When Kristy Gostelow was faced with a long-expected redundancy just before Christmas in 2017, she knew it was a defining moment.
Kristy had already developed a side-hustle, helping Mackay’s aspiring musicians to set course for their dreams through music business workshops, grant writing services, and mentoring. It was knowledge she’d picked up by managing the music career of her own daughter, Triple J Darling, Tia Gostelow; and for which Kristy had developed a serious passion.
“I thought ‘I’ve got this redundancy, I’ve got three months left of wages and if I don’t make any money in this business, I’m going to have to find another job’,” says Kristy.
“I’d had plenty of time to prepare and I told Graham ‘Asho’ Ashton, who I’d been co-managing Tia with, that I was going to give Kadence Group a go full-time.”
But Kristy hadn’t expected to sign one of Queensland’s hottest music acts before her corporate job had even wrapped up.
“I got this phone call from Asho saying ‘Can you be in Brisbane on Wednesday to meet with Busby Marou about management?’,” Kristy says.
“We flew down to Brisbane for a meeting and then maybe a week later they called and said ‘We’d love to work together, let’s kick off on the first of January’.”
Kristy’s partnership with Asho is continuing to prove successful, and they now co-manage four artists: Tia Gostelow, Busby Marou, Colin Lillie and Benny Nelson. Tia won the Album of the Year at the 2019 Queensland Music Awards, and Busby Marou’s most recent album charted at #5 on the ARIA Charts during its release week.
“Asho and I really complement each other’s strengths,” says Kristy. “He comes from 30 years working for all the major labels in marketing, A&R and exporting Australian acts overseas, so he has a very solid music industry knowledge.
“My background is around business management and development, which when you look at building an artist’s career, is a similar thing. You’re developing their business and building their profile.”
Kristy continues to learn about the music business by asking questions and says it’s her number one piece of advice for anyone who wants to be successful.
“If you’ve got to ask 100 questions until you get it, do it,” she says. “That’s how I’ve learnt what I have over seven or eight years guiding Tia and I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve built relationships with generous and supportive people within the industry that I can pick up the phone and call when I need help.”
While the role of managing artists is a round-the-clock responsibility, Kristy says it’s worth the hard work when she sees her artists achieve their long-held dreams.
“We went as a family to Woodford Folk Festival three or four years ago and Tia said, ‘I hope one day I get to play here’.
“It was something we’ve always spoken about and when those things actually happen years later, it’s like ‘Wow, I remember dreaming about that’. It’s incredible.”