Should an independent artist get a manager

A manager’s purpose is to help manage your career and to make sure you make as much money as possible, as an artist. That’s their purpose, to manage your career. They bring you to the next level in terms of exposure and earning money. If the manager you have is not making you money, get rid of him. Let’s examine the Pros and the Cons, of the matter.

Yes To Self Management…?

Managing your career by yourself, means you think about the long term, that is, where you see yourself, five / ten years from now. Where are the places you want to perform? And what are the type of songs you want to do? Also, how are you going to monetize your career? These are the questions, that you need to think about.

Most managers – the ones that are effective, they utilize their relationships to get you exposure to push you in the right direction to help you have a sustainable career.

In order for you to get one step ahead on your own, there are some things that you need in place to ensure that you manage your career effectively. Let’s  say you are pulling strings together on your own, you need a team alongside you.The manager would normally work with a team to help push your career forward, just the same.

The first person you need on your team is a booking agent. The booking agent really is to ensure you get as many shows and expose you to live performances. They are key to making sure you are continually on a stage to perform.

The next person on your team should be the publicist. The responsibility of this person is to get you media exposure.They assist with executing your marketing plan.They get you on talk shows, radio interviews,  and write up in the newspaper and magazines.

Important, and often left out is the lawyer. Should there be a contract for signing, the lawyer ensure that details are clear  and that you are protected. They also see to it that your brand and your image are protected.
Finally you need an accountant. You need  a system that will keep track of your income and expenses and to manage it well.It’s ridiculous to  earn $1000 this month, and you spend it all. The accountant helps you manage your money, help you ensure everybody is paid  and ensure you have more money in your pocket as well.

No to Self Management….?

Having someone  to handle the day to day activities of your career means coordinating activities, around your marketing plans. Also there must be  liaison re talking to alot of promoters, ensuring that the logistics are worked out, that you have transportation to go to the shows, that you reach the venues on time, that you have everything that you need to feel comfortable to perform and that all things necessary,  are in place  to push your career forward.

All this can be done by yourself, but after a while it becomes draining for an individual. Therefore there is need to delegate the task to a manager. The manager coordinate the activities of your team, so that you may be able to think about the important thing, you need to think about, and that is, working with your producer to make great music.

For a while you can self manage, but after a while you delegate to a team. If you are in a group, one person can deal with the activities of managing the group.

Managing yourself can be done, if you have the skills to effectively  organise yourself, but overtime you might not be able to  get all things done.


Th manager is the person responsible for managing the activities between you, and your team. They  ensure that your career move forward, and things work out to your favor. A manager  who is not able to help you move forward, in terms of where you see yourself, will not be helpful to you.

To manage your career effectively, you need key persons within a team to help with that.
Booking agent to get you shows to perform, a publicist for media exposure, a Lawyer to handle legally binding arrangements and an Accountant for managing your money.

4 ways to earn money doing music full time

The question is asked, how do you make money from making music as a recording artist?
Because there are multiple ways of earning income as an artist I’ll focus on four of the main ones.

Selling your albums and singles

The first way is by sales.  You may record an album, get it mixed and mastered, you package it by CDs, vinyl, cassette, flash drive, digital files, you sell those to the consumer, that is the person who loves to buy music. Persons may buy a physical or digital copy of your album to listen to over and over again.

Streaming  is another way to earn money. This is where persons listen to your music using a streaming service, just like on the radio. The more they listen to your song, the more money you earn. (for radio you earn  from royalty).

But streaming is similar in context. it’s online  and on demand. so persons listen to your song whenever they want, as much as they want. the more they listen to your music, the more money you earn.  Streaming is basically a numbers game. If you put out a song and persons listen to it less than 1000 times in a month, you might not make as much money compared to a major label artist, whose song is being listened to a million times or more. They make more money in terms of streaming because of the number of time fans listen to their songs.

The more persons you can get to listen to your song on streaming on platforms like Spotify, Deezer, Apple music, Amazon, it works out better for you as an artist. You can make more money because more persons are listening to your song.

Streaming tells which songs persons are gravitating towards. If you put out a single and a lot of persons listen to it, and it’s being spread, you know you have a hit, persons really like that song. You can put more of your promotional efforts into promoting that song.

Live Performances

The next thing outside of sales and streaming is shows. The more shows you get to perform at, the more money you can get. When you are booked for a show,  you can charge a performance fee.

If you work through a booking agent, the booking agent books you at a particular price, and they take a cut of say 20%, however, you agree. The more shows you perform the more money you can get once those shows are actually paid shows.

Performances can be viewed as  two- fold.  It is promotion as well as an avenue for you earning income. If your music is not selling, but you can get paid shows, then you are earning income.

Look at the situation in context, in terms of how much money you are going to earn per month to live. eg.  On average lin jamaica, most persons working in offices get at least $50.000 per month.  some might get less , some might get a lot more.

As a benchmark let’s say you need $50,000 per month to pay light, water bill, rent, buy food and pay for transportation to move around from studio to shows, you need to charge for your performance, a certain amount of money, for you to earn your $50,000. Once you do that, then shows can be another way of supplementing your income, in addition, to sales and streaming.

