Today we are joined for our 14th episode of Motivational Mondays by 19 year old manager, promoter, writer for EDM.com and overall networking wizard, Matt Lillywhite, who reveals his latest marketing strategy in a ‘Music Elk exclusive.’ Let’s chat!
Who are you and what’s your background?
I’ll go from the very start. So it would have been in October 2015… I created a charity single called “Beautiful” and I ended up getting some huge remixes of that which were played at Tomorrowland and we gained about 250,000 Spotify plays… and that was my first ever project that I ever did, so I was pretty pleased with that!
Following on from that I got a job at The Wall Of Comedy, which is basically a giant social media platform with about 5 million followers, where I had a lot of opportunities to network within the music industry. In roughly July, 2017, I moved to Australia and during that time I got a job at EDM.com. Since then I’ve been working with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Lost Frequencies and many more big names to create content, interviews, stuff like that. I also now manage an artist called Anikdote. In the couple of months that we’ve been working together I’ve gotten him to do the soundtrack for an Amazon Prime TV show, we’ve got festivals coming up, a giant gig in South Korea, we’ve got several million views on his music and we’re about to work with a lot of big influencers. I can’t reveal the names yet.
Going back to your first project in 2015, what made you decide to create music in the first place?
Music is something that I’ve always had a passion for but then again, it’s sort of the family business. My uncle is a BAFTA award winning classical musician, so that sort of inspired me and made me think that I might be able to do something with my life in the music industry. So that’s how I originally wanted to get into it.
You’re obviously doing quite a lot at the moment . . . is there one field in particular that you prefer (the management or writing for EDM.com?)
I like it all, I think they complement each other really well.
What does a day in the life of Matt Lillywhite consist of?
Well at the moment I’m traveling the world. I’m in the USA at the moment so I’m spending quite a bit of time exploring the area I’m in. During the time that I’m working its mostly networking: reaching out to bloggers, producers, labels, Youtube channels, influencers, meeting up with people, replying to emails and ensuring that my artists are satisfied and everyday they’re getting one step closer to achieving their long term ambitions. Also with the music journalism I’m looking at ways we can grow the platform. So that’s what I tend to do on a day-to-day basis.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoy the fulfilment. For example my artist Anikdote recently posted online that his music career has allowed him to purchase the car of his dreams. Knowing that I’m a part of that and helping him progress his career… that feels just absolutely amazing. So I enjoy the highs but I also enjoy the lows. At the end of the day we learn from our mistakes and I absolutely love them.
What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Damn, that’s a good question. I gotta say, it’s helping others achieve their ambitions and helping them get to where they want to be in life. I’m just one person but if I can help five, ten, ten-thousand people – whatever – that’s absolutely fricking wonderful.
Any tips and tricks that you wish you knew when you started?
Facebook is probably the biggest network that you can use for networking – one hundred percent. I wish I knew that a long time ago.
For the readers looking to pursue a career in your field, do you have any advice for them?
Don’t give up. There’s going to be a tonne of people who’ll say that you’ll never achieve it and the true answer is that you’ve just got to go all in on your passion and strengths, because if you’re good enough, you will eventually achieve it. It’s patience.
How do you overcome days where you have no motivation?
Gary Vee is someone who I’ve spoken to a number of times and he’s also a massive inspiration. He says that the odds of being alive are about one in … four hundred trillion I think it is? When you put that into perspective its hard not to be motivated.
What do you do when your not working (for downtime)?
Some people get a high from playing video games, some people get a high from going to concerts or gigs and that’s what they spend their money on . . . I spend my money on travel because that’s just what makes me happy.
Aside from the artists you manage, do you have any other favourite artists at the moment?
A lot of the stuff . . . There’s a rapper called NF, he’s so talented and I absolutely love him. Kanye West, Kygo, Arizona – they’re a band from the states and I love them. Also blackbear.
As well as being a writer for EDM.com you’ve mentioned that you also manage artists. Would you ever take on new artists and if so what would you look for?
It doesn’t have to be millions of views but I need proof that people actually like your music. If you’re starting out and you instantly go ask for management, they’re not going to know if people like you or not. Obviously they’re making an emotional investment, a time investment and often a financial investment into your music career. So that’s the first bit of advice but also the timing has to be great. For example I’m absolutely swamped with work and it’s not a good time for me to take on any other artists but when I settle down in the city, probably later this year, I may look at taking on one or 2 more artists if time allows.
What are your own personal tips for success?
It obviously depends on the niche someone’s in… specific advice would be very different for a music producer than for a journalist. However, I think that persistence is key, networking and just hard work in general. At the end of the day if you put more hours into something, chances are you’re going to get a bigger result out of it.
Any recent announcements and/or upcoming stuff you would like to announce to the readers?
Anikdote will be doing a giant stadium show in South Korea at the World Music Awards. Also over the coming months you’ll see some releases with big influencers and the whole reason for that is… I’m just gonna reveal the whole strategy right here on The Music Elk so you’ve got some exclusives… we’re using them as a way of gaining our following because at the end of the day, if you’ve got a vocalist with three million followers posting about you 3 times a day… you’re going to definitely get some of those fans.
So how important then do you think influencer marketing is right now?
It’s a billion dollar industry and it’s only just getting started.