At some point in your career, one of your artists will either have a manager, or be in the process of getting one. This is an important relationship for all three of you.
As the producer, we need to understand what the manager’s job is. Their primary role is to deal with the business side of the music industry. As mentioned earlier, it’s their job to book shows, work on marketing the artist, organise touring, merch and a host of other things.
They will also be involved in the music making process, including production. This can both be a positive and a negative.
Managers can offer a completely objective view about where the song is at. Sometimes as songwriters and producers, it is easy to lose that objectivity about a song, especially if we have worked on it for too long, or we are taking it down a road that may not be right for the artist.
A manager can be a great voice that can help direct the train if it’s getting off track. They will genuinely have an invested interest in the new material their artist is releasing, which involves them within the production process.
If managers become micromanagers they struggle to release you fully to work with the artist. They might be overly inclined to give opinions and to constantly ask for updates and make notes about things you are doing wrong. Although this can be frustrating, it’s important to keep a professional attitude.
I have had to explain to some managers that for me to do my job properly, I need certain boundaries to be respected. When done in the right way, they totally understand. It’s our job to be clear communicators and to be as open and honest as possible.
In my experience there are three traits that managers desire in a producer.
A manager must find the right people for their artists: Designers, producers, dancers, videographers and more.
As producer, you now represent your artist within these various settings, whether it be a video shoot or at a show. Being kind and professional goes a long way!
Always be honest! The people you work with will discern it. We all know how trustworthy people make us feel safe, but unfortunately it also works in the reverse.
3. Working on your craft
Managers always want their artists to have the ‘edge.’ If they know that their producer is someone who is constantly wanting to be better, then they will keep coming back. I have been in many situations where managers have taken their artists to ‘bigger name producers,’ but end up coming back simply because I’m constantly working on my craft and ready to learn something new.