The Independent vs Self-Sufficient Artist

Originally published by So’lano Music Group.

When an artist is first starting out, their intended career will likely occupy stray evening hours and be funded by hard earned savings. It will also probably be a solo effort. Depending on how quickly and to what degree thing progress, however, the added responsibilities of arranging and promoting shows, keeping the attention of the public, tracking down new opportunities, and staying in contact with interested parties can take a large chunk of time away from original task of simply making music.

At such a time, it becomes necessary to enlist the help of outside parties. While initially this support staff may simply be a manager who can stay on top of larger decisions and direct the flow of an artists career, it can easily expand to half a dozen people or more, each responsible for some aspect of arranging shows, doing promotional work, production for the product, or legal council.

When building a team, many factors need to be considered: ought one find an established industry professional or seek out an eager up and comer? Delegate to specialists or find a smaller group of people of which each can wear multiple hats? Find a tour manager in addition to a personal manager? Street team or publicist?

As well, deciding on set career markers that must be achieved for the continuation of the business arrangement can be vital to ensuring that no party forsakes their duties. It is one thing to work with an agent who is not pulling their weight. It is quite another to be locked into a long term contract with the same.

Artists who are just starting out often have very limited resources, but devoting some of those resources to assembling a professional team can push a career forward to degrees that make it well worth the effort. If an artist is starting to feel that the necessary duties of being an act are cutting into their ability to create their art, it may well be time to outsource to people whose passion is for those very duties.

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