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I established Zero Myth in 2017 - it only took me 12+ years to step into a role that has been suited to me from the start, but more on that later. 

My reasons were clear - I wanted to setup a transparent approach to best managing artists’ interests.  I had spent long enough listening to stories of artists being hoodwinked, undervalued and guided down the wrong path. I wanted to start something I could lead and manage end to end - being fully accountable and with strong guiding principles firmly rooted in super serving the best creative talent.

I found it easier to name my two children than to pick a name to represent this company and what it stands for. In the end I settled for ‘Zero Myth’ because it wasn’t already taken - it saddens me to see how many companies (and bands) who lead their charge on a name that is not theirs to own - its broken before it begins, don’t do it! The zero stands for the starting position - no matter what prior experience you have, when you start something fresh you must establish your starting position, your ground zero. The myth is what we seek to conquer through clear, honest and accountable practice. In combination the two words work well, represent the aims and have nice symmetry - not essential but I do like a sense of harmony and balance.

Okay, onto me and what makes me qualified to setup an artist management company. In short, I have no formal ‘music’ qualifications and I often wonder how much of a difference it would have made - would things have been easier or would it have ultimately taken me the same amount of time to get to where I am today? Who knows. But I’ve ‘learned on the job’ and that’s served me well so far. From day one I have been rooted in the real-world experience of the music industry and how it functions. I have formed working relationships with people from across all the various sectors that combine to make our industry what it is - an expansive, and at times ruthless, revolving door of wild wanderers committed to creative art.


My career began in gusto at 17; I performed roles in publicity and tour management for the band Fighting With Wire that later went on to sign to Atlantic Records. I remember Peter, who I worked for at the time took me to see them play in The Limelight, Belfast. I didn’t know what to make of it, they were so (too) loud and I’d only ever experienced big box pop concerts up until that point. But the room was full, it was a real energy and that had a particularly contagious effect on me. Peter had big plans for the band and I was the foot soldier. I was sent on tour with the band to ‘manage the finances’ – an easy job, as there was literally no money in it. We were hand to mouth and so excited by it all. The days were blurry, full of new experiences, mad long days, and even longer nights - hangovers on lock but they were the making of me. Somehow we held it all together, we looked after each other and the band built audiences across the UK playing to 10, then 50, then 500 in every city they visited - supporting Biffy Clyro and Million Dead and playing Reading + Leeds, BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend - for a short space of time it felt like we did it all. I felt so important to be a part of that but too insecure to ever let that be known - I just kept my focus on, worked hard, rarely complained, learned to love hummus, slept on beds of nails - you know standard ‘intern’ shit.

Cahir from the band had my back from day one and internally that did a lot for my confidence and helped me build a resoluteness that lasts to this day. That said, I didn’t want to stand out, I really just wanted to blend in. But I did stand out, I was normally the only girl in the room and often got mistaken for the ‘groupie’ or a member of the ‘catering staff’ rather than the manager. I had to swallow a lot of sexist crap, most women do - those are just the facts. During that time I also worked on campaigns / tour schedules, predominantly across the UK + EU, for Tom Waits (Anti), Bad Religion (Epitaph), The Black Keys (Fat Possom), Presidents of the United States of America (Columbia), Frank Turner (Interscope) and Devotchka (Anti). I tour managed bands through the festival circuits in the UK + EU and occasionally the US for SXSW where I drove a band from New York to Austin when an internal flight let us down. As the band lay asleep in the back of the van I drove through a lightning storm somewhere near Mississippi. Work was a buzz, you could choose your own methods for ‘getting the job’ done, nothing was off limits except giving up or messing up without correction. I worked hard, I learned fast and mistakes were quickly remedied.


In 2008 I joined Smalltown America Records where I was taught how a DIY punk rock label works. Through the support, friendship and encouragement of Andrew Ferris (dote) I grew through the company and in 2011, I set up Smalltown America Music - a full service publishing wing of Smalltown America Records. That development allowed us to back a lot of songs by artists from Ireland, Iceland, Canada, France and beyond - I did deals with MTV, Toyota, Vodafone, O2, NI Tourist Board and enabled artists to make more records through the money they earned on those deals. I am particularly proud of the Puffin Rock project - I was the music supervisor on the series and had the pleasure of working alongside Einar Tonsberg. I had earlier signed Einar’s band to Smalltown America and his talents for writing to picture were clear. Puffin Rock went on to earn an Emmy and Annie nomination and to this day stands as a first of its kind collaboration with the Ulster Orchestra. Go check it out on Netflix, it’s lush and my name is on the credits - I promise.


