A&R and Manager Advice

Top Indie Music Managers for 2023

Top Indie Music Managers for 2023

Indie music has emerged as a powerhouse of creativity, talent, and innovation in the musical world. For rising indie artists, having the right music manager can make all the difference in successfully navigating this exciting yet unpredictable landscape. As we gear up for 2023, let's take a look at the top indie music managers who have established track records of elevating their artists to a higher tier.

The Need for A Great Indie Music Manager

One of the first steps in building a successful career in the indie music scene is securing a manager who understands your unique sound, vision, and the intricacies of the indie market. A good manager functions as a guiding force, helping to:

  • Navigate the music business tactfully
  • Create and execute a long-term career strategy
  • Establish connections with influencers and decision-makers
  • Garner crucial exposure through media and live shows

Top Indie Music Managers for 2023

Let’s dive into the list of some of the top indie music managers who have shaped the careers of artists and are set to make waves in 2023.

1. Emma Greengrass

A veteran in the UK indie scene, Emma Greengrass has been instrumental in the success of numerous bands, including Arctic Monkeys and The White Stripes. Her strengths lie in cultivating long-lasting relationships and fostering indie talent.

2. Brian Message

As a co-manager of artists such as Radiohead and Nick Cave, Brian Message is known for his unique strategies that effectively boost his artists' visibility and commercial success.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

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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Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

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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3. Carol Crabtree

Founder of Solar Management, Carol Crabtree's keen eye for spotting talent is complemented by her inherent understanding of the rapidly changing dynamics of the indie music scene.

4. Peter McGaughrin

Managing acts like Glass Animals and The Horrors, Peter McGaughrin has established himself as a crucial advocate for independent music, promoting innovative and unique sounds.

5. Ian Montone

With a diverse artist roster from Jack White to Vampire Weekend, Montone's eclectic approach to management has consistently delivered prominent, career-defining moments for his clients.

Top Indie Music Managers for 2023 Example:

Carol Crabtree's Success Strategy - A Case Study

One example that exemplifies the impact of a good manager in the indie music scene is the success story of The xx. When The xx was just a fledgling band, Carol Crabtree spotted their potential.

By utilizing her strong connections in the industry and leveraging her expertise, Crabtree helped them get signed with a prominent indie record label. In the course of their partnership, The xx went on to bag the prestigious Mercury Prize, proving a testament to Crabtree's ability to guide indie talent to global recognition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an indie music manager do?

An indie music manager oversees the business and promotional activities of an independent music artist or band. Their tasks can range from booking gigs, planning tours, negotiating contracts, managing public relations, to advising on career moves. They often wear multiple hats, especially in the indie scene, and can be instrumental in developing the artist's brand and fanbase.

How do I choose an indie music manager?

Selecting the right manager involves assessing their industry experience, understanding of your musical genre, network connections, and past successes. It's also crucial to have a manager with whom you share good chemistry and trust. Communicate your goals clearly to ensure alignment and look for someone passionate about your music and vision.

Can a manager help me get a record deal?

A knowledgeable music manager can be pivotal in helping you secure a record deal. They leverage their networks, industry knowledge, and negotiation skills to showcase your music to record labels and negotiate the terms of any deal that arises. However, the final decision rests with the record label.

What is the usual commission rate for a music manager?

Typical music manager commissions range between 15% to 20% of the artist's earnings. This can include income from record sales, performances, merchandising, and other revenue streams. Some managers may have different rates or arrangements, so it's essential to establish this upfront in a management contract.

Are there different types of music managers?

Yes, there are several types of music managers, including personal managers, business managers, and tour managers. Personal managers handle day-to-day activities and long-term career strategies. Business managers focus on financial services like bookkeeping and taxes. Tour managers organize and oversee the logistics of an artist's tours.

Should I sign a contract with a music manager?

Always have a legally binding agreement in place. This contract should outline the manager's responsibilities, the duration of the management agreement, commission rates, grounds for termination, and other vital terms. Consult a lawyer experienced in the music industry before signing to ensure that your interests are protected.

