A talent/artiste manager is an individual or company who guides the professional career of artistes in the entertainment industry. The responsibility of the talent/artiste manager is to oversee the day-to-day & business affairs of an artist; advise and counsel talent concerning professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions which may affect their career
The responsibilities of a talent/artiste manager are often divided among many who manage various aspects of a musical career. Artiste managers may assume multiple roles: graphic designer, publicist, promoter, accountant e.t.c. But ordinarily, there should be distinction as to roles and responsibilities as regards the artiste’s career to enable efficiency and transparency. As an artist’s career develops, responsibilities may grow, thus the need to state defined roles. Therefore, it is logical to say that the “bigger” the artiste, the bigger the team and his activities .
Below, we look at the different types of managers, artistes need to hire as regards their career.
1. Creative Manager: A creative or music manager becomes important to managing the many different pieces that make up a career in music. The manager assists the artiste in the process of creating a song or songs. The manager helps in seeking out co-singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists in creating a potentially hit song. Obviously, the manager should have a decent background in music and its intricacies needed to mold a decent music career for the artiste. The creative manager also decides on the best or rather compatible music/sound producers for the artiste. The creative manager is the artiste’s “ear” to the public. He should be able to decipher the acceptable music/sound consumed by the music-loving public and advice accordingly. A creative manager may be present during recording sessions and should support the artist during the creative process while not interfering between the artist and the producer, but artistes generally may also find valuable feedback in the extra pair of ears and this is a duty of the music manager.
The creative managers frequently contributes to the tedious song making process which in turn should earn them co-writing credits, Executive Producer credit, or Producer credit should they become involved in songwriting, production or financing.
2. Personal Manager: Personal Managers are involved in managing the day-to-day activity of the artiste, as it pertains to their personal and Inter-personal lifestyle. In some quarters, they are referred to as the “go-to guy” for the artiste. They basically manage the life of the artiste outside music. They are responsible for ensuring the artiste gets all he/she desires outside of the recording studio. With examples of Food, Sex, Clothing e.t.c The personal managers are practically the guardian and custodian of the life of the artiste. They can act as drivers, personal assistants, confidants e.t.c for the artistes.
3. Business Manager: The Business Manager literally takes care of the artistes’ business. The business manager is tasked with Business development for the artiste and thus manages the income and expenses of the artiste by usually take care of payments to musicians, PR companies background singers, roadies, tour managers, etc., on behalf of the artist.
Business managers primarily focus on getting money for the artistes, they shop for deals(Recording, Publishing, Licensing, Sponsorship, Endorsement, Merchandising) for their artistes, and then help to navigate their clients through the deals and beyond. Some business managers simultaneously act as booking agents for the artiste as they negotiate fees for performances and shows.
4. Legal Manager: The legal manager is tasked with handling everything legal as it involves the artiste. Such manager should importantly be educated with entertainment law as that would enable easy understanding of the deals the artiste would enter into. The legal manager handles all contracts and agreements for the artiste and ensures that his client is protected and doesn’t sign any agreement that would be detrimental to the career. Many artists are not well versed with the intricacies of copyright, trademark, ownership of sound recordings, music compositions, the tax obligations that relate to their performance, licensing, sponsorship, recording, and merchandise income; equipment purchases and sales, business expenses, etc
The legal manager often works with the Business managers in organizing the money affairs of the artiste while also assisting with investments, savings, and retirement funds. They also assist clients in the areas of assets and investments, savings and taxes.
5. Road Manager: The Road manager normally takes care of logistics while the artist is on the road. Duties include making sure that everything on the road is provided for as spelt out in the contract and all monies are paid on time. The artist can then concentrate solely on performing and interacting with fans, and not be distracted and pre-occupied with whether the promoter, venue booker, booking agent, sponsor or brand partner has met their obligations. The road manager also follows up on items promised as part of the contract such as accommodations, per diems, advances/deposits, rentals, commissions, and so on.
The road manager in some cases acts as the technical manager for the artiste (i.e the person in charge of set design, construction, and control during the artiste’s performance)
From the foregoing, we have attempted to differentiate the types of managers an artiste should hire for the music career, however, in this part of the world(Nigeria), in most cases, one person appointed as the manager does everything enumerated above. This is understandable as most of the artistes do not have the financial capacity to employ more hands for the Career/business, but however, it is advisable to spell out these duties for effectiveness.