Unless you are doing music for pleasure, you must be looking at how to monetize your art. One aspect of the job of being an artist is that there is a lot of administrative work. This can be a headache and this is why you need a manager. No matter how small or big you are, you need one – Here is why.
Artistes tend to lack discipline at some point. Not morally but in terms of working. You are, in most cases, tempted to procrastinate on some things because there is so much to do. Here is where the powers of a manager come in. A manager calls to remind you that hey you have a show in the next two hours at such and such a place, get yourself ready. A manager dissuades you from what you might be doing wrong, like that idea of taking a toilet selfie.
When it comes to facing corporates for business deals, if you have a manager things will be easier. A manager should be business oriented, identifying business opportunities and discussing them on your behalf. Such that you don’t argue from an emotional point of view. It has always been said that emotions should be used to create but not to trade.
How many times do you stick to your plans? You wanted to shoot a video for your new song but then something happened and you can’t do it, so you keep postponing. It is mainly because maybe you didn’t check on everything to see if it is going the right way. A manager ensures everything is in check before, during and after any project going down. Look at Diamond Platinumz for instance. You’ll realize that when he’s shooting a video, one of his managers is around to ensure the location is locked down, the wardrobe is on point and everything is running smoothly.
Once your music is out, a manager helps you share it with the industry’s players, from show hosts to deejays and journalists. He/she prepares press releases for you and works with your partners (influencers) on your behalf. He also ensures the registration of the songs on various platforms and ensures acquisition of everything needed for better music returns.
Remember, you do not have to be signed to have a manager. Once signed, you are owned, so the label will do everything including putting their money into you and your music. If you acquire a manager when you’re not signed, you’ll sign a contract with him or her. Both of you will be putting in work, and share the returns when you finally make the sales in your career.
Diamond and his Wasafi entourage have Babu Tale, Mkubwa Fela and Salaam Sharif as their managers. In Kenya, Nyashinski is managed by Fakii Liwali while gospel Sensation Guardian Angel being managed by Terazo New Media.
A manager helps you as an artiste. For you to have your time and that creative space, you will need somebody to handle other stuff, like booking you for interviews and making sure you are doing media tours. They make calls, do bookings, lock down deals, plan video shoots and photo shoots on your behalf. These are things that don’t give you time to think creatively and to produce music. In short, they keep your business side of the art in order. You should work closely with your manager and oversee what they are doing.
Don’t be too trusting though as they mess you up especially in the area of finances and contracts. Make sure you know whats going on with your finances and that they are not able to access your personal finances (if that is possible). Check out Part 1: The Artist & Manager Relationship – A Look At Recording Industry Management Agreements by Tunecore to get more information on what you need to know about the Artist – Manager relationship.
So next time you hear an artiste tell you, ‘Talk to my manager,’ don’t be offended. That’s the way to go.