A&R and Manager Advice

Music Managers

Music Managers

Music managers - they play a pivotal role in the success of an artist, ensuring that the artist’s talent gets the recognition it deserves. Essentially, they make the singer’s dream of stardom a reality. As artists focus on crafting their masterpiece, music managers handle the business side of things. But what exactly does a music manager do? How crucial are they to an artist’s career? This blog post will unravel the importance and roles of music managers in the music industry.

Role of Music Managers

Music managers function as the bridge between an artist and the music industry. They supervise the artist's professional life and take care of their business deals. Here are some typical responsibilities of music managers:

  • Contract Negotiation:

    Music managers negotiate deals with record labels, promotional agents, and even concert organizers.

  • Financial Management:

    They handle money matters such as budgeting, payments, and royalties.

  • Public Relations:

    Music managers deal with media, press, and fans, protecting the artist’s image and nurturing their public presence.

The Importance of Music Managers

Music managers impact an artist’s career significantly. Here's why:

  • They Provide Strategic Direction:

    Music managers help shape an artist's career path, guiding them through the industry based on their skills, image, and marketability.

  • They Foster Relationships:

    Music managers have a comprehensive network of industry contacts that they harness to create opportunities for their artists.

  • They Enable Artists To Focus On Their Craft:

    By taking care of business matters, music managers allow artists to concentrate solely on their artistry.

Music Managers Example:

Let's consider the relationship of pop sensation Justin Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun. Braun recognized Bieber's talent and signed him even when every label had turned him down. He managed to get Bieber a record deal, handled his tumultuous relationship with the press, and guided Bieber through his career highs and lows. His strategic guidance allowed Bieber to grow from a YouTube sensation into a global star. This is an excellent example of how a music manager plays an instrumental role in an artist's career.

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Navigating the music industry without a supportive, experienced, and strategic music manager is not just challenging, but nearly impossible. As an artist, you need to create music that resonates, but perfecting the craft requires focus, time, and commitment. That’s where your music manager comes in, handling business aspects while you pour your heart into your music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a music manager do?

A music manager guides the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry. Their responsibilities include negotiating contracts and deals, seeking and scheduling events and performances, managing public relations, building the artist’s brand, and often providing financial advice and oversight.

How do I choose a good music manager?

To choose a good music manager, look for someone with a solid track record, good industry connections, strong communication skills, and a deep understanding of the music business. It's also vital that they share your vision and passion for your musical career.

Can an artist succeed without a music manager?

While some artists do succeed without a music manager, having a professional manager can significantly increase an artist’s chances of achieving higher levels of success due to their industry expertise, connections, and ability to focus on the business side of music, allowing artists to concentrate on creating and performing.

Is it expensive to hire a music manager?

The cost of hiring a music manager can vary widely. Typically, managers work on a commission basis, earning a percentage of the artist’s income, which can range from 10% to 20%. Some managers may charge a flat fee or have other financial arrangements.

What should I include in a contract with a music manager?

A contract with a music manager should include details on the duration of the agreement, commission or payment structure, roles and responsibilities of the manager, grounds for termination, and any other specific expectations or provisions pertinent to the working relationship.

What's the difference between a music manager and an agent?

A music manager typically works closely with an artist on a day-to-day basis, shaping their career and strategy. An agent, on the other hand, focuses on booking live performances and appearances and usually works within an agency that might represent multiple artists.

How long is a typical manager-artist relationship?

The length of a manager-artist relationship can vary greatly, from a few months to several years. It depends on numerous factors including the artist's success, the effectiveness of the manager, and the personal dynamics between the parties involved.

Can a music manager also be a producer?

While a music manager can be a producer, it's crucial to maintain clear boundaries between the roles. As a manager, their primary responsibility is to the artist's career, whereas a producer focuses on the music production side of things.

How often should I meet with my music manager?

The frequency of meetings with your music manager should be based on your needs and schedule, but regular communication is key. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings, depending on the stage of your career and what projects you are currently working on.

Should my music manager be involved in the creative process?

Some artists prefer their music manager to be involved in the creative process, while others do not. It depends on the individual working relationship and whether the manager's involvement adds value to the artistic output.

What is the typical commission percentage for a music manager?

The standard commission percentage for a music manager is typically between 10% and 20% of the artist's gross earnings. The exact percentage can be negotiated and might differ based on the level of the artist and the extent of the manager's responsibilities.

Will a music manager help me get a record deal?

While not guaranteed, an experienced music manager can assist in getting a record deal by leveraging their industry contacts, showcasing your work to labels, and negotiating contracts on your behalf.

What are the signs of a bad music manager?

Signs of a bad music manager include lack of communication, insufficient industry knowledge, unethical behavior, lack of transparency, and failure to prioritize the artist's best interests. If you feel your career is not advancing or your concerns are consistently ignored, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.

How can a music manager increase my visibility in the industry?

A music manager can increase your visibility by securing live gigs, arranging interviews, facilitating networking opportunities, and promoting your music to industry professionals and the public through various media channels.

Is it possible to change music managers?

Yes, it's possible to change music managers if your current management is not meeting your expectations or you feel a different manager could better serve your career. However, this should be done respectfully and with an understanding of any contractual obligations.

What role does a music manager play in tour planning?

A music manager plays a significant role in tour planning by helping to book venues, arrange logistics like travel and accommodation, negotiate performance fees, and handle the promotion and marketing of the tour.

What qualities should I look for in a music manager?

Look for qualities such as a strong network within the music industry, excellent communication skills, a good reputation, honesty, financial acumen, and a genuine passion for music and advancing your career.

Can music managers handle legal disputes?

While music managers can assist in legal disputes by providing advice and facilitating lawyer services, they are not usually qualified to give legal counsel themselves unless they have specific legal training.

Does a new artist need a music manager right away?

While a new artist does not necessarily need a music manager immediately, having one can be beneficial in navigating the early stages of their career. However, it's important to build some momentum and have clear goals before seeking management.

What kind of connections should a music manager have?

A good music manager should have connections with record labels, booking agents, promoters, media contacts, marketing professionals, and other music industry figures that can help an artist grow their career.

How do I know if my music manager is doing a good job?

Measure the effectiveness of your music manager by setting specific, measurable goals and observing their efforts in reaching those targets. Consistent progress, open communication, and a manager's proactive approach to creating opportunities are indicators of good management.

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your peers and connections in the music industry. For more insights into the business of music, feel free to explore other articles on Lyric Assistant.

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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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