Can an indie music manager help with branding?

A competent indie music manager can greatly assist with branding. They can help define your image, develop a unique identity, and ensure that branding efforts align with your music style and values. They also manage social media strategies and other marketing campaigns to build your brand presence.

How long does a typical manager-artist relationship last?

The duration of a manager-artist relationship can vary widely. Some partnerships can last for the artist’s entire career, while others may be project-based or last only a few years. Factors influencing the longevity include success, communication, contractual terms, and the evolution of the artist's career.

Do indie music managers only work with unsigned artists?

Indie music managers work with both unsigned and signed artists, as their role is to manage career aspects beyond record label responsibilities. For unsigned artists, managers may focus more on getting a record deal, while for signed artists, they may concentrate on other aspects like touring and branding.

What should I expect during the first meeting with a potential manager?

In your first meeting, expect to discuss your music career goals, your current status, past achievements, and what you're looking for in a manager. The potential manager will likely ask about your artistic vision, your financial expectations, and how you work as an artist or band. It's also an opportunity to gauge mutual compatibility.

Can a manager help me improve my live performance?

Yes, a good manager can provide valuable feedback on your live performances and suggest improvements. They can recommend reputable coaches, help book conducive venues, and create opportunities to practice and enhance your live show qualities.

How important is it to have local representation?

Having local representation can be beneficial, particularly for understanding the regional music scene and networking opportunities. However, in our globally connected world, a competent manager with a solid online network may be just as effective regardless of their location.

How do managers find opportunities for their artists?

Managers tap into their industry contacts, attend events, and utilize online platforms to seek opportunities. They often work with booking agents, promoters, and venues to find performance openings and with labels, producers, and other artists for collaboration possibilities.

What’s the best way to approach a music manager for representation?

To approach a music manager, first do your homework. Ensure they have a good track record with artists similar to your style. Make a professional approach, either through a direct email or at an industry event, and present a well-crafted electronic press kit (EPK) that showcases your music, background, and potential.

Is it possible to manage my own music career?

Yes, it's possible, especially with the tools and platforms available today. However, self-management can be time-consuming and challenging. A music manager can relieve you of the business side, allowing you to focus on creative endeavors. But if you're organized and willing to learn the business, independent management is achievable.

What financial responsibilities does a music manager handle?

A music manager typically doesn't handle the day-to-day finances but may oversee financial decisions related to career development and budgeting for tours, recording, and marketing. Some managers may also help in seeking financial opportunities like grants or sponsorships. For precise financial handling, a business manager or an accountant is often employed.

Do managers help with contract negotiations?

Yes, managers play a critical role in contract negotiations, be it for live performances, record deals, or sponsorship agreements. They work to ensure you get fair terms and can coordinate with lawyers to handle the legal intricacies of these contracts.

Should new artists seek out management immediately?

New artists may not require management straight away. It's often better to build a foundation, such as developing your sound and establishing a fan base before seeking a manager. Once your career reaches a point where professional help is needed to grow further, then it's time to consider a manager.

What are the signs of a bad music manager?

Red flags for a bad music manager include poor communication, lack of transparency, ineffective strategies, or a general disinterest in your music or career. If your manager is regularly unresponsive, unprofessional, or you notice a pattern of broken promises and lack of results, it may be time to reconsider the relationship.

How often should I communicate with my manager?

Communication frequency depends on the level of activity in your music career. During busy phases, you might need daily interaction, while at other times, weekly updates may suffice. Regular check-ins help ensure both of you are aligned on objectives and strategies.

Indeed, a great manager can offer the keys to the kingdom for an indie artist. These top indie music managers have, time and again, proven their mettle in assisting their artists to perform at their best. As we wait for what 2023 has in store for indie music, why not explore what our platform Lyric Assistant has to offer? Remember to share this article with other aspiring artists, and keep an eye out for our subsequent guides and tips to further master the indie music scene.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

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.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

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.

trustpilot 1

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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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