Selling Merchandise

Outside of performances, there’s the option of branding, in terms of merchandise. Putting your artist name on a t-shirt, you sell it at your shows, and you are earning an income from it. In addition to the performance and music sales. Consider this as expanding your income opportunity. Should either one fail, there are multiple options, but if not,  you know everything is going to your goal of $50,000 a month.  


Another earning route is sponsorship. You may see an artist getting sponsored by a Digicel, FLOW  or a Wysnco; water, ocean spray. Companies pay them to advertise their product. Eg.  Usain Bolt, the only clothes brand you may see him wearing, is Puma. Puma sponsors Usain Bolt.  when Usain wears Puma,  it puts money in his pocket, just by wearing clothes.
Say you can create a powerful brand and leverage sponsorship opportunities from companies, that’s how to earn income from your music talent.


Sales, Streaming, Merchandise, Performance, and Sponsorship are four key areas to look at for building your career, as a musician. These things take time. The larger your audience , the more money you can earn. The smaller your audience, the less money you earn.

Once you look at leveraging other persons audiences,  and build your fan base over time, you can look to reaching the benchmark that you have set. This is how much money you need to earn per month to take care of yourself, and so you can grow your career over the long term, in music.

If you have questions leave them in the comments below. Share this with an artist who will find it helpful.

How to start your career as a music producer

If you’re interested in becoming a music producer they are many roads you can take to build a career. And your journey will on depend on the type of music production you want to do. If it’s edm production laidback luke has a video on youtube that outlines the process which makes it easier to develop your skills. just to go over it here:

  1. Start by doing edits to tracks
  2. Then move on to making bootlegs
  3. Then move on to doing mashups
  4. then start making your own original tracks
Along the way get a better understanding of arrangement and sound design and mixing and all the things needed to make a release ready track. Once you have a track that is ready for the public send it to friends and get feedback about your music and build a fanbase overtime. This will help you build demand for your work and give you leverage when you start shopping tracks to labels.
If it’s pop music production or you want to produce a band and vocalist and so forth the process is a bit different.
  1. First you’ll need a space to do recording, you can pay for studio time or you can build your own studio.
  2. Next thing you need to understand what makes a good song and the basic arrangement structures for your genre. This will help you make decisions about an artist song and what it needs to take it to the next level so it can work for its indented listeners. This involves cutting or adding stuff to the song or even changing the order of lyrics etc.
  3. Then the final bit is project management to ensure that things get done on time on budget as well as hiring the right people to do the right job.
You don’t have to be a musician to be a producer you just have to know what you want and get the right people to get it done. Because in essence, you are producing a piece of music. The early producers had a good ear and know good music they didn’t know how to play anything.
So in conclusion to start your career you’ll need to do:
  1. Find and artist who has a song
  2. Get a beat produced for the song
  3. Work on the song so it’s good and the artist knows the lyrics by heart
  4. Record it whether at your own studio or someone else’s
  5. Get the song mixed and mastered
  6. When you have the final master you essentially just produced your first song.
Do it long enough to build a portfolio and eventually a career.

PS. It won’t hurt hanging around local studios to get a foot in and meet people, the key is to be helpful and bring something to the table because you never know.

Why Rehearsal is Important before recording

Vocalists and musicians are true to their craft. They work day and night practicing to getting better at singing and playing their instrument.

If you incorporate practicing into your daily routine you’re well on your way to mastering your instrument.

When approaching a recording project same dedication should be taken. That’s why rehearsals are important. They are not only for live performances.

They’re for studio recordings as well. Here are some ideas on how to use  your rehearsal time before going into the studio

Work on song arrangement.

It’s the best way to work on the fine details of the song. Work along with your producer to fine-tune the arrangement of lyrics and parts to make singing and playing the song easier and more in sync.

Doing this saves you both money and time in the studio.  Also, it will help to bring more focus to the song.

Ensure all song sections complement each other and are not fighting for attention. Make sure no instruments are not playing in the same range to mask other parts.

Meaning each instrument should play in their own range as well as leave room for vocals.

Test out ideas.

Rehearsals should be both fun and technical. Don’t be static test ideas that you want to try, whether it’s a new melody line, a harmony section in the verse, a different drumbeat.

These ideas should either make the song sound better or worse. Keep a note of all the ideas you want to add to the song. It will be good to have a voice recorder to keep all your ideas together.

Best way to learn songs.  

Practice is the best way to learn the song or songs by heart. Mastering it will give you more time to focus on the performance.

If you practice like you’re on stage chances are when you get into the studio you already know how the song should sound, so singing it and playing the parts will be easy because you worked so hard on it during rehearsals.

Get better at playing them.

Rehearsals help with your musicianship. The more you perform the better you get. The better you get the more confident you’ll feel.

Confidence helps you give you all while recording because you know how to get the sound you want.

Knowing how to use your instrument takes practice. Practicing your songs makes you a better performer and a better professional to your craft.

If you take rehearsals seriously and give it your all you’ll save both money and time.