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Do I need a manager?

Artist management, it’s a question you need to ask yourself at the very start of your career. The thought of having a manager can be exciting because you feel that you’re moving in the right direction, finally someone working alongside you to get things done. You might be right but you might be horribly wrong. The days are gone of the drummer’s brother managing a band, the nice guy who didn’t play anything but had always longed  ‘to be in the music business.’ Before you appoint a manager ask yourself the question, ‘Do I really need a manager?’ What you may find is that while you’d like a manager you don’t actually NEED one.

Ask yourself, ‘What do I want to achieve from this?’ Are you after a deal or do you need someone to do all the things that you don’t want to do? The manager has their job but you still have yours. You are your own artist development manager within your own infrastructure. It’s your job to define what role you want the manager to play alongside what it is you do for yourself.

If you’re at the stage where you can do it all then leave well alone, you don’t need a manager. If however, you’re generating a buzz and at the stage where there could be interest from the record industry then maybe you do need a manager. If you don’t have one you’ll at least need a lawyer. Record companies need someone to deal with and it’s unlikely to be you. It can be some of the best money you’ll ever spend. Protect yourself from the horror of having your career taken away from you before you’ve begun. If you have and they see you’re vulnerable, you’ll get eaten alive.

Then comes the finding of the manager. Good managers are like a jewel in the crown. You’ll rarely find a great artist without a great manager. It can be the basis for where all future relationships are born, the ultimate collaboration. We’ll look at the role of the manager later but for now you have to make the same decision as you hope you’d hope you make with your life partner. Is this the one? The chances are you might get divorced from manager and you’ll be left holding the baby, your band. Do everything in your power to make the right choice. While you’ll be driven by instinct and intuition strive for more. Do some research and convince yourself they are the right person for the job. You’ll need to get on with them because you’ll rarely be apart from them, take time to get to know them. You will need to identify they have those basic human ingredients such as honesty and trust. Being a nice guy is never enough. Ask yourself, ‘Can they do the job?’

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a good manager, there were the things that I did brilliantly but I didn’t enjoy the taking care of business. And today there’s much more of that you need to do. I wanted to be creative but the business stuff got in the way. Organizational skills are of the essence and being business savvy so that even if you don’t handle that side of things you make the right decisions when it comes to accountants and lawyers. The power to delegate is what makes the difference, knowing if something can be done better and quicker by someone else. So many of the people around you might be looking for personal gain, what’s in it for them? It’ll destroy you, chose your manager wisely.


May 18, 2011 - Posted in News By:

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