The man behind the next generation of Melbourne’s homegrown musicians

Jordan Acker. Picture by Ben Kelly
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Meet Jordan Acker, the 21-year-old who has turned a "fun business" into a growing management artist management firm in just 18 months. Ben Kelly reports.

Jordan Acker dreams of one day having the talent he manages at the top level of music.

“In sport it would be like seeing your athlete win the championship. For us, we want to see our artists headlining Coachella,” he says.

Speaking over Zoom, Jordan had just finished a shift for his day job as a Customer Experience Agent for footwear retailer Accent Group Limited, and will spend the few hours before bed doing work for the business he co-founded, Ivy Music Group.

Ivy Music Group is a growing artist management business designed to cater for local musical talent, which Jordan co-founded in January 2020.

“I’ll never forget the rainy Thursday night after basketball, when my friend  Brody (Aughterson) called me up in the Red Rooster drive-through saying its about time we do this.”

The man behind the next generation of Melbourne’s homegrown musicians
Jordan, Brody and the Ivy music group artists Holly Hebe (left), Squid the Kid (right), Jay Kira (bottom right) and Marcus Kech (bottom middle), after their Ivy Music Showcase concert. Picture: Ivy Music group

What started as just a fun business idea between mates, Jordan and Brody have turned into a professional corporate artist management firm in just over 18 months.

“In the beginning we just had Marcus (Kech), who had played a gig at one of Brody’s events and he said he liked our vision,” he says.

“To see how we’ve grown from there to where we are now makes me really proud, to be honest.”

Jordan and Brody were entertainment and events management students at Collart’s, one of Australia’s leading arts colleges, when the idea for their business came to fruition.

Some of their artists were fellow students or friends; others, such as Holly Hebe, Jordan discovered through social media.

“Bringing Holly on board – discovering her through Instagram and being apart of her journey, even through Covid – is definitely a highlight.”

The man behind the next generation of Melbourne’s homegrown musicians
Jordan (right) and Brody (left) giving their thanks after the Ivy Music Showcase concert. Picture: Ivy Music Group

Former classmate and friend Jackson Bakof said Jordan was always destined to run his own business.

“Jordan has always dabbled in business even as a teenager in high school,” he says.

“He ran a basketball coaching business, his own clothing line, and now Ivy. He’s always found a way to connect with people, make them happy and his endeavours successful.” He said.

Now, Jordan says Ivy Music artists are moving up in the music world.

“Marcus, whose first release made Martin Garrix’s playlist and 90,000-odd streams, is about to release his first full album on a budget the size of something we never would’ve imagined being capable of,” he says.

“Recently Holly signed a brand collaboration with Dr Martens which is just as huge. And Squid the Kid has been doing his thing and getting really good press from making the top 5 of Vans Musicians Wanted.”

The man behind the next generation of Melbourne’s homegrown musicians
Ivy Music Group artist Squid the Kid performing during the Vans Musicians Wanted contest concert watched by Denzel Curry. Picture: Vans Australia

Jordan doesn’t just book gigs for these talented musicians, he runs their entire personal brand, social media presence, their merchandise, publishing deals both nationally and overseas and works every day to help them meet their goals.

He likened it to “being somewhat like another parent”, and said he likes the idea of keeping Ivy Music small and tight knit.

He says each artist matters to him, he wants to focus his efforts and give each artist the best opportunity to succeed. “That’s why it’s worth all the work.”

“It all results in putting a smile on someone’s face. Gigs with 200 people everyone having a good time – it beats any other feeling.

“Other than the vested interest in music business, that would be the ultimate motivator, seeing others’ happiness at something I helped make happen,” he said.

The man behind the next generation of Melbourne’s homegrown musicians
Founders of Ivy Music Group Jordan Acker (left) and Brody Aughterson. Picture: Chirathi Dharmasena @screenshotcbfsending

With the state coming closer to its COVID vaccination goals and the end of long-term lockdowns in Melbourne, Jordan and Ivy Music have big plans to launch back into the live music scene.

“We have two shows in the works that are a bit different, outside the box and something people haven’t seen before, with both Ivy Music and friends,”he said.

Jordan said he couldn’t share much more on the events, because he didn’t want others to take the idea before he can make them happen.

“I guess you’ll have to just buy a ticket and come see for yourself.”