John Watson is the owner and President of John Watson Management and the associated label, Eleven: a music company. The artists on the JWM/Eleven rosters have sold over 20 million albums globally and five of them have achieved gold certifications or better in the U.S..
Growing up in Townsville during the 1980’s John worked part time in record stores while playing in indie bands. After a stint doing music journalism he joined Sony Music’s A&R department where his signings included Died Pretty and The Prodigy. John subsequently assumed responsibility for international marketing of the label’s Australian artists and was jointly responsible for inking Silverchair before leaving Sony to manage the band under the John Watson Management umbrella in 1995.
Silverchair remain JWM clients. They have won more ARIA Awards than any artist in history. In 2000 they were one of the first signings to the Eleven label where they would eventually be joined by other gold selling JWM clients like Paul Mac, Kisschasy, The Dissociatives, Little Birdy and more recently, Dustin Tebbutt.
In 2004 JWM and Eleven launched the career of much loved Australian singer/songwriter Missy Higgins. She has worked with the companies ever since and enjoyed three consecutive #1 albums including her iconic “The Sound Of White” which has sold over 700,000 copies.
John’s company managed Wolfmother on their Grammy winning debut in 2005/6 but stood down from that role before their second album. He also managed Pete Murray for several years around this time including on his multiplatinum sophomore release, “See The Sun”.
In 2009 Gotye joined JWM/Eleven in conjunction with then co-manager Danny Rogers. Gotye’s 2011 album “Making Mirrors” – propelled by the global #1 hit “Somebody That I Used To Know “ – won 3 Grammys and he remains an important artist for both companies.
For the last 8 years JWM has managed the contemporary rock group Birds Of Tokyo who have won the APRA Award for Australia’s Best Rock Song on a remarkable five occasions. More recently they added acclaimed Australian electronic music pioneers The Presets to their roster and have overseen their recent relaunch with their top 5 hit “HI VIZ”.
John co-manages the legendary Cold Chisel (with John O’Donnell). Over the last decade they have created a virtual second career for the band with multiple chart topping album releases and two massive concert tours. He also now works on some solo projects by Cold Chisel frontman, Jimmy Barnes, including the acclaimed and best selling memoirs “Working Class Boy” (2016) and “Working Class Man” (2017) plus the associated “Stories and Songs” tours and films.
JWM’s most recent signing is the iconic Australian rock band Midnight Oil. John and his team oversaw “The Great Circle 2017” … 77 shows in 16 countries across 5 continents to total audiences in excess of half a million people. This epic series of gigs was voted the #1 Australian Tour of last year.