Going to your band as a business – Spotify for artists

Considering the time and energy to create your music, run your show, and develop an audience, there may seem to be enough on any artist’s plate before making a business decision. Yet if you do something that is just starting to generate some heat or you are more experienced, getting a handle on this kind of thing can be as important as your success in the music industry and making the right song as long as it lasts.

That means treating your band As A business – an idea that can be more comfortable for creatives to work with Setlist and Pro tools than contracts and spreadsheets. The rate of change in the industry can also be frightening, although as art manager Jessica Lord noted, “Everyone is learning all the time and it’s true why you’re not working in any part of the industry.”

Planning and support from a manager

As a member of London Red light management The team works across a wide range of artists Interpol And Macy, The Lord works with many moving parts that can shape an artist’s career. Its purpose is to “help drive the wheel”. An artist manager like Lord can also be the first collaborator who eventually becomes a large support team that can include a tour manager, a business manager, an assistant and beyond.

This may seem like a long way off for new artists, but it can happen faster than you get ready for it. Even those multitasking musicians who have a secret accounting thing can go beyond bandwidth to do everything as their career improves.

While an artist may be ready to take on the role of a manager, Lord said it helps any new work to develop some speed (and identity) of their own. “It’s very difficult to know how you can help if you don’t know what you’re helping or what those goals are,” he said.

Getting a clear idea of ​​the artist’s goals is crucial, especially as an artist and manager trying to find out if they are a good fit and hopefully building strong communication skills and enriching these relationships. (FYI, The ideal art rate for the music director’s commission rate 15 to 20 percent, although whether it is based on total or net income is another decision for both parties to work on.)

As the Lord says, “It’s always about asking,‘ Where do you see it? Where do you want to be in a year? Do you want to travel around the world? Or are you getting a sponsorship deal? ’I’m just trying to figure out what the artist actually wants. And as a manager you can immediately say that this is something you can do to help guide them.

Look at the numbers

A business manager can be another valuable member of an artist’s team. According to Mark Zelasco, a music business manager at Level Group Limited in New York, someone like him comes into the picture when an artist is thinking of signing a deal with publishers and labels or otherwise needs outside direction for many important decisions.

“Volume may vary depending on the artist,” he says. “But it really comes down to if you are worried that you are not managing taxes properly or that you do not have the legal protection you need. That’s where the business manager can help and make sure your setup is ideal for the type of income you’re making and that you’re safe as a business. “

When he was able to work with artists early in his career, Zelasco chose to highlight two areas. Those are, he said, “make sure you pay your taxes on the go and always save money for long-term assets on the go, whatever that means.” He explains, “An artist who can save 1, 1,500 a year or 15 15 million a year, I want my artist to save money every step of the way for long-term wealth. There is no guarantee of how long a career in music can last and I want to make sure that all my artists are much more in the look back camp and are amazed at how much they have saved in their careers at the age of 50. , 0, than to think fully of a time in their lives when they were making a lot more money.

Stay on top of decisions and find the right fit

Running any kind of successful operation often comes down to difficult teamwork, and that rule applies to any job that prepares you to become more professional. Zelasco notes that when you decide you need a business manager by your side, it’s important to find someone who matches your values ​​as far as you want to run things. “I’m fortunate to have worked with so many artists who have a very high level of honesty in the way they want to treat the people who work with them, whether it’s someone on their crew or someone on the record label,” he said.

Speaking from the perspective of an artist manager, Lord emphasizes the need for artists to be truly engaged in all aspects of the partnership. “The manager should never make a decision you don’t know,” he says. I think this is a problem.

“You don’t need to know the email your manager is sending, but you need to be aware of what decisions you should make,” he says. “Of course be intelligent because not often, the level of true success that artists find is those who are happy with the relationship they have developed with their team and who have a good understanding.”

Just like being close to any music partner, artists need to feel like they are in a partnership. This is especially true during those early weak times when a manager can basically work for free. “As a manager, you may be doing all this in good faith,” says the Lord. “This relationship needs to be really important because you are a business partner. An artist is the most important relationship with someone in their team because a manager communicates between you and everyone else. At the same time, he said,” It’s completely understandable that you’re here as an artist, And not as an accountant and not as a director. ”

In fact, it will not be easy for every artist to deal with money and legal issues. Although Zelasco says he has worked with artists who are as good at running their business, he jokes that there are others who are as good at business management as he is when playing the keyboard: “Fortunately, I always try to make it clear that I ‘ I’m not good, so if they’re not good at what I do, that’s fine!

– Jason Anderson

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