As an artist to get recognition for your craft you need to be heard, promoted and marketed. Management companies in the entertainment industry can help build your career. However, others can run your music career to the ground. In mainstream media, it’s the norm to get a manager with a wealth of experience. High profile artists with financial power have two or more managers dedicated to various roles. As is the case with popular artists such as Sauti sol and P unit in Kenya.
For the independent artist finding a reputable management company can be a daunting and costly task. Given the fact that most are self-sponsored. A signed artist career may look glamorous but it comes with more regulations and contracts. They include terms such as how many years you are signed to a label to clauses that indicate which artists or producers you should work with. If an artists’ album sales are lacklustre as is the case with the current music industry dynamic you may find most of the profits earned declining after paying off huge production costs to labels and commissions to managers. This leads to disgruntled artists who feel exploited when they are forced to book more shows or tours to cover overhead costs.This has even been experienced by megastar artists such as Lady Gaga who recently stepped away from the limelight for feeling under pressure from her label to be more profitable.
This leads to disgruntled artists who feel exploited when they are forced to book more shows or tours to cover overhead costs. This has even been experienced by megastar artists such as Lady Gaga who recently stepped away from the limelight for feeling under pressure from her label to be more profitable.
Independent artists may not have huge budgets but they have freedom for their own creative direction. Most of the new sounds that emerge are from ‘underground’ artists, since they are brave and wild enough to cut their own unique niche in the market. To break in the industry obviously requires a lot of talent, hard work and perseverance. Moreover, you need to practice self-management, a skill that is often overlooked. Some guidelines to get you started include:
1. Being organised and having a deep understanding of the music industry you are in. Identifying the roles of various music personnel and also legal issues such as contracts and sampling clearances. Take time to research websites and youtube tutorials that give crash courses on music self-management, marketing to even production tips. Whether it’s a band or a solo act. For bands, it’s necessary for tasks to be delegated.
2. Have clear goals of what you want to get out of your career. Write them down. They can be grouped into various categories; short term, mid term or long term. Set them to be specific, realistic and challenging. Such as registering your company if you are an artist and also a producer can be short term while releasing an album can be a long term goal.
3. Make a daily,weekly or monthly to-do list. Apps like Evernote or Woop can help accelerate your routine. They allow you to write down reminder notes with the option of having a timer. Your to-do list can include objectives such as setting up your profile on music social networks such as Reverberation, Beatport or Soundcloud. Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere just be really good wherever you are. Also, join associations where you can earn your royalties. MCSK, Prisk and Kamp are organisations that register musicians, performers, dancer and producers. If you fit all these categories,it’s advisable to register to all three.
4. Avoid procrastination and get rid of clutter. Disorganised workspaces hinder productivity.
5. Deal with stress in healthy ways. Exercise often by going for morning or evening runs. Seek inspiration in unlikely places such as by learning new skills, softwares or instruments. If you have mastered music production DAWS, learn graphic design using creative suites such as Photoshop.This comes in handy when you have to design cover art for your singles, albums or even event posters.
6.Rest.Eat healthy.Log off
Eat healthy, stay hydrated and lastly log off all your devices occasionally. Allow yourself time to recuperate.
Major key alert!An innovative way to market yourself is to offer finders fee to outsiders or friends if they bring a project that produces income. Give them a commission, say ten percent. This sure goes a long way. Also do not forget to draft contracts every time you do business. There are sharks out there. On that note make sure you watch Shark Tale. Great pointers in there.
Don’t forget to set yourself apart, create your own trend. Never let success get to your head even when you find yourself getting exposure and booking more shows. Be humble and grateful, it’s your faith and grind that has gotten you there.
Love art, live art.