around them.
Ultimately, you have to care, and I mean really, really care. You have to be their biggest fan.
Q. As our returning readers know, I enjoy including a more fun question that’s unrelated to the music industry so here’s yours: Do you collect anything? If so, what do you collect?
A (Nor). Yes! I collect Vinyl- I have an extremely vast taste in music and I have a pipe dream of having one of the most comprehensive electronic music record collections.
I also love to collect mini things at concerts and music festivals! I have a bag I call my “bag of tricks” filled with miniature items I’ve collected over the years. Items include, mini rubber chickens, ducks, a full kitchen and even babies.
A (Vee). I’ve recently started a “homie key-chain.” It’s a key-chain filled with a variety of little key-chains that my friends have given me and I keep it hooked on my backpack so that they’re with me everywhere I go. I also have recently started collecting figurines and stuffies of all of my favorite video game characters.
Q. Lastly, it’s shameless self-promo time. What can we be expecting from Arcana Management and the artists on your roster in the coming months?
A. We have a lot going on with Arcana! Lots of big music announcements coming from our roster and some roster addition announcements as well!
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