A&R and Manager Advice

Music Agents and Managers

Music Agents and Managers

"What does the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Lady Gaga have in common? They all had outstanding music agents and managers standing beside them in their rise to stardom. Delving into the world of music agents and managers may appear daunting at first. But worry not, because Lyric Assistant is here to dispel the mystery and break everything down!"

Music Agents and Managers Table of Contents

The Role Of Music Agents and Managers

Frequently Asked Questions


The Role Of Music Agents and Managers

A successful music career is more than just about talent - it's also about the team you have behind you. This team often comprises music agents and managers who play critical roles in propelling your career forward.

Music Agents

They are the people who help to book, schedule and negotiate your live performances. Their primary role is getting you gigs, eradicating the hassle that musicians often face while dealing with promoters and venue owners.

  • Relationships: Music agents usually have extensive relationships with promoters and venue owners which they leverage to get artists better gigs and tour dates.
  • Negotiation: They negotiate the contracts and ensure the artists get the best deals for their performances.

Music Managers

Managers handle the overall career aspect of an artist. They are often the go-between for the artist and the other members of the team, making sure everything runs smoothly.

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  • Guidance: Managers provide crucial guidance to artists regarding their career direction and decisions.
  • Networking: They help establish industry connections, building a strong network that can open doors for their artists.


Music Agents and Managers Example:


Let's consider an example of an upcoming artist, John Doe. He has a voice worth turning heads, and he writes his songs using Lyric Assistant. His talent is immense but he needs help reaching out to the right audience and managing his growing career. Enter Jane, a music manager with experience in the industry. She helps John set his career goals, works on his branding, and networks with industry professionals on John’s behalf. She also recruits Adam, an experienced music agent, who leverages his relationships with venue owners to get John high-profile gigs at popular venues, steadily building his reputation and fanbase. This combination of software like Lyric Assistant and a professional team propels John's career to new heights.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does a music agent do?

A music agent is a professional who represents musicians and their interests in the music industry. Their primary role is to find and book live performance opportunities, negotiate deals and contracts, and help artists secure gigs, tours, and festival slots. They often work closely with event promoters, venue managers, and other industry professionals to create performance opportunities for the artists they represent.

How is a music manager different from an agent?

A music manager takes on a broader role than a music agent. Managers are typically involved in many aspects of an artist's career, including strategic planning, branding, marketing, public relations, and sometimes even personal affairs. They help shape an artist's image and direction and look for opportunities to expand their client's presence in the industry. Agents, on the other hand, are primarily focused on booking live performances.

Do I need both a music agent and manager?

Whether you need both a music agent and manager depends on your career phase and individual needs. Emerging artists might initially manage their own bookings and brand development. However, as your career progresses and the business aspects become more demanding, having both can help you to better navigate the complexities of the industry and allow you to focus on your music.

Can a music agent help me get a record deal?

While music agents primarily focus on live bookings, they may have connections within the industry that could lead to record deal opportunities. However, getting a record deal often falls more directly under the purview of music managers or specialized A&R (Artists and Repertoire) professionals.

How do I find a reputable music agent or manager?

To find a reputable music agent or manager, networking is key. Attend industry events, connect with peers in the business, and do your research. Look for professionals with a strong track record and those who represent artists similar to you in genre and career stage. Always reference check with other artists or industry professionals before signing any agreements.

What should I look for in a contract with an agent or manager?

In any contract with an agent or manager, look for clear terms regarding commission percentages, duties and responsibilities, contract length, and the grounds for termination of the contract. It's essential to ensure that your interests are protected and that both parties have a mutual understanding. Consulting with an entertainment lawyer is advisable before signing any contracts.

How do music agents and managers get paid?

Music agents and managers typically earn a percentage of the revenue generated from deals they negotiate or the artists' earnings. This commission varies but generally ranges from 10% to 20%. It is important to clarify the payment structure in any contractual agreement.

