- 06 May 21
As part of our special feature on the impact of Covid-19 on the Irish music industry, Maya Cullen Petrović of Jawdropper Music, shares her experiences, and looks to the future...
Maya Cullen Petrović
How has the impact of Covid-19 affected you and your business?
Unfortunately Covid has had a huge impact on the live music industry, causing many of our artists to be without any touring income, which results in management also losing an income source, However we’ve had a lot of positives too, with some of our artists signing deals with labels and publishers.
What is the worst aspect of it all for you?
The lack of live shows has had an enormous affect on the creative growth of our artists. While we’re all struggling, the mental well-being of artists has also been a big concern.
Music is a people business – how has the loss of contact with staff, colleagues or with others in the business affected you?
I’ve been working from home, and despite regular Zoom meetings online, the lack of human connection with my artists, colleagues and contemporaries has been difficult on a personal level – and in a professional setting where relationship development has, in some cases, been stunted.
Were you in a position to try anything new or different?
We’ve become a lot more versatile. We’ve realised that we can all work remotely using Zoom or other programmes to communicate and have effectively secured label and publishing deals for some of our roster without meeting any of the teams in person that we are now working with. That’s different!
Mental health has been a huge issue for a lot of people involved in music. How has your experience been in that regard?
I’ve found this year to be isolating – and definitely a struggle at times. When you’re used to being surrounded by people at gigs and industry events, it’s a huge transition to spending so much time alone, both during the day and in the evenings. However, as we have had a busy year, I’ve had work to focus on which has kept me mentally busy. For that, I’m grateful.
How important is it to you, to get back to work?
I’ve been working continually, but I feel it’s important to get back some semblance of the community experience of our industry, and of course the live music scene. That’s incredibly important to me.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
I’m quite torn on this one. I’m optimistic about some things, as we’ve had quite a successful year for our artists, but I’m nervous about the live sector re-opening – which is really important for artists. I just hope that Covid won’t have a negative impact on the numbers of people attending shows. We need to have proper precautions in place for returning to shows, with rapid testing at venues. Only then, and with adequate preventative measures in place, will people feel safe returning to indoor venues
• Maya Cullen Petrovic is an artist manager and PR Managing Partner at Jawdropper Music.
'Music Industry in Ireland: Where To Next?' is a special feature in the current issue of Hot Press, running to over 20 pages, featuring music industry professionals as well as artists including Moya Brennan, Jess Kav, Luka Bloom, Fia Moon, Kneecap, Gavin Glass, Mick Flannery, King Kong Company, Mary Coughlan, Rosie Carney and many more.