In this episode of the Colab Sessions podcast, Michelle simply lands in the role of a superfan when it comes to establishing a sustainable music career without simply connecting with the audience. Michelle’s founder Five, A global artist management company and booking agency whose roster includes Mac DeMarco, Tie Segal, Rodrigo Amarante, And King Gizard and Lizard Wizard.
Here, Michelle can collaborate with her audience in new and creative ways, why artists should encourage the community through a fan club, and how to create longevity in an ever-changing art by focusing on super fans. Listen to the episode, and see what’s acceptable from Michelle below.
Highlights of Michelle Cable’s Colab session episode
Start a fan club to connect and build relationships with superfans
One of the first artists I directed was Mac DeMarco, a Canadian artist who lives in the United States. I think in the early days, his level of communication and engagement, and the relationships with his fans that were outside of his music. In 2014 or 2015, we started a Mac DeMarco fan club, where you can become a paid member, or you can even get a free membership. There was a park with either one, and it really created a community for its fans where they were getting exclusive content. They are part of a club, you have a membership card. There are limited edition products if you are a member of a paid club. You have exclusive merchant souvenirs that only fan members can have. This is the first example of something that really worked with an artist and their fans.
Connect with your audience through creative and collaborative projects
King Gizard and Lizard Wizard, they are an Australian artist with whom I have worked for eight or more years and they are constantly involved with their fans. We just left this project called the Bootleggers Project, where they actually took a lot of initial live recordings and even more recent recordings and put it on a website. They have given the content to the fans so that they can create vinyl or CD or cassette tapes with the music. It’s really amazing because hundreds of people are doing it, and we’re going to start accumulating a ton of fan-made merchandise, which is pretty wild. I think the motivation for this was because they have so many elements that they are constantly releasing, but there are so many elements that they knew themselves probably wouldn’t put themselves out there. So similarly, letting the fans do it is fun for them because then, the music will be available in a real way and the fans can be a part of it, but then the band can sit back and watch the madness happen.
Cherishing superfans is the key to building a sustainable music career
The music industry is so unpredictable, you never know what’s around the corner. When you find fans who will be with you through everything, it will help you maintain consistency and durability. As an artist, you want your fan base to grow steadily. You don’t want to lose people along the way and then get new fans. You want to keep real fans and then constantly increase that base. That’s how I’ve always kept in touch with the band members I work with and the bands I’ve liked over the years because I think I’m a super fan myself.
Listen to podcast episodes of Colab sessions about building your team, creating a scene around your music, protecting your career, and more.