Victoria Hamersky, at the age of 20, is the founder of VH MGMT, a fully female founded and operated music management company in Philadelphia. Victoria says, “Our mission is to be able to advocate and help create opportunities and also share the message, everything we can do to help amplify the voices of women, people of color, LGBTQ, non-binary, disabled people within the music indusrty because those are the voices in music that are less than underrepresented, unfortunately.”
Molly: So what First got you into music?
Tori: I was always a fan first, growing up in Philly there were a lot of events and oddly enough my aunt was a high roller so we got into every show in Atlantic City. I don’t think my parents realized I’d end up doing what I do but then I’m like, “I went to a lot of concerts if you can recall correctly,” and they’re like, “Yeah, you’re right.” But definitely I was a big fan first, a big One Direction girl. I feel like growing up, in that kind of space of having people that I admired and looked up to in music indirectly gave me my career today. Seeing what One Direction and Justin Bieber went through, finding out what happened to them later on in life, [discovering the] hard times they had to go through to be where they were, especially when It comes to management. I internalize that a lot. [In high school] I was in school for theater and I did a bunch of fun things like that. I eventually found that with my medical conditions and with everything I had going on in my life that being on the stage probably wouldn’t be a long term career move for me, unfortunately. but, I started my management company when I was 17, the day after I graduated high school.
Molly: That was my next question; What inspired you to start your own company, and what was your first job in the music industry?
Tori: I was that girl who was at all the meet and greets at the radio stations and winning everything. I would go to venues and the security guards would know my name and so would the people at the promotions desk at iHeartMedia Philadelphia. Slowly but surely, I was networking before I really understood what that was. I found out that one of the top 10 music business schools was actually down the street from me at UArts. I was like, “yeah I wanna go there.” So during the time I was 16 to 17, I was developing an idea for a music festival, and I actually developed the entire music festival from scratch and I figured out all the logistics and everything. I feel like having that project, it didn’t happen on a large scale, [but] I was able to do it virtually during COVID for a little bit which was really fun. But having that on my resume before I even had a full resume was definitely something that caught a lot of people’s attention, that I was dedicated to music. But I was able to use the resources that I had during those few months of school (before being sent home due to COVID) and it really helped me develop VH to where it is today for sure. There’s a lot of inspiration, bad managers, that’s the inspiration.
Molly: Tell me a little bit more about VH, the mission statement, the artists that you manage.
Tori: I feel like now, we are definitely moving into a space where there are a lot more women in higher positions. I feel like our generation in the music industry right now is moving towards a more inclusive music industry in all forefronts. I’m definitely excited to see where the next 10 years lead us. We are the people who are having those reigns handed off to us in a very short amount of time. I have been doing this since I was 16 and I feel like it’s very all incumbasing of what I wanted the company to be. I literally got a show for a friend I went to high school with. I was like, If I’m able to book this show, I’m going to become a manager. At that show I met Sleep House, which is a band I’ve been managing for almost five years now. We became buddies, we were like, “we should work together,” and they were the first artists I managed and I still work with them today. I’ve been working a lot these past couple of years during Covid and finding trending artists on TikTok and doing campaigns with them and building up credits and songs that I’ve worked on and helping artists become who they wanna become. Now we have like eight artists I think. It’s just crazy because it’s just me and a few of my buddies. Whether it’s a long term relationship or if it’s just two songs together, it’s still a learning experience for both parties and it’s definitely a relationship you keep throughout the music industry, which is really awesome.
In the future, Tori hopes to earn a place on the Forbes 30 under 30 list, be a Variety women in music hit maker and continue to hit new milestones every single day, like recently one of her artists, Isabel Pless, got verified on Instagram. She says, “It’s stupid, little things like that to other people would be like meaningless but when you’re starting with no help and no nepotism those are little things that mean everything. The ultimate goal for me would be to tour the world with my artists and get to live how I want to live and be able to create a more not only sustainable but a music industry that is more inclusive for everyone who deserves to be included, not just white men unfortunately.” To find out more about VH MGMT you can follow their account @vhmgmt and Victoria @torihamersky
Molly McShane is a fourth year media and culture major with a minor in journalism email@example.com