Artist Managers

Everyone has heard about a famous singer and his manager fighting it out in court over missing money. That's why there is something exceptional about the relationship between manager and artist.

The manager is the person who deals with the day-to-day happenings, works with the recording studio, has meetings with the song publisher, negotiates with the concert promoter, calls the airlines, and the communicates with fan clubs. The manager is the eyes and ears of the star, a person who can basically go anywhere without being recognized.

Because of the work that they do, they are able to make between 15-25 percent of what the artist is making. Here is a more comprehensive list of people or firms that managers deal with:

  • Booking agents
  • Airlines
  • Merchandisers
  • Publishers
  • Record companies
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • PR companies

There is no detail too mundane, too personal, for the manager to do. The manager might need to pick up the dry cleaning one minute, and assist in negotiating a big deal in the next. Functioning at times almost like a parent, the manager has to be sure the artist gets up in the morning, makes it to the next appearance, makes excuses if the artist is late, gives the artist advice about what he/she should wear, advises the artist, but in the end, is totally loyal and without question.

The manager has to defend the artist at times, be the voice of reason, and help the artist be the person they are rather than being caught up in the fame and all of the trappings it brings.

Some managers are working through a large management agency; others are on their own. Some started out as roadies and then moved to tour managers. Many have learned everything they know on the job. Many go to small dives at night to listen to new talent and then when they have heard something they like, they ask the band if they need representation. Sometimes the manager's position comes about because of a long-term friendship that preceded success.

A manager is basically a very good businessman in every sense of the word and believes in the client. This is important because the manager's earnings is directly tied to the artist's success.

The job is not going to be 9:00 to 5:00. There are especially late nights and weekend work. There are sudden demands and interruptions. There is stress. The manager needs to be able to take it in stride, be organized, and deal with what the job throws at him/her.