The manager is the most important person in your operation. Your manager is your teammate. Your partner. Your friend. The two of you (or six, depending on how many are in your band) are in it together. Us versus the world. The manager is the liaison between the artist and everybody else. The manager oversees everything from the recording process to the album release campaign to the tour routing, booking and performing to the social media management to the lead singer’s divorce. The manager handles the business, first and foremost. The best managers handle the business with creative finesse. To navigate the constantly evolving musical landscape, managers need truly creative minds. You don’t want a manager who is operating the same way this year as she was last year. Every day is new. Every day is different.
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Music Managers & Management Contracts
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
For many artists and bands the first contract that they have to face is the management contract. The manager will have a lot of responsibility and possible control so it is vital to get the right person and the right agreement.
The manager may come from various backgrounds – he’s a friend of the band, works already in the music industry, is an entrepreneur from a different industry or just has heard about the band’s potential and swoops in.
A manager should have one of the following but ideally all:
As an independent and totally self-managed artist, there are no other managers or publicists to shield and deflect crazy groupies, requests for inappropriate musical collaborations, awkward Facebook friend requests and all the opinions of your non-musical friends who just decided that they want to become your manager. At this point you have to ask yourself, ‘Am I a gracious musician?’.
As I made my way back from Los Angeles, I started to think how many talented young artists out there have made the wrong decision when it came to their personal manager? How many of them had an attorney present when signing their management deals? How many of them involved a sunset clause? How did the contract say the manager was paid? Gross revenue stream or would the manager be dipping into “restricted areas”?
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(Updated January 13, 2016)