Black Irish Artists and Mental Health, Music Management and Lockdown Pressures Under Discussion at RTÉ Choice Conversations

Tolü Makay has curated an event for RTE Choice Music Prize Conversations.

Black Irish Artists and Mental Health, Music Management and Lockdown Pressures Under Discussion at RTÉ Choice Conversations

Alex Hardee, agent for Liam Gallagher, Bastille and Sia, will be the keynote speaker.

The RTÉ Choice Music Prize has announced a series of talks and discussions around the Irish music industry to take place on 2 March, two days before the music prize event. Conversations 2021 will take place online and will feature four events from 11am to 3pm, covering issues such as music management, the mental health of black Irish musicians and dealing with lockdown.

According to the awards, the aim of Conversations is ‘to provide relevant and practical advice and insights to those within the domestic music and creative industries about a number of topical issues. It’s also a chance for participants to meet, exchange views and hear from their peers’.

Music agent Alex Hardee
Conversations will begin with a keynote address by Alex Hardee, Partner and Agent at Paradigm Agency (formerly CODA Agency) in London. Since co-founding the agency in 2002, Hardee has been awarded Music Week’s Agent of the Year title several times, most recently in 2018, and has been instrumental in CODA Agency winning the UK Festival Awards Best Agency in 2013, 2016 and 2017. His current roster includes a line-up of global musicians including Liam Gallagher, Grace Jones, Bastille, Sia, London Grammar, Clean Bandit, and Rag’n’Bone Man.

Following Hardee’s keynote, a panel discussion titled ‘Let’s talk about it: Black Irish creatives and their mental health’ will take place at 12pm, featuring Loah, psychologist and therapist Dr Abiola Muhammed Ogunfowora, producer Simba Bianchi and Ann Marie Shields of Minding Creative Minds. The event was curated by Tolü Makay and will be hosted by psychologist and author Siobhan Murray.

At 1pm, there will be a live recording of the How Did You Manage That? Podcast, where hosts Ally McCrae and Sophie Paluch will interview Ken Allen of Faction Records and manager of James Vincent McMorrow. The final event of the day, ‘How We Kept Our Band and Our Heads Together During Lockdown’, will begin at 2pm and will see journalist and editor of RTÉ Brainstorm Jim Carroll speak with Soulé, Lizzie Fitzpatrick of Bitch Falcon and All Tvvins’ Lar Kaye.

All events are free, but attendees must pre-register. Further details:
The RTÉ Choice Music Prize will take place online on 4 March. Visit:

Published on 17 February 2021

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