Too many times, aspiring artist will have a team of homeboys playing roles that they shouldn’t have. Why? Well because that’s his “fam” or his “team” duh! It’s the Hood dream to eat the table with all the guys you threw rocks at cars with. However when you’re in your formative years lack of professional help will have your brand stuck in the mud. I will tell you what role your friends can play, lets tackle the other roles first…
Nothing is worse than dealing with the know it all who doesn’t know anything. At no point should your homeboy with lack of background be managing your career. Granted, when you first start off your career not too many high level managers will even care to listen to your work. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you have to rush in finding someone to align yourself with. One of the most qualified managers I know is Aubrey Green. He manages Apollo The Great as Well as Chill Moody.. neither have done themselves harm in the choosing of their manager. Why, you ask? Well Aubrey has a rich background in bookings, networking, and even shows. One thing many artist lack is the ability to get on stage, meet the right people, etc. Now these guys are on Vevo, MTV Jams, opening for big shows, on tour with big name artist and expanding their brand as well as developing name recognition. What is your homie doing for you?
In other cases, many actually, the closest friend may become the most jealous. You’re getting notoriety, while they’re grinding and getting very little love. Building a new artist is a labor of love, not many people have the drive or passion to build “someone else” up for free and they see nothing from it. Their lack of business knowledge will hinder you because they have no idea that it may take a decade before that first big check hit your doorstep. Why do you think that you hear of many artist severing ties with the person they grew up with for new management? Its not always because of business. Yet because the business chews up and spit friendships out every day. Find someone who wont “Yes Man” you, someone who will hold you accountable for your work and not allow shortcuts, structure and put up with your bullshit very little. 99% of Friends don’t know how to do that. And therein lies many of your problems..
No budding brand should be without a publicist, so why the hell are you? Hip hop artist has long tried to circumvent the necessity for a publicist and try to lay those duties on a manager. Your manager isn’t your publicist. If he or she is your publicist, they can’t do their managerial job properly. Very few managers can pull off this feat, but those are the Michael Jordans, Lebrons & Kobe of Managers. Before I go any further, have a source of income when, you get into the music biz. No one hops in and starts collecting checks. You need money to make money. As I was saying… Always have a team structured. The publicist may be a part of acquiring a quality manager or may be someone totally independent of. When you couple the two together you’re very much on the right path.
This is where your homie comes in handy. When I first moved to Miami Lex Pierre was doing street team work for Slip N Slide. You would see the young man on his grind. Flyers, posters, etc. Everywhere. Now, Lex is the head of Marketing and Promotions for Maybach Music Group. He literally started from the bottom. His relationship he built with Ross through hard work is why he’s in the position he’s in. They are friends, but he didn’t ask for the handout, he proved his value. Street teams will always be necessary. Power is in numbers. Whether digital or physical. Numbers mean something. Who better to organize your street team than your best friend? I can’t give you the tricks of the trade here, because then why would you pay me? However I will say this, even here, protect yourself from the possibilities of falling out with your friend or even if life changes as it does, you wont be assed out. Structure your street team to have a second and third in command. Always have a next up to bat. Do note: In a few cases a publicist can offer a street team. MY personal preference is to keep this in house. There’s some things in business you should control. You would never want to have a lapse in promo of your name or brand.
Always know my aspiring artist, There is power in numbers. Always control the numbers game, always look to build and expand your network of viewers. If you followed SoPhi long enough, I have over 100 people, mostly women who have our site in their profile bio, many always retweet the post. At the same time I continue to expand. I don’t wait on anyone. Branding, name recognition is a must. People who are serious about the brand, I put in serious positions. Others, not so much. A real friend will understand you being serious about your craft. Don’t be afraid to tell your friend ‘no’ if they can’t further the dream. However if you want to give him or her a position let it be one that plays to his strong suit. If it is managing, or publicity, marketing etc. Let him learn behind a pro. Stop taking the scenic route to success. Be efficient and calculating in everything you do.
Til next week…
(I am available to consult with and more. Never be afraid to ask for Help)