What is an artist manager?
A manager is someone who handles the day to day business dealings on behalf of an artist or band. The artist is in charge of creating the art and usually has an overall vision for the project, but it’s the managers’ job to take that vision, map out a viable plan, and execute it. A manager is also kind of the ring-leader of the business. Meaning agents, lawyers, publicists, business managers, promoters, labels, etc. don’t make substantial moves without conferring with the manager since their word is as good as the artist themselves. Artist management is one of the most personal jobs in the music business.
When is an artist ready for management?
Everyone is different, but here are some things I look for: From the moment you started the group, you took it seriously (while having fun, of course) and put real thought into everything. The music is refreshing, well written, and produced with intention. People other than you should be talking about your music… like, a decent amount. There should be the beginnings of a cohesive brand that makes me feel something when I listen to the music, look at your photos, attend your shows, and check out your merch. I want to see you in my newsfeed on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, etc. I want to go to local venues and see your poster on the wall. You can sell out a 400 cap venue in your local market and have a couple of small tours under your belt that you booked yourself. You feverishly e-mailed some decent blogs or hired a publicist to get some solid press from local and national music outlets.
How could a musician go about getting an artist manager when they’re ready?
Here’s one way… make a list of ten bands or artists whose careers you’d love to have in a couple of years. Be realistic. Go to the contact page on their website or Facebook and find a management contact.
After you’ve worked your self off to create a buzz at a level where you can play a great show in one of your local spots shoot a quick e-mail to one of these managers that includes your music, accolades, recent developments, social links, etc. and an invite them to the show.
. If you’ve really put in the work to create a competitive profile for yourself as an artist or band both artistically and professionally, at least one of the managers who you invite will come to check out the gig.
Maybe they sign you on the spot. Maybe they don’t sign you. Maybe they can’t sign you but help out as an advisor and point you in the right direction.
Managers are always looking for talent in some shape or form – it’s what we do. The key is being prepared to deliver when you get in front of the right one.
What do you do on a daily basis?
It varies; mainly lots of e-mails. Talking and meeting up the artist on my roaster marketing shows, updating social media and websites, managing calendars, fan relations, merchandising, and lots more. All while strategizing on what’s to come and analyze what just happened. Stay focus on the music business world, building relationships and expanding my network around the global music industry and making sure I sell the artist potential to booking agents.
What do you look for in potential clients?
First would be the craft itself. Great melodies, lyrics, musicianship, and production really that really resonates with my taste. Next would be the singularity and uniqueness of the project. I’m always turned on by artists that are carving their own lane musically and aesthetically. Lastly, I like to see there is something happening, even if that something is on a small level. They’re playing out and trading shows with other local artists making DIY music videos, curating monthly showcases, creating a community around their music, getting press, etc.
Their efforts end up being a reflection of where and how they see themselves when it really starts rolling.
By: Rene Immortal Matik (RIM)