Tommas Arnby and Mike Malak join forces for Special Projects

Tommas Arnby and Mike Malak join forces for Special Projects

Coldpress Music and Locomotion Special Projects have joined forces to create Special Projects, a company dedicated to artist, producer and songwriter development. 

Over the last two years, Locomotion’s Tommas Arnby and Coldpress Music’s Mike Malak have been working on several projects. They have now become further aligned for future plans.

Malak has been in the agency business for 15 years, working with artists at Wasserman including Billie Eilish, Girl In Red and Denzel Curry. He launched Coldpress two and a half years ago with the intent of partnering with artists to build their careers.

Mike Malak said: “I’ve always been passionate about A&R and artist development. Working with incredible artists early on and seeing the growth and journey is truly the most rewarding part of the job. With that in mind I wanted to take it one step further and really work with artists and producers from the inception. Spending over a year at the amazing Eastcote Studios during the pandemic working out of the Locomotion office, it felt as though Tommas and I had similar visions and work ethics, so naturally several projects came together. This exciting step is now just formalising how we work together and grow as a team.”

Tommas Arnby, an industry veteran, entrepreneur and former Sony Music A&R exec, started Locomotion 13 years ago. He has been instrumental in the rise of Yungblud, who has secured two No.1 albums. 

Tommas Arnby said: "Artist development has been my biggest focus and passion throughout most of my career. Mike has the same fire as well as the ambition to build global careers. I’m thrilled to take our partnership to the next level and together help our roster of artists and songwriters truly capitalise on their talent and to build audiences around the world!" 

Special Projects have recently bolstered their team with the addition of Sam Cantlon, who will be focusing on the producer roster and day-to-day management of artist Nieve Ella. Sophia Gee has joined Special Projects from Prolifica Management and will provide day-to-day management on artist Hannah Grae.  

Malak said: “We are really excited to have both Sam and Sophia with us on this new journey. Both of them share our vision when it comes to artist development.”

Hannah Grae, a 20-year-old Welsh artist, is part of the Special Projects set up and recently signed with Atlantic Records. 

Arnby said: “Hannah is such a prolific artist already with a super-strong sense of her artistry as a performer and songwriter and we have assembled a fantastic team to support her.”

Nieve Ella, 19 years old from Albrighton, has earned support from BBC Introducing and Radio 1 so far. 

“We are so excited about Nieve, she truly understands what it takes to be an artist, straddling that line between raw talent and sheer work ethic, we can’t wait to see her get on the road and make more fans.” said Malak.

The goal is to create a space for artists and producers to feel nurtured and supported

Mike Malak

Special Projects’ producer roster includes Matias Tellez, who has worked with Girl In Red, Aurora, Sigrid and more, while Luke Grieve has cuts on records such as Clash by Dave & Stormzy, Roadside by Mahalia & AJ Tracey, as well as working with developing artists such as Henjila and Oliver Keane. 

Finally, Rob Brinkmann has been developing projects from Hannah Grae and working with Daisy Brain.  

Of the vision for the company, Malak said: “The goal is to create a space for artists and producers to feel nurtured and supported so they can do what they do best. Leveraging as many quality relationships as we can and having full faith in our team to implement. Between the incredible physical space at Eastcote and our brilliant team, we want them to go against the grain of the industry quick wins and play the long game to build careers we are really proud of. The roster will remain boutique in size to ensure all get full time from our team. As we look to expand and join forces with strategic partners in the industry, Special Projects will release music and make further key hires in order to build a truly self-sufficient entity.”

Arnby added: “I really believe in our ability to build a business that truly supports talent, giving our artists time to evolve and grow and with emphasis on authenticity and amazing music rather than looking at what’s working or not working out there. Our mission statement of identifying, empowering and breaking more UK talent globally directly supports that mindset.”


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