Sure, everyone has opinions on new acts, new managers, new strategies, new gimmicks, and seems the industry was interested until very recently in only signing teenagers under 15 in order to turn them into megastars. These very young artists sometimes come with a young manager. But what no one will tell you is that their managers have their OWN managers as well. Or better said, mentors. Behind every huge success, there was an older mind on deck. Someone who’s learned the DOs and DONTs of the music business the hard way and is now easing the path for others. A lot of the times these highly-successful individuals are not even famous. They work from the shadows and make bank. They are the ones who all doors open for and everybody in the business basically bows in their presence. They are the ones you should focus your efforts towards. Get them on your team or at least get a consultation if possible. Here are 7 reasons why you need a seasoned industry person on your team.
7. They Developed An Outstanding Business Intuition
Albeit seeming more relaxed than everyone at all times, these grown, and even possibly old managers, afford to be so as they’ve reached a point of knowing with 99% certainty what will work and what will not, thus they don’t waste a second on projects they know will attain little to no success. As you get years of experience under your belt, you know your time is on the countdown and subsequently concentrate your energy and money only on what makes the most sense. Being around them is almost magical as you’ll hear them speaking in a very laid-back manner about the potential of new stars: “He’s very young and we could make him a star but I’m not sure we’ll know what to do with him 5 years down the road. It’s just fast money if we decide to go that route. I wouldn’t put more than 100 grand behind his act”
6. They Got A Lot, Like A Whole Lot Of Connections
With age, intrinsically comes more respect and validity. Do not pay attention to the kids screaming online at someone who’s thirty that they’re boomers. That boomer most likely earns in a day what that kid has yet to earn in a year. When you’re older, everything you say is taken seriously, thus every established connection is a solid one. If you take a 25-year old and have him negotiate the same deal with the same label, then take a 50-year old and have him repeat in the same words that same deal, granted the industry will prioritize the 50-year old manager over the younger guy any day, any time. These businessmen/women and negotiators have met an insane amount of key people in the music business over the years. And they know just who to call when you need a sponsor. Their network extends beyond the music realm. They also know people in the film industry, the modeling industry, the automotive industry, the hospitality industry, etc. They can get you a sponsor and an entire shoot for free in a top location with just one phone call IF… they actually believe in you.
5. They Are Nice People
Age brings the benefit of having been both burned and blessed throughout life so that you are humble enough to understand anybody from any background. While with a young manager it will very often be his way or the highway, with an older soul you’ll be able to bring your ideas to the table and have them constructively debated. These individuals also have families of their own which only makes them even more understanding, kind, and patient with younger talent. They know you don’t know everything so they will lay things slowly and clearly for you as if for a baby, because well… at 18 you are barely a toddler in this business.
4. They Will Be 10 Steps Ahead Of The Labels
Again, they’ve lived so much, seen so much, lost and won so much, that they’re able to dodge bad deals, negotiate better ones, and be extremely resourceful in any scenario. The best part is if you succeed in obtaining a seasoned manager’s time and effort, they will foresee things you don’t even know the existence of, such as being able to create music independently from the label even when signed, being able to get full profit off sponsorships and endorsement deals you acquired on your own, being able to put out collaboration projects without needing the label’s approval every single time etc.
3. They Will Pay Attention To Your Psychological State As Well
If you keep up with interviews from the industry, you will have noticed a pattern by now. Certain managers, again mostly older ones, sometimes delay signing an act due to the physical and psychological stress that comes with a major deal. They know what awaits ahead and they know how thick of a skin one must have in order to reach the top level and if you’re too emotional or have too many personal issues on your plate to deal with, a good manager will help you tackle those problems and give you a hand in developing immunity to industry attacks because they do and will happen.
2. They Will Call You Out On Your Bullsh*t
Because they already achieved financial freedom and are more likely than not, very well set in all areas of life, thus they will call you out when needed. Whereas a young person is still seeking, 9 times out of 10, more money, more connections, more freedom so it is very probable they won’t be as upfront with you as someone who already has it all. And you need people on your team who will show you both sides of the business, not just the fun and comfortable one.
1. They’ll Set You Free When Ready
This is rare but it does happen. When your career outgrows your manager’s capabilities to further it, an older soul will have the dignity to admit so and will at the very minimum, release you of your duties. Sometimes they go as far as finding you someone better-connected and “hand you over” to that new manager. A manager we can’t name for legal reasons, has let his favorite rock band go from his management services, because he reached a point where he exhausted all his connections and resources and couldn’t help them any further. The band is now charting internationally and is a household name. All achieved after the “transfer” to the new management team. But none of their success would have been possible had this cool dude not believed in them FIRST. Had he not babysat them through their first performances, first record deals, first endorsement offers.