If you are not aware, I am the manager of the hip hop group, Detroit CYDI. Lately I have been reading the blog by Ian Rogers, manager of my newest point of interest – Get Busy Committee. Inspired by his well-developed plan for his group, I am now looking to evoke similar progress from my own managerial efforts. Much like myself, Mr. Rogers does not have substantial experience managing music acts. It is facts like this that keep me motivated in this crazy, unpredictable industry. As long as there are smart folks like Ian Rogers willing to take chances, I figure my work is not in vain.
This all has me wondering about what I need to do to inspire the kind of work ethic from my group to eventually start seeing a return on my investment of time and energy. Right now, we are working on a fundraising campaign to gather funds for their first official physical project that was released to the world almost a year ago. This is truly a test of faith as we are seriously limited on time. If we are not able to get the funds, then it would be somewhat of a setback. Fortunately, there are alternatives to how to release an album in a short amount of time, so even in a crunch, we can have some sort of product to sell.
Going through this process, I have realized how important it is for me to be on top of things. As a new manager, I cannot expect anything more from my group that cannot be expected of me. Watching others that I know are in the same space as myself, it becomes apparent that a manager’s job is more than making deals for their artists and cracking the whip on them. A manager has to be a leader. It is as much of my responsibility to inspire as it is for me to manage, especially since we have the formidable task of trying to wrangle a fan base that is invisible to us.
Ian Rogers is a new manager, but he does not seem to be new to success. He has been in the tech space for music since the 1990s. There are very few that can say that. If he were to come to me with ideas on how to try to succeed, I know I would listen! That is why I give the guys in Get Busy Committee a lot of props for picking him as their manager, regardless of his background. In this day and age, it is hard to say if old music industry types can be as effective as they once were for new bands. I am sure some would beg to differ, but I would imagine cost of entry has dropped. The valuable connections that were to be had are probably not as hard to come by these days. Everyone is looking for new opportunities.
In my position, I feel I am good as anyone to be an artist manager. Networking and connecting people are major passions of mine. Helping my friends is as automatic as breathing for me, so it only seems right to be able to make a part of my life’s work.
For all my fellow artist managers out there, what attributes do you believe to be key in your success? You have taken on a tough job, what keeps you going? We all know that artists are a special bunch, so how do you keep them on point? Share your comments below, please.