MMF Accelerator Programme: A Conversation with Kariss Andrews on Professional Development

The MMF Accelerator Programme is designed for music managers looking to take their careers to the next level. Offering a comprehensive support system including funding, training, and mentoring, the programme is tailored to empower managers with the tools, knowledge, and network they need to excel in the rapidly evolving music industry.


The SMIA has been a proud partner of this initiative since it launched in 2019. The programme is also supported by YouTube Music and Arts Council England. Accelerator remains the world’s only independent funding and professional development program designed exclusively for artist, songwriter, DJ and producer managers. It offers a combination of educational and financial support, including 12-month grants of up to £15,000, alongside expert-led professional development training.


Ahead of the applications closing for a space on the 2024 programme, we had the opportunity to speak with Kariss Andrews (Karizma Management), a participant from the 2023 cohort, to gain insights into her experiences and gather advice for aspiring music managers considering applying.


Could you briefly describe your journey in music management leading up to the MMF Programme?


Kariss: I started working in music management as an assistant at GR Management. After a short time at the job, I started taking on my own clients and started my own company, Karizma Management.


What were some of the standout moments or aspects of the programme that had a significant impact on you?


Kariss: ‘Participating in the Accelerator programme has been transformative in numerous ways. One of the most impactful aspects was the opportunity to connect with a vibrant community of female independent managers. 


Prior to the program, I hadn’t met any independent female managers in the industry, let alone had the chance to collaborate with them. Through shared experiences and mutual learning, we not only built strong friendships but also expanded our professional networks.’


In what specific ways has the programme contributed to your personal and professional development?


Kariss: ‘Firstly, the connections I forged with fellow managers have been enriching beyond measure. Collaborating with like-minded professionals not only broadened my perspective but also provided a supportive network crucial for navigating the intricacies of the music industry.


Furthermore, the validation and confidence instilled by the program have been invaluable. Knowing that I’m part of this community has bolstered my confidence in my role and capabilities, empowering me to navigate challenges with resilience and determination.’


Can you share a particular challenge you faced during the programme and how you addressed it?


Kariss: ‘As a manager, prioritising the artist often takes precedence, sometimes at the expense of your own business needs. However, being part of the Accelerator program necessitates carving out dedicated time to focus on both yourself and your business. While initially challenging, I recognise the long-term benefits it brings to personal and professional growth.’


How do you see the skills and connections gained from the programme influencing your career trajectory in the long term?


Kariss: ‘Honestly, all of the skills and connections I’ve gained from the program will influence my future. Additionally, while being on the Accelerator programme, I’ve formed a business partnership with another person on the programme. It’s a new model of working together and I’m very excited for what’s to come!’


To learn more and to apply for the 2024 MMF Accelerator Programme, click here.