Fifth Focus: Talent Manager Keys Pownall

Here she tells us how she’s fitted in at the fifth

By Esra Gurkan

Wednesday, 5th of May 2021

It can be hard starting a new job in ‘normal’ times, but it must be doubly difficult when you’re in the midst of a global pandemic and the office is replaced by working from home, and meetings are taken over video. 

Talent Manager Keys, however, fitted in seamlessly at The Fifth and despite having not met a lot of people in person, jumped straight in and quickly became an integral part of The Fifth Talent team. 

To mark her seven months at The Fifth, we spoke to Keys about what attracted her to the role, what has been her biggest learning and what she’d like to see done differently in the influencer marketing space.

Sum up what you do at The Fifth in the shortest sentence possible.

I am a Talent Manager and specifically look after talent within the Music, Culture & Entertainment, Lifestyle scene.

Could you give us a bit of context on that?

My roster represents a wide range of original unique talent from sportswomen, artists, musicians, activists, fashion content creators, hype beasts, storytellers, and more.

What attracted you to the role in the first place?

In my previous role, I was exposed to Talent Management and knew that it was something that I wanted to do. I am passionate about connecting brands and platforms with creatives, so the role was the perfect fit for me.

Since joining The Fifth, what has been your biggest learning?

Managing people’s expectations for sure. As a Talent Manager with a roster of 8 talent that is constantly changing and growing, I quickly learned that I needed to be as transparent as possible with my talent and to set boundaries where necessary. 

When do you think is the right time for a content creator to get management?

In a nutshell, there isn’t such a thing as ‘the right time’. Any content creator that feels as though they are growing at a consistent rate, and want to start to build a relationship with brands should definitely seek out management. 

Could you tell us about your roster of talent?

My roster is full of the biggest up and coming talent in the culture scene. I have the pleasure of looking after the following creatives, Vintage Doll Risa & Rosanna Elettra who are Hypebeast Streetwear Fashion Content Creators.  Changemaker Asma Elbadawi a Sportswoman, Social Activist & Poet. Queen of all things Beauty, Lifestyle & Wellness, Iza Syzsyko. Spoken Word Artist, DJ & Presenter Sophie Leseberg Smith, aka The Nasty Poet. And lastly, Skinfluencer, Photographer & Visual Artist Melony Lemon & Pro Makeup Artist and Content Creator Cherise Currie.

How have you adapted to working from home and is there anything you want to continue doing when we leave lockdown?

I love working from home, it honestly is the best thing for me. Being in my own environment allows me to pitch ideas to brands in a space where I feel I am my most productive and creative. One thing that I would like to continue to do is working from home where time allows a day or two a week to aid my productivity. 

As a Talent Manager, what would you like to see done differently in the influencer marketing space?

I would love to see more Black women and men working in the industry, as there is a huge lack of representation from the Black community especially in traditional talent management. 

What would be a dream campaign or brand that you’d like to work on with your talent in the future?

It would be amazing to book all of my talent, to be on a global brand campaign for Nike. I take pride in knowing that my roster is extremely diverse and inclusive and it would be amazing for a brand like Nike who has always been a voice in the conversation around inclusivity to work with the talent that I represent.

Which content creator are you loving following at the moment and why? 

One person that I love is Coco Mell, she is a Fashion Stylist, Content Creator, Sneaker Enthusiast and Host of the Sole Intent Podcast. She is a game-changer, paving way for young Black women and creatives in the fashion industry. Her content across her Instagram is home to her fashion content, styling work and more.