I’ve taken my own advice and I’ve begun to read Donald S. Passman’s, All You Need to Know About the Music Business, 6th Edition.
After reading Part I, I now know how to assemble the best possible team of advisors. For those of you looking to break into the industry, enjoy the following outline.
First, you’ll need the following:
1. Personal manager
3. Business manager
But, before you find yourself a team, you must first polish and prep yourself as an artist. Passman says:
- You want to be sure your music is ready for the big time.
- The first thing is to get your music down on a CD.
- The important thing is to get down your energy, enthusiasm, and drive
- Make the music that moves your soul.
- Have a clear vision of who [you] are and what [your] music is.
- If you’ve got photographs, they’re a good thing to put in the package because, in this multimedia world, record companies are interested in much more than how you sound. You have to be able to perform live, look good in videos, etc.
- If you’ve gotten any press or Internet review put those in[to your package].
- Hyping yourself over the Internet (for example, through community sites like MySpace.com or Facebook.com) is also a great thing to do…In fact, a number of companies have scouts monitoring online sites for hot new artists.
Someone, somewhere, will nibble, and you can parlay it into real interest by being persistent. All the superstars I’ve known have heaping helpings of drive and perseverance, and they’ll continuously hound people to further their career.
According to Passman, the following positions have the following roles:
Personal Managers: The personal manager is the single most important person in your professional life. When the job is done properly, a personal manager is the general manager and chief operating officer of your enterprise. The absolute best manager is a powerful, well-connected person, with one or major clients, who is wildly enthusiastic about you and willing to commit the time required to your career.
Business Managers: The business manager is the person on your team who handles all your money. He or she collects it, keeps track of it, pays your bills, invests it and makes sure you file your tax returns, etc.
Attorneys: Attorneys in the music business do much more than just look over contracts and advise clients about the law. They are very involved in structuring deals and shaping artists’ business lives.
Agents: Agents in the music industry are involved almost exclusively in booking live personal appearances (concerts). Music agents are sometimes involved in commercials, tour sponsorship, television specials, and other areas but they don’t participate in (or get paid for) records or songwriting.