Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Ugly Truth about Music Management

Are you an artist who thinks that if you just had a manager to guide you music career you would "make it in the music business"?

Well if you are, smack yourself.

Just as there is no magic bullet to success in the music business, there is nothing a Music Business Manager can do for you that you can't do for yourself.

Let's look at what a manager does:

A manager is primarily responsible for building your Music Business brand. A Music Business Manager also handles the organizational and administrative aspects of your career in the Music Business. Back in the day, it good Music Business Managers could charge their percentage based on the fact that they had "connections" with A&R Reps, Entertainment Lawyers, Media Outlet's etc.. That was back in the day. Sure, there are still home high-powered Music Business Managers out there, but they are a dying breed.

Today's best Music Business Managers are often the artists themselves. Many artist's, in the Music Business book their own shows, sell their own products and market themselves way better than any manager (with a long client list) could do.

The Ugly Truth About Music Business Management is: If you are not your own Music Business Manager, you are shooting yourself in the foot with it. In TODAY'S Music Business, you must be able to wear a creative hat as well as a business persons hat.We've all heard horror stories of Music Business Managers ripping their artist off.

The most famous recent example is Ruben Studdard. I was reported that Rubens' Manager [allegedly] ripped the R&B Teddy Bear, off so bad that Ruben couldn't afford to buy a home of his own. I also have a friend who who booked Ruben for a concert in 2005.

As the story goes, the deal was done, Ruben even flew coach to make the show happen. When Ruben got off of the plane his manager hadn't secured any money in advance. Of course, Mr. Studdard didn't perform and my friend lost a great promotion and multiple thousands of dollars.If you are your own Music Business Manager, you'll most likely have the best client and the best manager.Wishing you success in the Music Business,Jeronimo!! BlackDiscover the secrets of success in TODAY'S Music Business at

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Ugly Truth About Passion

"Give me the song and I'll sing it like I mean it. Give me the words and I'll say them like I mean it."

- The Feeling : "Sewn"

One day it hit me like a flying microphone - blam. I finally understood what makes the greatest artists great. What made Tupac Shakur, Elvis Prestly, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Dizzy Gilespe, Ray Charles, Bob Marley and others superstars? Passion. Fans of the late-great artists (and some living artists) have a passion for the stars ability to make the fan feel. Any feeling will do.

Tupac Shakur introduced us to Thug Passion. Rod Steward even made fans feel sexy at one time. Mick Jagger, John Mayer, Bille Holiday, Nat King Cole, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Ladysmith Black Mambasso and others have made fans feel something.

Rock fans feel the energy, R&B fans feel the music, Folk fans feel the meaning, Hip-Hop fans feel respect, Country fans feel admiration but, all fans feel somthing.

Fans will spend two days pay (often more) paying to be near an artist who makes them feel something. It's like going on a date and never being able to talk to the date. I wonder if that's why concert shows are often referred to as tour "dates"?

Any way.

The ugly truth is that passion isn't always pretty. Passion isn't always in style. But if your passion is real, people will feel "something".

As former radio station Music Director, I've seen hundreds of packages for artists. One of the first things I listened for, in artists, was passion. If there was no passion there was no airplay.

When I managed my college radio station, I was able to build an entire an entire format of songs that college kids where passionate about.

If you have passion then you will have fans.

I'm wishing you success in the music business.

Jeronimo!! Black
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Monday, September 04, 2006

Songs and artists that are currently selling are not the only thing that will sell. You say "duh", but most get on the current bandwagon with the same old tired sound and song structure and then wonder why they cant get a record deal or get their songs cut or wonder why people arent buying their music.

You will have to learn to think outside the box. Think back through the music era as of late and look at all of the styles and how music has progressed from big band, to the Beatles to the many 70s rock bands to Boston, to the new Chicago (David Foster) albums to the slicker pop artists of the nineties with the barrage of improved keyboard sounds to today.

Now I know that we could list hundreds to thousands of bands here, but for the sake of time I think you get the idea.

Are you really thinking about the next layer of the musical cake? What will that sound like? What are you currently doing to write not just off the wall music and productions to sound different, but music that will be the next level of the music era that people will look back at as a turning point in music history?

There are numerous outlets on the web that most everyone is familiar with where up and coming acts can review and contact the writers or artists to obtain permission to record their music. The flood of sites available is astounding. As a writer or singer, comb through these sites and listen for not only valid recording material, but for ideas and ways to steer your next production close enough to mainstream marketable music, but close enough to the edge where your music and production sound fresh and new. See, its not that easy. Its easy to write it here as a valid idea, but significantly harder to put into practice.

As we close, I will offer a few suggestions, and I am well aware that many claim to have the answers, but I will just remain confident that you are building your career, making career corrections as needed along the way and are practicing your craft, not merely as an art, but as a way to get a recording contract or plain get your songs cut by a major recording artist.

Writers do get significantly better with their writing and productions over time keep doing it. Dont be afraid to admit it when either your music or production isnt working, but keep looking up, because there is hope in your admitting it and moving forward and learning how to better you productions. Dont have an attitude about your music or the ability to change it, but dont necessarily change it at every beckoning, because someone else claims to always have the superior idea.

Lastly, just hang in there, keep at it and dont be afraid.

Wishing you success in the music biz!

Jeronimo!! Black

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Mr. Gauger is a former talent booking agent with the William Morris Agency and founder of You may contact the author at Free e-books The Jingle Singers Guide, and Secrets To Great Song Demos, may be downloaded at

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