While others take music as a way to get fame and be recognized by slay queens, there are those who take the industry as a full time job and business. Even those with little or no talent have made headway in the industry simply by having a good team.
If being a full time musician is your goal and intend to excel, here is a team you should consider forming.
This should be a person you can be with full time, probably your best friend, brother, sister, just not your lover. He should be someone who can control you, chase groupies away from you and be able to negotiate deals for you.
He is a point of contact on your team and someone who brings everyone together. As a musician, your focus should be on your music creativity and leave the rest to the manager who should work on creating business networks and bridging you with the industry key players.
If you intend to build a brand around your talent, then you need a publicist. He/she should be someone with media knowledge and connections. People will enjoy your music when they know your name and it shouldn’t be just a name, but a brand name that the corporate world can work with.
A publicist will help you with brand visibility, fan growth and material promo from time to time. He/she will, among others, be responsible for your photo gallery, social media management and anything that connects you with the public. Most of us must have heard of Eli Njuchi even before hearing his music, now that’s a brand you need to build.
3. Music Publisher
This one is not really a promoter, but someone to handle publication of your music and make sure you earn your loyalties. Radio is not dead, you need this person to take your music to radios, DJs, TVs, streaming platforms and get you sorted with copyright bodies. Looks simple, but it’s a whole lot of trouble getting all this done. Others may simply decide to work with a distributing company. I just don’t know if we have them in Malawi.
If whatever you do involves contracts, then you need a lawyer. It can’t be someone full time, but the one you can run through with every paper that requires your signature. A lawyer is your eyes and translator. You might think you know it, but in legal matters, there is something you don’t know and it’s this something that can end a career. Plus, you need someone to protect your intellectual property.
Other less involving but equally important roles as you grow may include:
3. Creative Director
4. Promotion Company
5. Investment and financial advisor
As you start your journey, you may not really need to advertise for these roles and stress on how you pay them. Just look around your circle. You should have the people you need in your circle. If your circle does not have the people you need, then you are in the wrong circle.
Have friends who believe in your talent and want to be part of it. They can start part time and drive the goal to success. Treat them with respect. They don’t need you and you don’t need them, but you need one another, you as a brand and them as brand drivers. It’s like a human body. The heart needs blood and blood needs veins to flow, while veins need the flesh which also need bones to stand on.
When the money starts getting through, never dump such people for those who will come to you with experience or more connections, that will be the end of you. Instead, empower your circle because latecomers will drain you and leave you for another new guy on the block. Stick with people who were there at the start, they know both your victory and story.
I know big people who are struggling now for dumping their initial teams after they grew big and brought new people to drive a vision started by day ones. Money cannot do anything, it is love that can achieve even the impossible. Ignoring this simple principle, ends in tears.