Help Musicians: Music Business and Mental Health image
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Wednesday 15th June 2022

Help Musicians: Music Business and Mental Health

11:15am - 12:15pm

This session will focus on mental health in the music industry—the challenges, available support and strategies to work through difficult times. While a career in music can be fun and rewarding, it has long been understood to create difficult conditions in which to look after your mental wellbeing. Long periods spent away from home, lifestyle factors, irregular work, financial difficulties, isolating work conditions, and lack of routine all have the potential to exacerbate any struggles you may already be experiencing, and impact on your ability to fully engage with and to enjoy what you do. The session will consider changing perspectives on mental health from across the industry, explore common themes and run through the support available.


    Joe Hastings
    Head of Music Minds Matter at Help Musicians

    Joe Is the Head of Music Minds Matter at Help Musicians, he was instrumental in the development of the service, which has offered mental health support to thousands of musicians over the past four years. He is now leading on ambitious plans for the growth of Music Minds Matter at the heart of a vision for a Music industry in which mental health is valued as an enduring principle, where everyone working in the sector feels supported and able to develop and maintain positive mental health.


    Maria Torres
    Artist Manager

    Maria Torres is an artist manager and BIMM graduate who has worked with Saffron on developing the brand and website for her business, Sakura Artists. Raised in the South West of England, Torres—a classically trained singer and multi-instrumentalist—found her niche in her teens, venturing into Bristol for indie gigs. Discovering a spirited music community, she quickly cemented her space in the city’s alternative indie scene.

    Diving straight in during her Music Industry Management Course at BIMM, Torres started managing bands while still studying. She left no stone unturned in learning all the cogs that turn the industry wheel, accumulating over seven years experience assisting at festivals such as Glastonbury Festival, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, 6 Music Festival, YNOT Festival, interning at BBC Radio 1 and working at various management companies. Fluent in Spanish and proficient in French, Torres’s bilingual skills have proven invaluable in generating long-standing European connections.

    Having recently become a member of the Music Managers Foundation, and having participated in several publishing webinars and showcase events, Torres works with a carefully curated roster, representing Sinead O’Brien, Keaton Dekker and Grandmas House, as well as co-managing My Life As A Moth with esteemed manager Stephen Budd. Though drawn largely to indie, post-punk and alt-pop, and operating mainly within the alternative landscape, her roster is varied, each artist standing in their own unique lane. Torres was recently selected as the MMF's Manager Spotlight, is a recipient of the MMF's 2022 Accelerator Fund and has completed several successful funding applications for her artists.

    Taking part in Saffron’s Springboard programme during 2021 allowed Maria to connect with other music industry experts during lockdown. Through a series of business and personal development workshops, she gained the confidence to develop her own management business, and the funding has granted the financial means to market herself with a new website and branding. Working with Konichiwa Agency—a female-led conceptual branding agency based in Bristol—Maria has carved out the brand identity for her business and built a professional platform for the future.

    Passionate about supporting young female and non-binary music industry professionals, and with a keen interest in the development and educational side of the sector, Maria has been providing artist development training for the Saffron Springboard participants alongside her management work. She continues to have a positive impact on the local scene.

    Hannah Brinley
    Music Support’s learning and development specialist

    Hannah is Music Support’s learning and development specialist and has extensive experience of delivering group-focused learning. Specialising in mental health, addiction, CBT and mindfulness, Hannah strongly believes in the power of a group of people to inspire, motivate and educate one another. A passionate and motivated facilitator with lived experience of addiction, Hannah believes strongly in the power of recovery. She is an advocate of fighting the stigma around mental illness, and the instillation of hope for those who are suffering.

    “Enabling people to recognise the signs and intervene early to help friends, colleagues and loved ones avoid crisis and long-term ill health is a privilege, and something I am incredibly proud to facilitate.”

    Rod Jones
    Musician / Producer / Artist Manger

    Rod Jones is best known as a founding member and songwriter with Scottish band Idlewild.

    While still playing with the band and recently celebrating 25 years together he also works as a producer and mixer out of Post Electric Studio which he opened in 2016.

    In recent times Rod also formed a management company alongside James Bruce and Kevin Brown representing various acts including Hamish Hawk, Redolent and Voka Gentle.

    In 2010 he started The Fruit Tree Foundation with Emma Pollock. This music and mental health foundation was born out of their work with the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival to raise awareness around mental health.

    He continues to work in an advisory capacity on mental health within the music industry. Something very close to his heart.


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