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  • Writer's pictureCheyenne M

Haley Evans: Mega House Music A&R & Day-To-Day Manager

Introduce yourself to us! What do you do in the industry? Where are you from?

Hey everyone! My name is Haley Evans, and I’m super honored to be speaking with you all! I’m originally from Laguna Beach, CA, and am now based in Los Angeles. I work with songwriters and producers at Mega House Music (a management and publishing company) as a coordinator and day-to-day manager.

How did you get your start in the industry, and how long have you been in the industry? I’ve been in the industry for about four years now! During my sophomore year at UCLA, I was lucky enough to land my first internship at Interscope in the publicity department. Although I knew that ultimately publicity might not be the route I was going to take, I was just excited to be in the doors learning how a label operates. After three internship cycles at Interscope, I started working as a Pop A&R intern at Big Deal (now Hipgnosis) and was introduced to the world of publishing. From there, I interned at a few other spots (Epic Records & Nice Life) before deciding to go further down the road into publishing and management.

When did you know being in the business is what you wanted to do? Was there a specific moment where you were like “oh god, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life”?

I was a music-obsessed 17-year-old when I first learned that the music industry could be a possible career path. I loved finding new artists before I knew what A&R was, BUT once I started going down the rabbit hole of industry interviews & job postings/descriptions – there was simply no other path for me. I decided to go to UCLA to be close to the industry, and the rest is history. Being able to work with artists, songwriters, and producers who affect so many people around the world is truly the greatest gift, and having the opportunity to be close & contribute in small ways to their processes has completely solidified everything for me.

Is there anything you struggled with (or even still do struggle with) being in the industry?

Like many others in the industry, I’ve definitely struggled (and still struggle) with imposter syndrome at many points over the last few years. Learning to trust my ear and myself has been a process, which is aided by constantly reminding myself of the subjective nature of music. On another note, I also struggle with the lack of diversity within the industry and plan to do everything within my power to change this on both the creative and business ends.

What is the best part of your job? Why?

Watching writers and producers grow and gain confidence in themselves is without a doubt, the best part of my job. Getting to experience and aid in a person’s development is my favorite part of management. Also, having the insane opportunity to pitch songs to and brainstorm sessions for my favorite artists is 100% a huge highlight. Lastly, I am SO lucky to be learning from incredible managers who listen to and value my opinion.

Actually – just thought of one more thing. Another one of the best parts of my job is getting to watch the life of a song (from session idea to demo creation, to artist cutting, to the release). SUCH a cool thing as every song has a different story.

What is something you wish you knew before taking on your first professional role in the music industry?

Two things –

1. It’s okay to not understand something or feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. The music industry ebbs and flows and changes SO much that everyone is learning on the fly. No single person knows everything, no matter how much confidence they exude, and I’ve found the best thing to do is ask as many questions as it takes.

2. Don’t always ask/wait for permission to do something.

While you wait for permission to do something, there will always be someone else just going for it. This doesn’t mean being reckless and doing things just because you can, but I’ve learned that confidence is key and the only way to gain respect in an industry where women are not always able to take up much space is to just DO it. Whatever it may be.

What would you say are some of your success habits?

Playing high-level water polo for so many years definitely contributed to what I would call my success habits. My time management skills, competitiveness, and habit of waking up early all come from water polo and aid my day-to-day life. Attempting to form a personal connection with everyone I work with is also something that I believe to be super important, and I try to implement as well. Lastly, being able to keep my anxiety at bay is super crucial to my success. I always make sure to incorporate mindfulness and workouts into my most stressful days and also put aside time to explore new coffee shops (niche obsession, I KNOW but it makes me happy), and listen to the music I originally fell in love with.

How did your work in A&R, marketing, and publicity prepare you for the management coordination work you do at Mega House now?

Management is fun (and stressful) because no two days are the same, and my experience in these different areas of the industry often prove to be helpful. Although understanding how PR and marketing works doesn’t directly correlate to my current role working with songwriters and producers, it allows me to have a better understanding of the music industry as a whole. The A&R aspect is so important, as it helps with identifying new talent to get our writers and producers in with early.

Is there someone who you consider as your mentor in the industry?

