Nick Shymansky has vowed never to manage an artist after Amy Winehouse again. After splitting from the star in 2006 after struggling for a year to get her into rehab, he transitioned into talent scouting and then film production, where he worked with Asif Kapadia on the Oscar-winning documentary Amy . But then, in 2017, he met Lola Young.
“Sometimes you meet someone and it changes everything,” Shymansky recalls the night he drove to south London to hear the “sassy” 17-year-old Young, whose deeply autobiographical songs and big, soulful voice were already causing a stir buzz. Several people had suggested that she might be a good fit for a documentary he was making. When Shymansky went backstage to introduce himself as a producer, a smart Young eyed him and said, “No you’re not, you’re Amy’s manager. Everyone out there wants to be my manager. But how about you manage me?”
Shymansky, confident in his wife, eventually agreed and managed Young alongside his friend Nick Huggett, who had signed Adele. “But then, literally the week after, Lola had a major mental breakdown,” he says. “And it was like kryptonite – anyone who wanted to set up meetings to sign them just stayed silent. And I remember saying that’s why I don’t do management. This isn’t a business anymore. This brilliant firecracker is a vulnerable child. And there’s a very strong argument why she shouldn’t be around the music industry.”
But Young — who suffers from a rare schizoaffective disorder that can lead to prolonged manic episodes and hospitalizations — was determined to move on, and Shymansky wasn’t walking away. Now, three years later, on Zoom in the London flat she just bought, grinning next to a picture of a nun with a gun (“‘cos I love a naughty nun!”), this cheeky, disarmingly honest 21-year-old -alt is at the top of the world. Signed to Island Records and nominated for a Brit Award, she also placed fourth in the BBC’s Sound of 2022 poll and has spent the last year working on a debut album with Adele collaborator Paul Epworth.
“It was wild,” she says, pinching herself after her appearance on The Graham Norton Show a few days earlier, where she wowed audiences with a deadpan declaration of her new single, “So Sorry” (“The thing is, right…I am quite poisonous”) and was so overwhelmed by the starry company that she buried her head in her hands and had to ask for “a minute”.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/try-see-superpower-pop-star-lola-young-schizoaffective/ pop star Lola Young on being schizoaffective