As an artiste, your number one priority must be to learn the music to perfect your craft. That is your part of the ‘Showbiz’. What you show is what wins the hearts of the people. Either on a record or on stage, your craft as an artiste must never be compromised.
The business aspect of the ‘Showbiz’ is equally important and must be handled very well, else the music will suffer. The business part of it is what profits the art. In the music industry, an artiste may have many managers. In relation to this article, the spotlight is on the business manager of an artiste.
Some mistakes of the older generation must not be repeated by the new generation. Once in a while, we hear media reports on artistes and their managers parting ways. Some are heartbreaking because these guys have a very long standing relationship. And you mostly ask yourself, was it contractual or other details had a part to play?
Many upcoming artistes, have their friends being their first business manager. Mainly because, their first audience of reach is their friends. And some friends after hearing their music are quick to spot the potential and then offer to manage the friend, the artiste. So these friends start investing into the making of records as well as promoting and marketing of the music to the widest possible audience. What starts as a favor later turns to actual business.
When a friend starts to manage his fellow friend, who is an artiste, at what point in their journey do they draw the line between one doing the other a favor and one actually in for business. The earlier you draw the line the better for each party.
Two reasons why the lines must be drawn between doing an artiste a favor and doing actual business with the artiste as a manager even at the early stage are;
Firstly, a friend who manages, an upcoming artiste told me his greatest fear is being dumped by the artiste when his musical career takes off. And that fear sometimes makes him hold back some of his efforts to push the artiste. When the lines are drawn, their fear will be eliminated.
Secondly, the artiste on the other hand will know the investments made by each party, and later not act funny when the returns start coming in.
In conclusion, this is just a wake up call to friends playing the role of business manager for their friends who make music.
Money changes people. When you start to make money two things happen. Either the manager would like to take more than the artiste because he or she believes, it is his or her financial investments that made the artiste. Or the artiste would think the manager does not deserve whatever cut that he or she is getting. When you are at the bottom, the only way you know is up. But the top, is where the conflict of interests start to kick in between the artiste and the manager.
Loyalty is everything, contracts are not absolute, since people breach them all the time. Music business, is a serious business. Unfortunately, you can not put pen to paper for everything you do for the artiste as a manager. And the artiste can choose to be grateful or ungrateful at any time.
Make time to check out this article as well.