In an attempt to describe the role of an artist manager, it’s best to start with a few definitions and look at some important overviews of management in general.
In the real sense, a manager is someone who coordinates and oversees the work of others so that the organisational goals can be reached.
The roles of a manager can be interpersonal with others (showing good leadership skills), informational (becoming the spokesperson for the organisation), decisional (having to make the big decisions), technical (having the skills and knowledge of the given industry), human (understanding the human condition) and conceptual (thinking and creative thinking).
So in real terms, management is about the organised direction of people who are involved in the planning, organising, leading and controlling of a series of processes that untimely lead to reaching goals.
It is the challenge of creating an environment or workplace where people can work together to achieve a mutual objective.
In the world of artist management, or talent management, or creative talent manager or whatever you want to call yourself, it is very hard, and becoming harder, to set out a proper job description. In the music business, an artist manager’s role is certainly one of the hardest things to describe. As the business platform is forever changing and shifting, so is the role of the artist manager. The responsibilities, knowledge required, technical skills, entrepreneurship and critical thinking abilities are always on the move. The music business is in constant change and therefore an artist manager needs to be agile to stay alongside the change, and at times be ahead of what’s going to happen next.
What does an artist manager do?
In essence, I see an artists manager’s role as someone who with consultation with the artist is about articulating the act’s creative vision and goals and sets about reaching and achieving those goals and that vision.
They are about enhancing and creating a career for the artist. They are helping the artist go from hobbyist to a full-time career in music.
Good managers are about getting things done through others. Good managers achieve results for their business and the artist by knowing how to put the right team together. This could be the right record company, music publisher, booking agent, and touring company. The manager works with the artist or act to create the environment for that team to work in, to realise the vision that has been created and help all members of that team to achieve the result.
Important point to make here: good management provides direction, however, it does not give directions.
Can the artist manager deliver what the act is wanting to achieve? Artist managers really only want to work with acts that are serious. Acts that want to go from where they are now to a mother place, a more successful place. Managers take great joy in developing new acts, building the right team around that new act, and putting strategies together. But only if the act means business.
Go to our short course on Artist Management and we can take you through the exciting world of Artist or Music management. What does an act need to look for in a potential manager? What would a seasoned manager look for in an up and coming act? What qualities should an artist manager possess? When does an act need a manager?
Go to our short course on Artist Management and found out!