While working full-time running STAM I studied a part-time law degree using my evenings and weekends. I completed the degree in 5 years with a 2:1 Bachelor of Law LLB (Hons), which I am particularly proud of as I am the only person in my immediate family to go to university. Although it shouldn’t feel this way, I had always felt insecure about only having GCSEs. But having a law degree proved a personal point, simply - that I could. Plus, having a law degree helps remove the fear around the contracts that dominate the backroom of the music industry - I can now read them, hunt out the dud terms and make informed decisions. NB: I work with a professional lawyer before making any final decisions and I always advise that you do too!


After completing my law degree, I established Zero Myth - and did the softest launch as I was still battling internal voices saying ‘you’re not qualified enough’. My plan was to sign artists I really believed in, work night and day to move things forward for them and then I’d eventually introduce myself ‘properly’ as a manager. A completely backwards way of going about it, I know. The first artist I officially signed was Kitt Philippa - they will always be my first and there is a special piece of my heart that belongs to them. KP and I started as a friendship first and that remains to be our most important link. They countered my reservations about officially stepping out as a manager with gentle encouragement and it worked. We went to gigs together, we went for walks, KP invested their demos in me and finally I bit the bullet and we went for it - heart and soul. I balanced the ‘paying the bills part’ by maintaining a patchwork of activity including an actual proper job at On-Music where I learned the inner processes of music tracking through media.


Every summer since 2011 I have been a proud member of the Open House Festival team - I handle all things artist related and sometimes that involves delicately handling theeee most random requests. Musicians can be a strange bunch. It’s the best type of work - I love to see the vans/buses roll in and the shows build from the ground up. Live music was my first love and being part of a team that brings live music to life lights me up. I’ve a lot of colourful memories over the last 10 years with Open House Festival and I am well known as the one who can’t stay awake at the party. While the rest of the team partied until the small hours with Johnny Rotten I fell asleep in a portaloo and kind friends carried me home. Staying awake when tired is not something I have ever aspired to be good at.

I then joined the Oh Yeah team in 2018 as Talent Development and Projects Coordinator. I love working for and with Charlotte and the team - they are the most dedicated bunch and musicians matter most in what we do. I have curated the festival programmes for Women’s Work and Sound of Belfast and hosted panels at key music events including AIM, Output and Steve Lamacq’s Infamous ‘Roundtable’ with Hannah Peel and Terri Hooley. I was also a regular new music contributor on the BBC network, former vice-chair of Women In Music Northern Ireland and a former member of the National Skills Advisory Committee in Northern Ireland. In 2019 I shared the win on the ‘Mentor of the Year’ award with my office crush Sian Mulholland at the Creative & Cultural Skills Awards for our work in mentoring young musicians - I am really proud of that one. I also signed New Pagans and The Darkling Air to my management roster. I was honestly done with rock bands before New Pagans came along, it was a tired format in Northern Ireland, I had seen it all before and I was bored. Then Lyndsey McDougall delivered her spin on it and the rest is history - she’s iconic. The Darkling Air, invited me to their studio in Bangor and let me in on the workings of their ‘Ancestor’ LP. I’d been in love with Rachel’s voice for some time and always admired Michael’s seemingly effortless way with emotive string sections. The decision to manage them was an easy one. Stylistically all the acts on my roster are worlds apart but their commonality is their real, emotive and raw qualities. I have never felt too restricted by genre and more committed to connection and trusting that old gut instinct on music that might reach people and make them feel something - that’s all that really matters when all the polish fades.


In 2019 I also grew two babies in my belly via IVF - they were born healthy and beautiful in January of 2020 and then the pandemic hit and all my artists jobs just stopped. It was a double body blow. Kitt Philippa was booked for Glastonbury, The Montreux Jazz Festival, a performance with the Ulster Orchestra in the Ulster Hall - all hard won career propellers that disappeared literally overnight. It remains to be a battle to know what’s next but we have persevered and during that time Kitt Philippa won the NI Music Prize 2020 for their debut LP ‘Human’ - they handled the moment with calm humility, whereas I cried. New Pagans won ‘Best Live Act’ at the NI Music Prize 2020 despite having been prevented from doing what they do best for 8 whole months by then.  It’s now almost 12 months since they played live to an audience, an unprecedented break in the band’s career to date. Lyndsey, the front person in the band managed to grow and birth two babies without breaking the bands busy live cycle prior to the pandemic. New Pagans have also signed to Big Scary Monsters and Marshall Live Agency - further expanding our support system for when we can launch the band back onto the live circuit.



In February 2021, I launched my support services for the wider music community; there are three tiers of support available to a range of artists at different stages in their career - full details available here. While I want to be involved in more projects, I want less projects to fall at the first hurdle due to poor planning. Talent development is what I do, it’s what I’ve always done in some form or fashion - it’s the link that transcends all the roles I have held over the years. For years friends and artists have talked endlessly about the need for more support and this is my first step to address this issue. If you are releasing music and struggling to make gains please get in touch and let’s work together.

There are more plans beyond this, the ultimate goal being to help artists rise up, find their audience and grow their careers - more on the next steps soon….

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