Jen Cloher – I Manage My Music

Melbourne based vocalist and composer Jen Cloher has initiated a forum of music industry experts to congregate every few months at the Northcote Town Hall to discuss the biz and anyone can have a shot at sitting down at the round table scenario and absorb the wealth of information being shared. It is aimed at the artist committed to managing their own affairs. There are few musicians I know that are actually represented by an outside source. Most do it themselves. Strange that Jen’s concept is fresh and that until now, talent in Melbourne that chose to represent itself remain fairly unsupported. Jen has drawn from her experience to bring together a selection of personnel from publicists, publishers, A&R, Artists, label managers, management and heaps more. Wally De Backer (Gotye) will also be making an appearance at the next meet which takes place in the coming weeks. She has taken out some time to chat to us about I Manage My Music and her music.


1. IMMM – What, when, where?

A weekend workshop for self managed musicians. Our next one is the 25th & 26th of June at the Northcote Town Hall in Melbourne.


2. Jen, recently you have focused a lot of energy into IMMM. What has been the inspiration for creating such a forum?

The main inspiration was experiencing my own struggle with balancing creativity with the business of releasing and touring music. I realised I wasn’t alone, most of my musician friends were also questioining the demands of doing it all. So I thought a lot about how can you structure time management and chunk it down into something manageable. My new mantra is “Do a little bit often.”


3. Who could benefit from signing up to the management course and what may they learn from it?

Anyone who is recording and playing original music and is curious about the next stage – the ‘getting it out there’ part. It’s also relevant to anyone who has already released music and want to refresh their skill base, particularly in the digital social media arena.


4. What kind of speakers have you had come in and who is coming in for the next one?

We’ve had all sorts from publishers to publicists, indie record labels to community radio broadcasters and of course a lot of self managed artists who have enjoyed some level of success. There’s nothing better than finding out how they did it! I’m excited to have Wally de Backer aka Gotye coming to share at our next weekend.


5. What has been your personal experience as a self managed artist? What are the pros and cons?

My experience has taught me a lot about the business, there’s nothing like learning on the job. I’ve made mistakes and lost money as wellmas having some great ‘wins’ along the way like an ARIA nom and getting to support my favourite songwriter Neko Case!


6. You are in the process of writing your next album. What is this process like for you and what have you learnt from past experiences?

I always struggle because I have such high expectations of myself. Essentially the only thing you can do as a writer is ensure you sit down and write. Making the time to create has been my biggest challenge as life can become so full!


7. You have shows coming up with Husky, Harry Angus and others? Give us the details.

We play Melbourne 16th June at the Corner, Sydney 17th of June at The Factory and Mullumbimby (near Byron) on the 18th. A whirlwind weekend where we play as a super group and sing each other’s songs!


8. Last year you toured the country with Jordie Lane. How was that as an experience?

It was liberating as it was the first time I toured without my band and took charge of the marketing and promotion. Interestingly it was one of my most successful tours and helped me to form I Manage My Music as a real idea for self managed artists.


9. You guys did an awesome rendition of an MGMT track on Triple J’s Like A Version? What was the inspiration behind that particular track?

Well Jordie and I wanted to play a few covers to lighten up the night and leave people on a high. I chose Electric Feel as I thought it was a song you would never expect us to play. It turned out so well I sent it through to Like A Version and they asked us in to perform it live. We made it onto the end of year compilation which was a serious coup for a couple of indies!


10. 5 Fave Melbourne venues?

Hi Fi is fun!
The Corner
Grace Emily is cute!
Toff in Town
Northcote Social Club
Oh and the Thornbury Theatre.


11. 5 Fave Melbourne Albums?

At the moment I’m enjoying Teeth and Tongue’s Tambourine, Little Johns Put Your Hands On Me and Adalita’s self titled album.



07 Rain by jencloher