David Silberstein, Jeremy Levin and Greg Golterman are without a doubt the most incredible mentors and humans to work with. I’m truly not sure where I would be without them, and I’ve been able to pick up SO much by watching them on the daily. The amount of time that all three of them have individually spent explaining different aspects of publishing and management to me is astounding, and they’ve given me the greatest gift of creating an environment in which I’m comfortable asking questions. The best part is that all three of them have different approaches, which proves to me that there is no “right” way to exist and move in the industry.

What advice do you have for women who want to get their start in the music industry?

DO IT & be prepared to have to fight much harder for positions and respect. It’s not impossible, and there are so many amazing people who are waiting to welcome and uplift you in this industry – you just have to find them. Speak to anyone and everyone, as you never know what connection will impact your life and/or career later. Trust yourself and your taste, and always voice your opinions - they’re important and people are listening. If you’re just starting out, there are so many amazing internship programs that can help, in addition to radio stations and concert collectives (if you’re in college)! New music pages, curated playlists, and blogs – all great ways to break into the industry. Lastly and most importantly, move and hold yourself as if gender doesn’t matter - because it shouldn’t.

Have you ever been turned down or not taken seriously because you were a female in the industry? What did you do when put into that position?

One day I was told to keep my relationship status private because “people want to work with you more if they think you are attainable”. This toxic sexualization (that would never be a recommendation made to a man in music) absolutely infuriated me, and I instantly fought back citing this mindset as a reason sexism still runs rampant in this industry.

On another note, because management is a predominantly male sector, I do sometimes worry that my gender affects the conversations with prospective clients who have a specific type of manager in mind. In these situations, proving that I’m the best person for them (regardless of gender) is always my goal.

What are some of your other hobbies? What do you do in your free time (which we know can be very hard to find)?

Anything active! I always played sports growing up and in college, so finding time to work out, hike, or surf is super important to me. I also love exploring LA in my free time, as there are SO many unique corners of this beautiful city.

Who is your all-time favorite artist?

Ben Howard – absolutely no question.

What is something you can't live without?

PASTA! Lots of other things as well – the ocean, music, my partner (Mack), my dog (Charlie!), and all my incredible, badass friends who truly bring so much to my life.

Go-to Karaoke song?

Defying Gravity (from Wicked).

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee! All the way.

Celeb crush?

Lynn Gunn (QUEEN)

What would you say your superpower is?

Getting less than six hours of sleep every night and somehow still being a functioning human (I do not suggest this).

First concert you went to?

Mac Miller at the Santa Barbara Bowl – absolutely magical and definitely contributed to my desire to work in music.

What’s something that you always have on you?

Tide pen!!! Important. I also cannot be found without my air pods and laptop (which definitely give away what I do).

Who is your dream artist or band to work with?

James Blake, Tora, The Blaze, Ben Howard, Frank Ocean – the list is too long but these artists are definitely at the top.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

As mentioned, every day is truly different, but no day would be complete without lots of logistical calls and emails for sessions, pitch ideas, new writers, scheduling for my bosses, etc. There are days when every person on our roster has a session, and on these days, we’re working on the fly as timing and location often gets shifted, and the need to find last-minute alternatives comes up all the time. In addition to making sure sessions run smoothly, I try to devote at least an hour every day to finding new music and listening through demos to brainstorm pitch ideas. Meetings and calls with other managers, A&Rs, writers & producers, assistants and others in the industry is a big part of my day-to-day as well. In the evening, there are often shows, events, and more meetings.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I will be continuously building my roster on both the management and publishing sides.

What do you hope to see done in the industry within the next few years?

SO many things but I’ll focus on two: Higher wages for entry-level positions to increase diversity and change the current demographic, and the system changing so songwriters are not the lowest paid in the music industry economy. Both of these issues are admittedly complex but must be fixed to level the playing field across the industry.

What are you most proud of?

Pursuing my dream career and life, loving unapologetically, and beginning to accept that I deserve to be where I am because I’ve put the work in. I’m also incredibly proud of the way my confidence has grown (in myself, my taste, my ideas). Disclaimer – I’m very aware I’m just starting and have a LONG way to go (and lots to learn), but it’s cool to look back at the last four years and see real growth.

Lastly, what saying do you live by?

I do not chase, I attract. What belongs to me, will simply find me.

(thx TIKTOK, sorry not sorry)



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