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How Does a Singer or Band Sign With an Artist Manager or Booking Agent?

by Tom Gauger Like most artists out there looking to further their career, it’s often a difficult task at best, to obtain an artist manager and yet even further more challenging to find a qualified booking agent.  How do you go about finding and gaining interest from a potential artist manager who can actually move your career, and what does it really take to grab a deal signing talent booking agent? Working in the business as long as I have, working as a talent booking agent for the renown William Morris Agency, with acts on “America’s Got Talent” and recording numerous artist masters, I can tell you that there are a few things you can and should be doing to secure both a manager and booking agent.  First off, let’s take a look at a proper perspective of the music industry and how you are viewing how you think the industry operates or at least how you think it should operate.  Most phone calls and emails that I receive at ReelMusician.com, are from individuals who think that someone is going to “discover” them and that this company or music industry individual is going to foot the bill for everything – this is simply not the case.  With the ever increasing opportunity to buy affordable computers, software and reasonable hardware, there are many artists who already have their game face on and are ready to go.  Why should an artist manager or booking agent look at an act that they will have to pump time and money into, when there are so many who already have their act together and have already invested that time and money?  Simply put, you must spend money on your career, time and investment in developing your artist image. Secondly, while music gear is cheap and is easily accessible, you can not afford to produce sloppy material.  You must sound current, unique and have your own vibe.  It’s not good enough to copy this or that artist, you must be instantly recognized.  There is no good reason to have cheap and tasteless lyrics – keep it clean.  You will have a far wider reach with an audience with clean lyrics, then to push the envelope with tacky lyrics.  It will limit your audience not to mention your moral compass. Thirdly, your artist image and design need to be in place to the point, when music industry looks at your material, they see a recognizable, perceived star on their hands – you already have the star persona.  No one is going to create your image.  You must own it and it must be who you are and not a put on. Fourth, before you contact anyone, have all of your ducks in a row.  It’s not good enough to tell them you want to be a star and that your family thinks you’re wonderful – doesn’t matter.  You should be approaching this as if it were your last chance and putting everything on the line.  This attitude needs to permeate your every career move. Fifth, don’t get caught up in the fads – stay true to who you are, but be open to ideas and suggestions that could grow and push the envelope of who you are as a person and artist.  Surround yourself with the best, even if it costs you more, and you’ll find that this business model will pay for itself.  Do less on your demos if you can’t afford full scale productions, but get the absolute best guitar or piano player, singing on a great mic, with great mixes.  Simple mixes are oftentimes the better choice – just because you have the software or gear to do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.  That tends to be a big mistake for up and coming artists.  Make sure that everything has purpose.  Listen to really good players, because they’ve done this awhile. Lastly, at ReelMusician.com we’re committed to up and coming artists who have a real passion for their career and are willing or have already invested time, money and energy into lifting their careers off the ground.  We do review artist and band demos for possible representation.  If you have done your home work and have a great sounding artist reel, or really believe that you have the ability and want to get started working on your artist masters, then feel free to contact us for possible review.
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