Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. - Berthold Auerbach -
In my last blog I received positive comments about my advice for upcoming vocalists especially point #5. We shall now continue with some of the essentials needed to make a living as a vocalist.
Representation is key
6. Have proper management. In my humble opinion this is essential and it is a major step. It is also risky. A manager can make or break your career. Even though there have been cases where a close friend or family member went on to become great managers for a vocalist I would tend to go towards a manager or management company with a sustainable track record. Also, in my experience interacting with vocalists (and musicians) there is a perception that a manager is only there to get gigs. Not quite. If that is all your manager does then that person is not a manager. That person is a booking agent. A manager is responsible for the overall development of the vocalist, interacting with recording companies, promoters and legal representation among other duties. There are also different types of managers and it would be a good idea to get familiar with their roles.
On a side note – forget about the idea of “I am an artist and so the business side does not concern me. I only want to create.” That is a sure-fire way of getting screwed over in this industry. Learn about the music industry, learn about the pay rates and learn what you are entitled to. LEARN THE BUSINESS!
Which brings me to another important point ….
7. Have legal representation. Even though a detailed explanation of the various legalities, including copyright, are outside the scope of this particular blog series (I am looking to get an entertainment lawyer to guest blog on the copyright issue) it is of great importance that you know your rights, legal obligations and what recourse you have if anything goes wrong (and it usually does). The reality is that the music business is brutal and you would need to protect yourself and your financial streams if you want to have a sustainable career. Notice I said ‘streams’. As mentioned in the intro of my previous blog there are other ways to make a living as a vocalist beside singing onstage.
For obvious reasons do not sign any contract without understanding fully what the contract entails. Too many artists in their drive or desperation to be recognized sign away the rights to their creative works and suffer greatly because of it.
In my next article in this series we will be exploring other avenues vocalists can apply their skills. We would be focussing our attention on the film, game, advertising and education industries.
Are there other avenues vocalists can apply their unique skills to? What are your views? Leave a comment below and open the discussion.