Manager-Artist Partnership.

Several weeks ago (June, 2012)
a person contacted me about a very specific subject.
After explaining my perception and giving some hints from my own experience,
I thought this could be
helpful to others.
And then a week later,
someone asked me about aspects on the same subject!
So, I made plans to write and publish a text on this rather delicate topic.

Manager-Artist Relationship

In the Music Realm or sphere of activities, relation between the Artist and the Manager is an association. A partnership in which parties agree to cooperate for advancing their mutual interests.

The particular thing here is both should have
the exact same interest or objective!

Artist's main interest is "popularity".
Manager's interest must be the same;
increasing popularity of the artist.

Although the angle of approach is slightly different, that is "visibility".

If the Manager's sole interest is financial gains,
the partnership is biased and that could lead to different forms of exploitation. Overfilled schedule, artists exhausted, deterioration of the artist's image in the public, etc.

On the other hand, if the Manager is motivated by intimate relationship with the artist,
the partnership is undermined and that could lead to break down of the association
severe consequences (for the artist).

A couple involves a complete dynamic of its own,
one that is distinct and very different. Focus would progressively slide from the artist's popularity to survival of the couple.
Inevitably, one or the other venture would suffer.

The perfect situation is a Manager who has the perspective, attitude, and behavior of an uncle or aunt, really caring for the artist in a platonic manner. That is an affectionate friendship unmixed with intimate interests (from both parties).

I agree, this is walking on a thin line!
And oftentimes situations are setting up the perfect occasion for crossing the line.
Which would be a terrible mistake.

That being said and established, the "caring for the artist" and "affectionate friendship"
from the Manager's part is absolutely crucial.

And that is the main topic of this article.

This does apply to Musicians in general, as members of a musical band or group. However, this is more prominent in Singers because they are on the front, under the spot lights,
directly before
the eyes of the public and the medias.

Basically, artists are extremely fragile persons.
Most of them are introverted
(as odd as it may seam),
very shy,
uncertain about themselves and their work,

always doubtful regarding their performance,
constantly wondering about their Look,
about how they are perceived by the public
and by the medias, etc.

In short, they are seeking to be appreciated by everyone

and they are reaching to achieve perfection (in their work)!
Both of which are practically impossible.

Adding to that, they must try and cope with freelance and media people
pursuing them all the time.

Relation with Fans is something really intricate.
On one side there are those who are displaying

honest liking and great enthusiasm, oftentimes
dedicated to their idol.
On the other side,
there are sort of "extreme Fans",
who are pushing the envelope
a little bit too far.
Although their actions can lead to unpleasant
even to injuries in some cases,
generally they are not malicious in any way.
They are simply overreacting.

All of these characteristics and situations are creating a very particular context
in which the artist is plunged, immediately around the stage or the concert place.
Artists really like that huge attention on them, because it is the purpose of their work (seeking to be appreciated by everyone). And that proves their popularity!

However, artists need time and coaching for learning how to react the right way.
Artists must respond by showing appreciation to their Fans, but not too much! Falling into "displaying extravagances" or "excessive sensuality" is not doing any good. Either one or the other does bring serious risks of spoiling the artist's public image for a very long time.

The personnel providing what looks like

a "security bubble" enclosing the artist
is not so much for security
(from risks or danger)
as it is for comfort.

Depending on the situation,

this Crew of 2, 3, or 4 persons
is making the artist
physically and mentally comfortable,
easing stress and anxiety.

It should be set up
as a permeable boundary

instead of an obstructing barrier.

In the work of artists (music realm),

there are 2 extremely significant points or moments,
which are strongly affecting them both physically and mentally.

1- The moment just before entering on stage.
The artist is literally overwhelmed with very high level of stress and anxiety.
This "state of mind" can slowly arise between 10 minutes and several hours
prior to stepping on stage (whether concert or media).

Each artist
has his/her own reaction to that.

One may appear to be very calm,
although having
this "vague look"
in the eyes.

One other might be jumping around
all over the place,

not being able to stand still
for a second.

This point in time is when "caring for the artist"

and "affectionate friendship" are much needed!
Either from the Manager or from someone having that responsibility.
This should be a person really close with the artist(s).
Whether the artist(s) is(are) jumping around or sitting in a chair:
Comforting should be provided.

Reassuring, trying to restore confidence about themselves and their work.
Encouraging toward their performance.
Complimenting the way they Look.
Reminding them about how much they are appreciated
by their public and the medias.
Convincing them that they have absolutely nothing to worry about,
except doing their very best.

And then, 10 seconds before stepping on stage,
the artist will become " The Star ",
and will present an outstanding performance!

2- When the artist is going back home,
after the concert (or related activities), or in the car/bus while Touring.

At that time, stress and anxiety are still present resulting from performing, relation with Fans, and everything else related to the event. However, the opposite "state of mind" kicks in.

That is depression, as a normal reaction.

Sort of a low-mood resulting of extreme fatigue,
physiological exhaustion from high stress and anxiety, mentally drained, emptied. Adding to that the fact that suddenly the artist is alone, isolated, with no one to turn to depending on the time and the place (city, country).

At this point in time,
the artist really need "caring"
and "affectionate friendship".

Once again, honest comforting should be provided.
Reassuring that the performance was great, their Look was awesome,
their public really appreciated the performance,
and the medias were very pleased.

Even if something went wrong, convincing them it was not that important.
Because artists see things differently, they are aware of each and every little detail, and they tend to think everyone else notices the same. Most of the time, that is not the case,
no one noticed a thing!

Unless things really went out of control,
in which case the situation is totally different.

Generally, everything just went perfectly.
And that is what artists need to understand.

Some Managers say Artists develop a temper.
I do not agree with that,
they just build a "shield" around them,
for "self-protection",
and someone needs to be there
for them
whenever they need it: Night or Day.

That is a very important part of Artist Manager's job.

- Coping with the Big Machine.

Without that kind of support, artists are left to themselves
and they fall into alcohol,
or/and drugs,
and all sorts of improper and destructive
Which ultimately destroys their entire career.

And that is very sad.

When popularity increases, demands and responsibilities also increases.
The Music Industry, Fans, Medias, radio stations and record stores/companies,
they all become hungry for the next hit!

Once on that level, the pressure to create Hit-Song is enormous,
both financially and for the career.

The higher you climb, the higher the pressure!

The Big Machine is eager to consume hit songs,
Live performances, and public appearances.

A good Team supporting the artist/band is crucial.
Dealing with constant imperatives and very demanding situations can reveal itself too much.
Those who can rely on a great Management Team helping to cope with all that are able to manage their career, and also to enjoy happiness and contentment in personal life.


July, 2012.