IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
Senior Music Agent / Head Of Electronic – International, CAA
A Moment To Reflect
Maria May has worked tirelessly to get her clients back doing what they do best – and love most – in 2022: 10 weekly residencies in Ibiza with artists Vintage Culture, Becky Hill, Alok, Lee Burridge, and Arielle Free; multiple summer festival headline dates, strong record success and two weekly residencies in Ibiza with David Guetta; 30 summer headline European festival shows for the Black Eyed Peas; strong ticket sales for Paul Kalkbrenner in all major markets; European festival headline dates and a sold-out weekly summer residency at Pacha Ibiza with Robin Schulz.
“CAA’s whole team worked relentlessly and tirelessly this summer, production crews worked flat out, artists worked very hard, management teams dealt with many issues – in fact everyone who worked in live music went over and above to get this summer to roll – and it did, in the end, very successfully,” May says.
“When thinking of April of 2022, when we didn’t know if the summer would actually happen, and now looking back on what we achieved in the face of COVID, travel issues, cancellations, post-Brexit with the beginning of a global recession, a war in Europe, and many other obstacles– my state of mind is to say a big thank you to everyone for all their hard work. We should all be quite happy with what we achieved against all the odds, and we should take a moment to reflect on this,” she continues.
What the professionals working in this biz achieved during 2022 has often been nothing short of miraculous. A good agent is a problem solver, a quality that lies at “the heart of what I do, and so I see everything as a challenge,” May says. “The live music business has faced many setbacks over the last couple of years and it’s not getting any easier to get a show up, on sale, and sold out but we persevere.”
Even during the months when live shows were off the table in many markets, CAA’s brand team “went over and above to provide opportunities for our clients,” working on deals that included streaming, private shows, books, acting, podcasts, and voiceovers. May’s love for live was born in the 1970s and 1980s joining her father at Wembley Stadium, where he worked as a security manager. “There was no other career for me when I saw everything that went through there,” she recalls.
It’s this love that keeps her motivated, as well as being surrounded by what May describes as an “amazing circle of collaborators and partners all over the world,” who helped navigate the growing list of challenges. It becomes clear when talking to May that she sees life in general, and her job in particular, as an adventure. It’s one way of making everything she does seem fun and helps keep her team motivated. “You learn so much from the people around you and being surrounded by such smart people inspires me every day. The word ‘team’ seems to come up a lot, but it really is something that I have learned to embrace more and more in my time at CAA and during this challenging time – it was our cornerstone. Investing in peoples’ successes has become a mantra. Redefining what the word ‘success’ actually means and being truly present also helps.”
Outside of her core work for CAA, May is a board member for Lady of the House, a female-led collective and community dedicated to championing, celebrating, and honoring women, and amplify women’s contribution to the dance music industry and uplift and educate the community. “Their work continues to influence and encourage change-making,” says May, pointing to LOTH’s latest project, which was “to launch a record label with female A & R ‘Godmothers,’ made up of Becky Hill, Jaguar, Charlie Tee, and Same Devine.”
LOTH also launched a month-long production competition to find new talent for the label’s first four releases and it’s open to women and non-binary artists. May has also been newly appointed to the board of Beatport and continues to support the UK’s Night Time Industries Association on their board, and their vital work on behalf of the country’s night-time economy.