Are you Shittin Me or Kiddin Me: The Role of an Artist Manager?
Welcome to Ms. Ron’s Blonde Intelligence Blog, where I provide exquisite cranial repertoire. Today’s blog subject is the role of an artist manager. New independent artists coming on the scene and even some seasoned independent artists have a slight confusion in the role of a manager. First question, what is a manager? The reason we have to ask this question is because there is a bit of cognitive dissonance (what a person believes to be true but is not reality) in what some artists believe to be the role of a manager and what a manager’s duties actually are. According to Oxford Languages, a manager is a person who controls the activities, business dealings, tactics, and other aspects of the career of an entertainer, athlete, group of musicians, etc. So, on a basic level, the artist and the manager have a relationship based solely on trust. The artist trust that the manager will make the best decisions beneficial to the artist in all aspects of the artist’s career.
How does a manager go about making the best decisions beneficial to the artist’s career? This is achieved by a clear understanding of the what a manager actually does. According to music-jobs.com, the responsibilities of a music manager include: negotiating contracts and fees, finding bookings/venues that aligns with the artist’s CAREER STRATEGY, input in career decisions, publicity and promotion, Input on producer selection, input performances, etc. Music-jobs.com summarizes the role of an artist manager as a person who works on behalf of an artist or group to promote the artist career and run their business affairs.
Now let’s get into the cognitive dissonance. How shall I pose this? Is there any listening involved in the communication process? Does a strategy have to be devised? Do time schedules have to be adhered to? Do directives have to be followed from the devised strategy? Does a team have to be built? Is being open to working with new people involved? The reason I asked these questions is because I spoke with several managers of struggling independent artists to research for this blog. Some of the stories will make you cringe. One manager had a story of the artist not showing up for an event and then replaced as a manager via social media. One manager had a story of his client only wanted to work with one videographer, but the videographer was always out of town leaving the manager to stall on projects. One manager had an issue of the artist not wanting to make any explicit free music. Another, a client rushing music registrations but not meeting strategy deadlines. Another, artist secretly booking shows without manager knowledge so that the manager would not have to be paid, etc.
In a nutshell, if a music manager works on behalf of an artist to promote their career and run their business affairs….know the role of the manager. Do not leave the manager asking, “Are you shittin me or kiddin me”
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