The definition of “happiness” from Merriam-Websters’ dictionary reads, “a state of well-being contentment.” When I think of the times where I experience this contentment, it usually involves music and others. I am not alone in this. Why do you think the main source of revenue in the music industry has shifted from record sales to concerts or festivals in recent years? People experience happiness when they are with others and experiencing something together.
Many in the industry wonder how to communicate this happiness to their fans. To me, it’s simple. Find the right people and utilize their strengths to communicate and create the environment where people share joy and happiness.
The music industry is a team effort. Here’s a cheat sheet of jobs that you might not necessarily think about right off the bat, but in reality make up the artist’s team.
The Dream Team
The manager is basically the CEO of the band, while the band/artist the spokesperson. The manager allows the band to focus upon the music and take what the band’s vision creating a reality. This person creates both short and long-term goals as well as being the middleman for booking, legal, touring, and promotional tasks. Some standout managers in history that you might want to check out are: Brian Epstein, Colonel Parker, Albert Grossman, David Geffen, or Irving Azoff.
This may not be as obvious at the beginning, but find a good lawyer. There are numerous contracts that you will need to sign and make sure you aren’t signing your life away to a record label or concert venue. There are different types of lawyer that you should be aware of.
- Transactional: deal with looking at contracts and never set foot inside of a courtroom.
- Litigators: these are the ones that wear suits and we associate with tv or movies. They resolve disputes and are the ones that go to the courtroom when contracts get violated
- Shopping: there are some lawyers who actually help you out getting a record deal. They are trusted by A&R executives and might be able to pass along your demo if they think you are good. (But be weary that those who advertise they shop your music, might not always be the most trusted by record labels)
The Booking Agent
This is the person that helps get your tour going. There’s a reason booking is a specific job in the music industry- it is hard. The booking agent maintains relationships between venues and managers while creating routes and handling riders. They field inquires and are able to allow mangers to focus upon furthering the band’s success rather than making countless phone calls to venues. Here are some players in the booking agent gang:
This person helps get your story out there. They maintain relationships between the press and the band providing press kits, which is just a simple way to say everything you need to get your story out there. They find the story that is in the artist/band and relay it to your audience more easily providing interviews and current information to the press.
Right now, you might be broke and unable to hire these people, think about these individual aspects when planning for your band. It is important that while you might not have all of these strengths find the people that do and utilize it. Again, this all goes back to finding the right people to do the right jobs because everything in the music industry relies upon people!