Is it possible to negotiate the terms with an agent or manager?

Yes, it is possible and often necessary to negotiate terms with an agent or manager. Remember that any agreement you enter into should be mutually beneficial. If certain terms don't sit well with you, discuss them with your prospective representative and come to a compromise that suits both parties.

What kind of artists do music agents and managers work with?

Music agents and managers work with a wide variety of artists, from solo performers and bands to composers, session musicians, and even producers. They may specialize in a specific genre of music or represent a diverse array of artists across the musical spectrum.

When should I start looking for a music agent or manager?

You should consider looking for a music agent or manager when the business aspects of your music career begin to detract from your ability to focus on creating music or when opportunities for growth require professional expertise. Having a substantial following, regular gigs, or interest from industry professionals are also indicators that it might be time to seek representation.

What are the typical contracts lengths with agents and managers?

Contract lengths can vary. Typically, they range from one to three years, but some may be based on project-specific durations. Ensure you're comfortable with the length of the contract and understand the commitment you're making before signing.

How should I prepare for a meeting with a potential music agent or manager?

Before meeting with a potential music agent or manager, have a clear understanding of your career goals, achievements, and what you're looking for in terms of representation. Prepare an updated portfolio of your work, press materials, and any statistics that showcase your growth and potential, such as streaming numbers or social media followers.

What happens if I want to change my music agent or manager?

If you wish to change your music agent or manager, consult the terms of your agreement to understand the correct process for termination. Open communication, professionalism, and legal counsel can help ensure this transition goes smoothly and legally.

Can my music manager also act as my publicist?

While some music managers may offer publicist services, it's important to differentiate the roles. A publicist specifically focuses on gaining media exposure and managing public relations. In some cases, it's beneficial to have a separate, specialized publicist, but this depends on your manager's skills and the needs of your music career.

Do agents and managers usually attend their artists' performances?

Agents and managers may attend their artists' performances, especially significant shows, tours, or industry showcases. Their attendance is often to support their client, network with industry professionals, and gauge audience reactions.

How involved are agents and managers in the creative process?

Agents are typically not involved in the creative process of an artist's work; their focus is on the business side. Managers can have varying levels of involvement. Some may offer creative input or guidance, while others prefer to focus solely on business strategies and leave creative decisions to the artist and their production team.

Can agents or managers help me with merchandising?

Music managers might assist with merchandising strategies, such as selecting items, pricing, and sales platforms, as it's part of building the artist's brand and revenue streams. Agents typically do not handle merchandising, as their role is more focused on booking live events.

What if I'm not satisfied with the opportunities being provided by my agent or manager?

If you're not satisfied with the opportunities presented by your agent or manager, it's crucial to communicate your concerns. Discuss your career vision, objectives, and how their strategy can align more closely with your goals. If the situation doesn't improve, it may be appropriate to consider a change in representation.

Should I have a lawyer review my management or agency contract?

Yes, having a lawyer, especially one who specializes in entertainment law, review your management or agency contract is highly recommended. They can help you understand the legal jargon, ensure your rights are protected, and aid in negotiating more favorable terms if necessary.

How can I make the most out of my relationship with my music agent or manager?

To make the most out of your relationship with your music agent or manager, maintain open communication, set clear expectations, and actively engage in the process. Being responsive and professional, as well as regularly updating them on your creative progress and goals, can foster a strong and productive working relationship.

Will a music agent or manager pay for my expenses?

Typically, music agents and managers will not pay for your expenses, such as travel, accommodations, or production costs. These costs are usually the artist's responsibility. However, experienced managers might advance certain expenses, which would later be recouped from your earnings. Always clarify these details in your contract.


No artist is an island. With the right team and the right tools, such as a solid music manager, an experienced agent, and Lyric Assistant, you can give your music career the best chance of success. Share this article with others on this music journey, and explore more with Lyric Assistant's easy-to-use songwriting tool. Happy songwriting!


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Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Database

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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