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Michelle Bakker: Rethinking music business

Michelle Bakker
Don't Give Up Your Day Job brings us Michelle Bakker, a passionate music manager who is proactively and vocally rethinking her approach to the music business.


Michelle Bakker is a passionate and forward thinking music manager who has been working internationally for more than two decades and is proactively and vocally rethinking her approach to the music business. We talk extensively about her current band Dead Poet Society who she’s been working with for the last three years. She also talks about her time managing Greg Johnson, working with Prince and how Eddie Van Halen personally changed her career. In addition, we discuss Michelle’s life as a minimalist and an independent thinker. This is a real chat about the business and an inspiring conversation about life. 

What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a similar career?

Love what you do
Trust your instincts
Work hard
Be relentless

What is the biggest challenge that you see for people seeking a career in the creative sector and how do you navigate that challenge? 

Initially, to earn a living. I personally navigate that challenge by sacrifice and compromise. Whatever it takes to do what I love I do that. It might mean not having a home base for awhile or buying that new pair of jeans but honestly when you love what you do, none of that stuff really matters. 

Plus I have the best friends and family who without their support ….. :)

What is the core belief that drives what you do?

Passion and a sense of purpose along with knowing that I can make that difference.

How have you learned from failure in the course of your career?  

I've learnt how important it is to have a contract in place and not to underestimate my worth.

What is your number one tip for surviving and thriving in the creative industries?

To never give up.

What has inspired you? Who or what keeps you going? 

Music from a very early age was my inspiration and became my whole world. Artists like Led Zeppelin/ Jimi Hendrix / Fleetwood Mac / Bob Marley expressed so much of how I was feeling. I was hooked! Work and my life are one there is no separation and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My sense of purpose and passion for what I do gets me up every morning. I'm very self motivated and have a huge sense of responsiblity and respect for the Artists I work with. In fact, I can't wait to fall asleep most nights coz I'm so excited to wake up and see what the new day is going to bring or what cool new ideas I can come up with …there is always something you can do!!!  Being an Artist Manager is honestly my calling…Its like Hotel California - you can check out but never leave.. 


Written by

Don't Give Up Your Day Job

4 Dec 2017

Don’t Give Up Your Day Job is a podcast series developed by Bobby Kennedy and Danny McCrum, providing an insight into the careers of creative professionals.  

Chris Bailey
Danny McCrum shares a heart-to-heart with English drummer Chris Bailey.
Don't Give Up Your Day Job podcast recently caught up with Greg Johnson to record an honest and inspiring conversation about the highs and lows of his life in the business.
Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash
In a world of polarising opinions, knee-jerk reactions and many a closed mind, doesn’t it make sense to have more thoughtful, transparent conversations where we truely listen to each other?