Happy New Year to everyone! I hope the year has changed in pleasant ways. I have news that I realized just a little while ago. This year marks 30 years since I began working in the music business as my profession. It’s often said that time flies, but in my case, that’s not entirely true. The journey towards becoming a manager, an author, not to speak about music lawyer progresses in layers and stages. One artist teaches you one thing, another teaches you something else. With some, the journey continues for a longer time, with others, less so. With some, you remain eternal friends, while others were just momentary acquaintances. And in the midst of it all, growth happens – for all of us.
In this perspective, these 30 years feel like a long time and at times have passed slowly—incorporating extended periods of hardship as well. If considering this period as life, excluding professional content, then one might say that it did go by quickly. It depends so much on the range of emotions one goes through during that time.
I could say that professionally I’ve lived many lives, each with its own distinct characteristics. This sentiment is underscored by many others in the music industry. Perhaps the most crucial factor in why I am where I am is that I’ve fairly closely followed the path that has unfolded before me. Well, hmm, maybe not always. The next task always seems to come unexpectedly and unannounced. I like the way it happens. After meeting an artist, you just find yourself there, and the more you gain experience, the better you can see what you can bring to the table at any given moment.
Especially as a manager, the journey has progressed according to whoever I have represented at any given time, and that role has continued until it was meant to. As a non-fiction writer, my primary driving force has been necessity and personal motivation. I don’t plan upcoming books extensively beforehand—quite the opposite of artist management. If I feel the urge to create a new book, I start working on it. This year, the second edition of ’The Art of Music Business Management – For Artists & Managers’ will be released. At some point.
An important aspect for both a manager and a writer along the journey is how to introduce oneself. I’ve had a similar pattern in introducing myself for these 30 years. However, during this Christmas break, upon realizing that 30 years have passed, it might not be the same after all. Or rather, the things I’ve found meaningful are significant for slightly different reasons.
Earlier, I spoke about progressing from an agent to a manager and then becoming versed in music law. However, such categorization might not be relevant anymore or might not truly convey what has actually happened. This has all been part of the same journey, and each of these facets involves modern management. It’s essential for all of us to realize this, especially in the era of artificial intelligence. We will all need management in our endeavors, regardless of the roles we undertake. All the experience we acquire adds to our knowledge in the field, whether it’s foundational knowledge in music law, booking, building online presence, or related to copyrights. In this regard, we all are managers, if not for others, at least for ourselves.
With that insight in mind, I’ll continue into 2024 from where I left off in 2023 – without overthinking it. With that 30 years of experience in mind… Letting the story unfold. Sometimes, we create content ourselves, while at other times, we react to what’s happening around us.
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