If you're reading this then you are on the right track to learning how to become an artist manager. Over the course of the article, we are going to share what steps you need to take before getting into the music industry altogether, how to spot talent and how to choose which artists to manage.
Artist Management Education & Books
Now that you have decided you want to manage artists, we highly recommend reading everything you can about the music industry. Whenever I am asked where to get started managing artists, I always turn them to Donald Passman's book All You Need to Know About the Music Business: 10th Edition. This book will teach you about the music industry as a whole, what to look out for, and how to negotiate different types of deals.
Another book I highly recommend is Paul Allen's Artist Management for the Music Business.
Related: 10 Best Music Industry Books to Read
As an artist manager, you'll want to know things such as how to deal with labels, royalties, radio and video promotions, accounting, public relations, DSPs, music distribution, digital marketing, concert promotions, venue management, artist bookings, copyright and music publishing, contracts and negotiations, merchandising, and last but not least, tour management.
Understanding Your Role As An Artist Manager
There is no one set role as an artist manager, but I like to tell people that a band or artist manager can be the business manager, contract negotiator, booking manager, and overall, a glorified babysitter. A competent music manager is able to let artists create their music and then you are responsible for getting their music heard.
Get Acquainted With The Music Business
While EDM Sauce has some great journalists, many of our writers first began writing for our website and have branched off to artist managers. We recommend a similar path for many artist managers today. While you may not love writing, we recommend getting acquainted with the music industry. Pick up an internship at a record label, promote college events and local clubs, or find some way of networking with other music professionals.
Deciding Which Artist or Band to Manage
Some of our favorite artist management groups today manage a number of artists, but many of them didn't start out that way. Scooter Braun began his career as head of marketing at Jermaine Dupri's label So So Def. From there he began organizing parties at his college and began to plan after-parties on the Anger Management Tour. It wasn't until later in his career that he discovered Justin Bieber. Since managing Justin Bieber, Scooter has expanded his company to manage artists such as Carly Rae Jepsen, J Balvin, Demi Lovato, and a number of other artists. With that being said, we recommend starting with managing one artist that you fully believe in and are their number one fan. In order for artist management to work, you have to believe in them and the ability to change the world with their music.
Starting Your Artist Management Company
Many artists like to not make the relationship “official” with a legal contract until the artist manager is able to prove some things first. In this case, we recommend showing them your network with one of their newest song releases. Be sure to set expectations, but also show them how hard you are willing to work for them during this time period.
Once you and the artist have decided to make it official, we highly recommend using lawyers on both sides to review contracts and sign an artist management deal that makes sense for the both of you.