I am now beginning a series of writings that delve into various prerequisites. These prerequisites are like anchor points that exist independent of technological advancements. Something specific may change radically, but it doesn’t fundamentally alter anything in the big picture. This is the foremost consideration in modern music business management. Even as the operational landscape continually evolves with technological advancements, the artist’s ground needs remain largely unchanged.
Willem Dafoe has stated that it’s all about control and abandon – and finding a balance between these extremes. In the same way as in acting, that same idea applies to artist management. At the very beginning, you must have some structure to get started. Each of us managers has our own unique approach to it. What you often aim for is control, to have your ducks in a row. However, here’s a twist. As crucial as it is to attain control and put in a lot of effort into it, you must be able to abandon it in an instant if needed. Just as important it is to realize that letting go may not be final. It’s about finding a balance and being situationally aware.
The original structure and mindset don’t disappear despite this. Therefore, even if you start crafting a new works for the artist, inspired by some technological advancement, that basic structure doesn’t change. The artist still has the same ground needs. In my work, I often see how progress can rock the boat. With new revenue-generating methods emerging almost daily in the world, it’s easy to lose direction.
When approaching these prerequisites from the perspective of music business or artist management, it always entails three perspectives: that of the artist, the manager, and the current operation at hand. The million-dollar question in shaping, developing, and maintaining that structure is whose preferences take precedence, the artist’s, the artist’s narrative and goals, or the management’s expertise. This is precisely the interface where one has to contemplate letting go regularly. The possibility of it is present every second. At times, we progress by leveraging management expertise, while at other times, it’s the artist’s narrative that resolves issues.
Another noteworthy aspect is embracing all three points of interest. It’s often easy for a manager to forget themselves and focus solely on the artist and the operation. Rarely do we consider that taking care of oneself is the primary responsibility in this role. If you can’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others either. Therefore, when we talk about letting go, it can also refer to this perspective.
Conversely, when we speak of balance and balancing, it’s not about a permanent state either. It’s about how to regulate these two extremes. In an ideal scenario, we possess the ability to read the situation so well that we know in each instance the proportion in which these factors should be present. Naturally, our goal is also to avoid being in the discomfort zone for extended periods only when necessary.
This article will be complemented by the next prerequisite to consider. In it, we will discuss consistency – where control and letting go are external factors, consistency is the internal aspect of the same issue.
Among other things, these topics are discussed in one-on-one consultations, as I’ve mentioned earlier. If you feel that you need assistance with them, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also read about this in the book – here’s the link to it.