Andy Edwards is a music business executive and artist manager whose career encompasses artist management, tech start-ups, rights acquisition, touring and major record labels (BMG Records and Sony Music). He is a board director of the Music Managers Forum and sits on the UK Music board, chairing the Futures Group, a diverse group of millennial age executives who contribute to UK Music’s policy making.
Over the past six months, Andy has been supporting a group of early career artists through the Brighter Sound Mentoring Programme.
Andy has shared with us some top tips for aspiring artists. Give them a read…
1) Build your team. If you are starting out as an artist, that means doing everything for yourself. This is a great opportunity to cut your teeth and discover what the music industry is all about. But if you want to build a career, you have to build the team of people around you to help achieve your goals. There is no set formula determining who comes first – agent, lawyer, publicist or manager. Fundamentally it is about finding people who are competent and passionate. That means they know what they are doing and they will advocate for you. The biggest names will not necessarily be your strongest advocates, so do not be swayed by a “name”, be swayed by results: no matter how large or small the task, does that person deliver on a promise?
2) Find your tribe. When you first create music very often you may just be pleasing yourself, but try and get a sense of where you fit and who your audience might be. As you progress this will become evident. Pay attention to who comes to your gigs, who engages on social media and where these people are located. Listen. You will learn about the people who love your music and what makes them tick. Trying out new songs in a live set is a great way of aiding the creative process and many successful acts do this. Do not be afraid to engage on that level.
3) Focus. You cannot do everything at once. That goes for creating great art and it also goes for how you promote it. This is especially true early on when budgets and resources are slim. If this is so, keep it simple and do it well.
4) Be kind to yourself. This is a tough industry. Not everyone can be taken at face value and not everyone will support you. An honest rejection is better than being told what you want to hear. Either way, accept you are doing something incredibly difficult. The challenges of any creative endeavour are immense and very often success is hard to define or predict until it happens. Whatever path you take, put your health and happiness first. Always.
5) Love what you do. [That’s it.]
Photo credit M20 Photography