Guest Post: Shira Knishkowy On Her Transition To Management One Year In

By Shira Knishkowy

IMG 6125
Ghosts In The Blond(shell): Shira Knishkowy, Blondshell and co-manager Holly Cartwright ahead of Blondshell’s April 4 appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Knishkowy recently made the move from public relations to artist management.

When I tell colleagues that I pivoted from music publicity to management, 10 years into my career, most of them ask if I’m a masochist.  It’s a fair question – the former job is 24/7, high-stress, fast-paced, filled with the unknown, and the latter is that on hyperdrive. Inspired by the managers I’d worked with as a publicist over the years, I’d always wanted to give it a go myself. To have a hand in every facet of an artist’s career – not just their press – was very appealing.  

It took the encouragement of my dear friend, mentor, colleague, and now boss Rennie Jaffe, who believed I had the skills, relationships, and temperament for the job to make the leap.  He, Eric Dimenstein, and Another Management Company hired me one year ago this week and I am thrilled with the decision.

AMC’s roster is unrivaled and the staff are just as stellar – it’s a team of industry experts, each of whom has a different background and area of expertise. From tour logistics to visas to royalties to merch, each person at the company brings their special sauce to the table, ensuring our artists have top-notch service across the board. As an industry vet, but new manager, being surrounded by such a brilliant team has been a major asset in this career pivot.  

The first client that I brought to the company, early last summer, is a phenomenal artist who performs under the name Blondshell. Less than a year ago, her music only existed as an unmixed private Soundcloud getting passed around the industry. Thanks to Josh Mulder at TBA Agency and his golden ears, the link made its way to me and I was floored. It was clear right away that this was going to not only be an important record in terms of critical acclaim, but that there was obvious mass appeal.

 Upon meeting the artist in person, it was even more obvious that not only was she a great writer and singer, but a complete mensch, a kind and lovely human being who had what it takes. 

Working hand-in-hand with my AMC coworker and Blondshell co-manager Holly Cartwright, we got to build out the Dream Team for the artist, landing with the perfect label (Partisan Records), US PR (Lisa Gottheil, Devin Velez, and Dana Erickson at Grandstand), EU agent (Alex Bruford and Sarah Joy at ATC), US agent (Josh Mulder at TBA), UK PR (Jon Lawrence at Chalk), creative director (Rian Fossett) and lawyer (Jeff Koenig). It’s an incredible team that truly believes in the artist, and our powers combined have led to great success already – critical acclaim, late-night TV, strategic tours and festival bookings, forward-thinking marketing, strong DSP relationships, and beyond.  

That may sound like a full-time job in-and-of itself – it definitely is – but on top of that I manage the luminous singer/songwriter The Weather Station and am on the management team of Canadian alco-pop darlings Alvvays, in addition to working across much of the full AMC roster providing creative marketing, social media, DSP, and comms strategy. Every day is different and that’s one of the best parts about it! I might spend hours on a Canadian grant application one day, or I might be on back-to-back calls another.  

There are overwhelming moments, for sure, but ultimately it’s so rewarding and – most importantly – fun. Doing this kind of work, having a hand in all aspects of an artist’s career, and helping them bring their art to the world without compromising their vision is why I wanted to work in the music industry in the first place as a little pop-punk teen growing up in the suburbs. Masochist or not, I’m here for the long haul.

Shira Knishkowy is an artist manager and director of creative and digital strategy at Another Management Company. Her professional career began at William Morris Endeavor, following in the footsteps of many other entertainment executives, before she tackled the music PR field at companies including Big Hassle, Partisan Records, Matador Records  and Spotify.