The difference between being “your friend’s band” and being an Artist is your team. Your manager, your publicist, your booking agent, your commercial agent, your label, your tour manager, your photographer, your bodyguard, your babysitter, your dog-poop picker-upper, and anything else you could possibly think of. To be fair you really only need to start with one of these and go from there but we wanted to make sure you knew the possibilities (also how many opportunities does one have to say “poop picker-upper”?). The usual first and most important step is to get a manager – or as our manager puts it: A glorified babysitter. Your manager is your gladiator that fights tooth-and-nail to secure as many of the right opportunities for you as possible. And this person can be anyone from an industry big-wig, to your dad, to (god forbid) your drummer! Just make sure it’s someone who believes in your music and has some sort of idea how the industry works… One without the other is just a waste of time.
Once you get that sorted, your manager can help build a team around you with him/her/they as the center piece before everything gets to you. Your agent, publicist, business manager, etc. all report back to management, who then would typically relay the message to you. Think of your brand as a plant. For the plant to grow it needs water. Each member of your team is another bit of water flowing. In this analogy, your manager is the faucet that focusses the water flow on to the plant to help it grow. Now – don’t confuse this with “bigger team = more success”. A plant can drown if you over-water it too quickly. Find a manager to fight for you then, when you’re ready and in no particular order, get a publicist, then an agent, then a tour manager, then a business manager, so on and so forth…
To be completely honest it’s a little hypocritical for us to be telling you how to handle your careers since we are still on the early stages of this plant analogy ourselves. Maybe you’re a self-managing solo act who is killing the game and don’t need no man! If that’s the case then more power to you! All we can say is that not too long ago we found ourselves going in circles with no growth in sight until we started taking advice from a buddy of ours who was always super supportive of the music. Cut-to 10 months later: he’s our manager, we have a killer publicist, are currently on a short tour, and are getting ready to release the second single off our first full-length album– the name of which will be released soon (so start preparing your bodies)! It’s definitely not easy, but with careful planning and a bit of luck on your side you’ll get there—and hopefully you’ll be surrounded by people who truly believe in you and your music. What could be better?
Written By the band Shiffley.
You can listen to their single 'Systems' here.