Music Artist Management

Music mangers vary and can do an array of different jobs to help artists develop every aspect of their music careers. What a manager does for you depends also on what you want from them. So having a clear plan and good communication between yourself and your manager is key. This is what you need to know:

The roles of a music manager

Every manager and agreement is bespoke but some of the main jobs for a manager relate to being the spokesperson for the artist. These can include music artist management sending out demos to labels, radio stations, and local print media, and online publications, book gigs and promoting the events to the public and press. Music artist management can help organise studio time and practice sessions, the production of music videos and photo shoots. They can also network and talk to people about the artist and find as many opportunities for the artist as possible.

How to choose a manager

If you’re quite early on in your music career you may not have the funds to afford a music manager, and music artist management may not be interested in working with you at this stage until you have developed further into your career.

So some artists choose to bring a friend on board to help with their music artist management affairs. The good thing about using a friend is that they will (hopefully) have your best interests in mind and will have the same passion for getting your music heard as you do.

However a friend may not have the music industry knowledge and contacts that you need to further your career and take you to the next level. Furthermore if things develop the pressure of them devoting their free time may come under strain, but on the flip side the possibility of having a hard working passionate person that you can trust on the team is always a welcome one.

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Relationships are built on trust

The most important thing you need to consider when choosing a manager is your relationship with them. You need to be able to work with someone that you can talk to openly and honestly and have good communication with.

If the potential manager is a person you don’t know then do some research, find out the kind of acts they have previously worked with and see where they are, what they are currently doing and what they have achieved.

Don’t just jump into something with the first manager you find; have a meeting and see how you feel you could work with them. Especially if it’s your first taste of music artist management ideally try and work with them for a month or two to see how the relationship develops; if you can’t communicate effectively together to start with it’s unlikely it will change down the line.

…and loyalty

If you are going to do a trial period with a manager, be loyal and don’t court other interested parties. Be honest and try and build a relationship rather than wonder why a manager has lost interest; it’s probably because they have worked out you’re not committed or loyal to them.

So you need to play your part in developing trust and a working relationship with your music artist management.

Do I need a contract with a manager?

Yes. Even if you’re with a personal friend and there is no money involved for now, you need to write up a formal agreement.

It would be advisable to write a plan and an exit strategy should the music artist management not work out so that both parties know what’s expected and what will happen if it doesn’t really work out.

So jot down what is expected of both manager and act, what the percentage of income for the manager will be and what happens if you both decide to part ways. Many artists don’t want to make their friends sign contracts, but when you’re entering into a business relationship with a friend, a contract keeps the friendship safe.


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