Today we feature an interview with Charlotte Elizabeth of Halo Music Management about management within the music industry. Charlotte, the manager of Stuart Landon, gives a fascinating insight into her role and fantastic advice for artists who are potentially looking for a manager.
To start give us an insight into your current management role.
My role as a manager is extremely diverse and pretty much a full time job even though I only manage one artist!!
I am the manager of Stuart Landon & The Angels With Dirty Faces and I absolutely (on most days!!) love what I do. I think the music industry has changed a lot over the years. There was a time when a manager was just that – managed the artist and made sure they were where they should be when they should be but in the times we live in and how fast paced the industry is and how competitive it is means that I am a manager, social media guru, marketing, promotions and this week tour manager!! It is important to stay ahead of the game though because it is constantly changing and all platforms needs to be given attention as you have a fan base now in any and all of these channels My focus is to make sure that anything that would take Stuart away from the creative side of the partnership is covered which leaves him to do what I can’t and what he is the best at – making music!
On top of this, I have my own record label, Halo Music so a lot of time is currently being spent speaking with publishers and radio making some in roads and deals!
If you had to pick out some of the best things about being a manager in the music industry, what would they be?
One of the best things about being a manager is definitely seeing the artist succeed and the hard work you have put in come to fruition especially when you have worked with them from day one.
Working with Stuart, I have also been very fortunate that he has become a close friend of mine so it is great to be able to experience the journey and the up’s and down’s of the music industry with him. Having that other person to bounce ideas off and sometimes just to talk the industry over with – the good, bad, funny and crazy – makes all the difference.
And conversely, what would you say are the worst things about being a manager?
The worst thing is the lack of appreciation or the feeling of. Sometimes, you can work and work and work and feel under appreciated. No one realises the time and work that goes into managing an artist, even the artist sometimes but the good definitely outweighs the bad there. The other thing is lack of appreciation for the artist and their craft. As a manager, you have complete and utter belief that your artist is the next big thing – you have to or you wouldn’t be on call 24/7 – but when you are trying to book tours, place them on gigs or festivals and liaise with radio and promoters and aren’t successful in doing so or sometimes just completely ignored, that’s when it gets frustrating. A polite response and explanation as to why ‘no’ is better than being plain ignorant!
From the point of view of an artist, what should they look for when deciding upon choosing a prospective manager?
A manager should have complete faith in you and belief in your music. This is paramount as they will be the ones who sell you, talk about you and promote you to the industry. However, I don’t think that is all you should look for in a manager. They should have a determination to succeed, always have your back (and trust me in this industry they will need to!) and they should be someone who you trust. The music industry isn’t easy but all these elements as a package go hand in hand and I think if you can build the foundations of a friendship and have the trust element then you can succeed. There is nothing worse than having the strongest tune to put out or planning a tour but having a manager with no vision or will to push and help you.
And from a managerial point of view, what would you look for in an artist?
When I first started in the music industry, I was so eager to achieve and learn the industry that I jumped at the chance to work with everybody and I did work hard but I was effectively a busy fool. I had no strategy and was really just learning as I went. Believe me, I had to learn fast. But I found my stride, build up my contacts and realised what I wanted to achieve. Now, when looking for artists to work with, I have to be 100% certain that they have the same work ethic as me, the same vision and the same trust in me as I have in them. Work ethic is essential and a make or break for me. I would never be able to work with an artist who didn’t work hard. I do look at their band pages on social media, their website and listen to their music. You can see how much effort they are putting into their career just from these simple things!
Name the key skills a manager needs in the music industry today.
You have to be patient, dedicated, hardworking, a good listener, good negotiator, organised and just a little bit stubborn….with a bit of sass thrown in! Also, sometimes you just have to let some things go over your head. Don’t take everything to heart. The industry is dog eat dog and there are some characters you will meet along the way who will make you laugh and cry but that’s the journey we are on!
What effect can a good manager have on the career of an artist would you say?
The effects of a good manager are unlimited. They are the ones who have the contacts whether that be radio, promoters, tour managers, label heads or venues. Your manager is basically the representative of the artist and most of the time they will be the first person that the industry comes into contact with so if they can leave a good impression and build up a rapport you are already off to a good start. Relationships and communication are what the industry is about and having the right manager as your spokesperson is key. You don’t want a manager who has no people skills, is demanding or unfriendly as your name is associated with them and that’s not what you want to be remembered for.
And what are the dangers of aligning yourself with a poor manager?
It is much better to have no manager than a poor manager. Don’t fall into the trap of having a manager for the sake of it. A poor manager can quickly damage your reputation a lot quicker than you can build it back up.
If you had to pick out a manager in the industry who we could all look up to, who would it be?
Wow! Good question but easy for me! I would have to say Paul McGuiness. His sheer belief and commitment to U2 is everything I aspire to be with Stuart and any future artists. Paul has been instrumental in every step of their amazing success. He has been referred to as ‘one of the most successful music managers in the music business’. He had to keep the rockers under control and I sure love a challenge! He stepped down in 2013 after managing them for 34 years – what an achievement! And in true form, I now want to beat this – here’s to me aiming for 35 years!!
The next release under Halo Music will be ‘Outmanned, Never Outgunned’ by Stuart Landon. The anticipated album is set for release on Friday 14th December and is available for pre order on iTunes now: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1442920601?ls=1&app=itunes