The Urban Music Industry
The Business Team
Managers and Personal Management
Ideally, you as an artist are occupied doing two predominant things: making/writing music and performing music. As such, you ought not have the time and likely do not have the business acumen to handle all the strategic aspects of your career. That's where a manager comes in. Also, as an artist you will need somebody you trust to look objectively at your creative product, the thing to be marketed and distributed. It is impossible for you to perceive yourself objectively. You need someone who is aligned with your interest but can be objective, give you the straight story and go out in the world and advocate for you. Because a manager is such a critical member of your team, StarPolish has an entire section devoted to management that outlines the role and responsibilities of the manager and how/when to find one, as well as an entire section on legal aspects of the management contract. You should review both those sections now. Here is some advice specifically for an urban artist as far as what to look for in a manager. Of course, you want somebody who is enthusiastic, who is going to come out to your gigs and support you when you're small, somebody who has integrity. But this I can't stress enough-- you need someone who is willing to sit down with you and explain all the aspects of something important that you need to decide upon right away, before you sign anything. Artists leaping at their first real break, and ruing the day they signed their careers away was the standard mode of behavior for urban artists and the history or urban music. Remember that, ideally, once your management contract is signed with the manager, you should be partners in the sense of being on the same side of the table in all your other negotiations. Also make sure to find someone who understands the urban music market, since the urban music business is different from the rest of the music business in many ways. You also need a manager who has a temperament for the proper conduct of business. I draw this distinction deliberately in contrast to monkey business, or thuggery, or other models we've all seen.
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