Fans are the predominant champions for an artist, but someone with a degree of authority is responsible for conveying that same enthusiasm to those in the music business community. An artist’s manager will advocate their message to people responsible for the greater distribution of their music, as well as seeking good PR companies to help manage the vast array of things that need to be done to ensure that an artist is as successful as possible.
There is simply not enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done in order to further the career of an artist alone. In between writing songs, conducting interviews, designing artwork for CD’s and merchandise, managing a mailing list, filling out copyright paperwork, rehearsing with the band, hiring and firing musicians, updating band websites and social media profiles, photoshoots, video shoots, updating EPK’s, researching, repairing and purchasing equipment...the list goes on. Some tasks can be delegated to the artists, others can be handled by the manager whilst the rest can be done by a good PR company.
According to most record industry professionals, something is said of an artist that has a manager. The logic is that if an artist is good enough to attract management, there must be something of value present. In fact, most major labels refuse to sign an artist unless they have a solid management team in place. An artist without management is just too much work, stress and drama for these guys. Big labels would rather deal with someone that understands the business and can make decisions detached from their emotions as an artist.
A manager can act as an effective screening buffer between the artist and people that want to do business with the artist. This buffer tends to attract legitimate industry players whilst at the same time scaring away scam artists. There are no more terrifying words to a scam artist than “please talk to my manager.”
Good Cop / Bad Cop:
Need to fire the bass player but don’t want to create an enemy? Let the manager play bad cop and do the firing. Hopefully that example conveys the thought process going on here.
A manager, even though essentially an “honorary member of the band”, is frequently on the outside looking in. Managers usually see things differently to the artist, and can often provide fresh perspective, insight and solutions to problems that the artist has encountered. Running ideas by a knowledgeable manager prior to making decisions allows for good ideas to become better, and bad ideas to be eliminated before they materialise.
As is evident, managers can prove an exceptionally valuable member of an artist’s cohort. They can deal with the nitty gritty and take on some of the jobs necessary to elevate an artist’s career whilst the artist concentrates on their music. If the workload proves too heavy for artist and manager, the manager can serve as a helpful middle-man ensuring that the artist receives the best PR possible.