Our second part of the blog is here to guide artists through the minefield of the music industry, its players and their roles, and this time we focus on a music manager.
The Artist’s Manager
The manager of an artist is usually the first component to the team that will stand behind the artist. But what does a music manager actually do? It is common for an artist to employ a friend or perhaps a parent in this role, but this is a mistake. An artist’s manager should be a professional that knows the music industry and can offer honest and accurate advice with no bias. Their primary duty is to take care of the artist, look after their interests and to create opportunities. They will also draw up a career and business plan and execute that strategy, this will involve the professional and personal enhancement of the artist.
Another essential part of the job is to build a team and network with the right people in the industry. A good manager will make decisions for the good of the artist, not just for the sake of popularity. A manager needs to believe in the artist he represents. If he has doubts, then his job is to work with the artist to eradicate them. The best managers not only look at the business side of things but help to curate artistically and come up with creative ideas.
The Different Types of Managers
In the early stages of an artist’s career, a manager is often somebody linked to the artist in some way or other. Perhaps it is a member of the family that wants a change of career or simply wants to break into the music industry. At this early stage, the manager is really nothing but a booking agent.
Higher up on the managerial ladder are the managers who work for agencies or perhaps even labels. These managers have far wider networks and access to greater resources, but in return they only select the artists they feel will be sure-fire commercial hits. However, this sort of executive manager is not always the wisest choice as they will have numerous other artists under their wing and will not be able to devote much of the time to you.
For the top stars, the management can be split into business and music. The latter we have discussed in detail, but a business manager is concerned with investment opportunities for their clients and excel in capital and asset management. These type of business managers are frequently accountants and as such, they know of tax loopholes and how to find the way around legal administration.
There are pros and cons for the high-powered or the independent manager. The only real advice is to select a manager that puts you as his number one priority. Above all, be watchful for the badge hunters who collect artists by the dozen. We continue in part three of understanding the music industry with the role of a booking agent and how he differs to a manager in his role with the artist.