Why Music Managers Just Don’t Cut It

Back in the day artists created and managers managed. The end.

When I hear artists today say “I just want to make music, I don’t want to do any of the business stuff.” I want to scream “YEAH, ME TOO!”

But that’s not today’s reality.

Artists who are lucky enough to have a manager who is passionate, dedicated, loyal and connected will be able to hand off some of the things necessary to advance their career, but definitely not all of the things that need to get done.

Artists who have managers (especially early on in their career) tend to relinquish all decision making and necessary business duties to their managers. This used to work when a successful artist had a full team around them: Manager, Label, Agent, Lawyer, Publicist.

Some successful artists still surround themselves with this team and think that’s enough.

But it’s not.

Your well-connected manager only knows how to handle a small amount of what is necessary to launch (and maintain) a music career in today’s rapidly shifting industry.

The Well-Connected Manager

Everyone understands the concept of a well-connected manager. She has multiple clients, usually works at a management company, and one of her phone calls is more effective than 30 emails and calls from a ‘best-friend’ manager. Many times, it is in the contract that this manager gets the band a record deal (or they part ways).

But what this well-connected manager doesn’t do is live and breathe the band she’s working for (she just has too many clients). She’s stuck in the system that had been set in place when she entered the field. She may have had some success, but to truly manage the career of a band today, it takes much more than just a vision and some connections. Trial and error is necessary. A passion is necessary. A well-rounded knowledge of how everything works, top to bottom, (not just top) is necessary.

The Best-Friend Manager

The ‘best friend’ manager starts with 0 connections and has to make them all. BUT he lives and breathes the band. He and the band work together on a vision and lofty goals. He screams at the top of every rooftop about how his band is going to take over the world.

Some best friend managers see their band to the top. Some get fired and replaced by a well-connected manager when they start to see some success.

But what BOTH types of managers are missing is the stuff that ACTUALLY needs to get done, day to day, to build a connection between band and fan....more