21 Under 21: How Managers for Billie Eilish, Khalid and Bhad Bhabie Keep Their Clients on the Right Path
When it comes to overseeing the career of a rising young artist, forging a close bond is essential. Just ask managers Courtney Stewart (Khalid), Adam Kluger and Dan Roof (Bhad Bhabie), and Brandon Goodman and Danny Rukasin (Billie Eilish), who have overseen their clients from the start. Each explains the value of striking a balance between public and private life for their artists.
Danny Rukasin, Manager, Hard 8/Working Group
“It’s important that [Billie] remains a teenager as much as she can. [Me and Brandon Goodman, her co-manager at Best Friends] try and pace everything so we’re not overwhelming her with too many demands. It’s not easy to do. We’re also conscious that artists need real-life experiences to be inspired, and the goal is to never lose sight of that. We try to make room where we can, especially when she’s on tour and in these amazing cities all over the world. We carve out days for [her and her family] to travel like other families do when their daughter isn’t a budding star.”
Brandon Goodman, Manager, Best Friends
"The main pitfalls we try to avoid would be to do anything that is not 100% authentic to who Billie is as an artist. I think it can be easy to get caught up and agree to an opportunity because it pays well or because of the opportunity for exposure, but Billie, and we as management, have no issue saying no if it doesn’t feel 100% right to her and her brand."
Courtney Stewart, CEO, Right Hand Management
“I’m like a big-brother figure to Khalid. I was there when he was just a kid in high school with no following or music out. I think that has helped us strengthen our relationship outside of the industry. My style, especially with a young act, is to make them learn about their finances, investing and how their career -- I hate to say it -- could end tomorrow. The more he’s educated about the business, the more future success he’ll have. There are so many peaks and valleys that it’s all about sustaining.”
Adam Kluger, Founder/CEO, Kluger Agency
“Me and my management partner, Dan Roof, don’t see our jobs as simply being managers. We’re family. Danielle [Bregoli, aka Bhad Bhabie] was in a very bad place, around very bad people, when I first signed her. Lately, music has been her life, by choice.”