Friday, 15 June 2012

#FindOutFriday - Summer School Specials, Lesson 2: What IS an Artist Manager?

What IS an Artist Manager?

The subject of this week's class is another one that's close to home. For any function that I attend, there is one question that I will be asked at least 6-7 times a night:

"Do you manage Artists, then?"

Technically, the answer is No. Not in the Music Management sense, anyway! I do look after music artists. I manage their day-to-day Operations; do their admin, book their shows, promote their releases and generally tell you everything that they're up to...but in actual fact, the more accurate description of what I do, would be a Brand Developer.

So what's the difference? Well, a BA (Hons), mainly! If you go by the quick description of Urban Development A&R and Music Manager, Ashley McDermott in December's 'How To Steal My Job' feature; then you will find that several of our job criteria overlap. It's necessary to have close, one-to-one relationships with the Artists I look after, so that I can properly understand them and what they are trying to say through their work. Unlike your typical Manager though, with every project, I help to realise a concept, put that concept into play and channel it to the appropriate markets.

'RESET BUTTON' Drassick DIGITAL'S warm-up EP
in preparation for his 'RiseNGrind' mixtape (January 2012)
When Drassick joined the ESP family we agreed his image needed a fresh slate ahead of his next project. As the whole of the UK ramped into overdrive in preparation for the analogue to digital TV switchover; we put a digital clock out to the public and two weeks prior to his 'RiseNGrind' mixtape release, we pushed his own DIGITAL 'RESET BUTTON'...

Another area of Management overlap, would be finding the best way to draw a public response. I like to approach from the internal and external angles; so from an outsider's perspective my opinion always comes from that of a Consumer. When it comes to each artist I work with - music and fashion, the first question I ask myself is, "What would they need to do to grab my attention?"

I personally love a backstory. I'm more likely to be interested in what you serve on a platter, if I know what went into the recipe. When I began working with Lekhem; although he had an infectious body of work in the public domain, there was no real information about him anywhere. How many people in today's music market have the unusual make up of three different nationalities, in addition to so many different areas of talent? One of the first things we did was to create a visual portal, so the masses could put a face and personality to the unique accent

By the release of 'The Raise EP', we had developed enough of a following through his Social Media catalogue, for the launch of a 'Central Hub' to make an impact. With his second musical project came the interactive blogsite, 'LekLane'. Like the man himself, the site features several pages that showcase his many areas of talent, including some big ones that his audience were surprised to learn of...

My projects are all designed to bring attention and get people talking. So while an Artist Manager's goal is to get their 'Act' signed to a record label; my goal (in addition), is to develop instantly recognisable brand names that appeal to the public.

Fancy discussing a topic? Leave your suggestions for the next class in the box below!

For more on the musical projects by Drassick and Lekhem, get involved with both via their respective sites and Social Media:


See you next class!
ES ;o)