321 Artists Meets: Chris Rogers

As an emerging artist, you’re going to constantly be coming across new faces, whether that’s new artists you’re playing with, new sound engineers or new artist managers. Meeting them shouldn’t be the end of your networking, connecting with them on social media and building up a relationship is so important and will be very beneficial to you.

Networking isn’t just about making new connections, a huge part of networking is education - it’s about what you can learn from your new connections.

This week on 321 Artists Meets, we’re chatting to Chris Rogers - founder of Fat Penguin Management, Pivotal music conference and lecturer at BIMM Birmingham. Birmingham has a really strong music scene within the city, and there are a lot of networking events that take place within the city that allows musicians and industry professionals to connect.

Chris: When I first started working in the music industry I noticed that the Midlands really lacked a Music Industry networking event and that it can be very London Centric. I thought the best way to solve this was to actually just start something and hence alongside the Music Managers Forum, Tribes in Birmingham was born.

I think these networking events are especially important for emerging artists for a number of reasons. They really give you the opportunity to showcase yourself and when you’re ready build that team around you. Even before you are looking for other team members there are so many opportunities with other artists at these events from shows to co-writing and so they really are massively important.

As an artist manager, often you notice things that could be done to help artists and other industry professonials further. Through the work Chris has done involved with networking in Birmingham, Chris has gone on to create a music industry conference. 

Chris: So in a nuthsell, Pivotal grew from the Birmigham Networking events that I started and have become Birmingham’s first Music Industry Conference in a decade. We had the first one last year and it was really popular and so much so we are back again on the 27th September to do it all again!

We are so lucky to have a number of partners on board this year to deliver our day of panels, showcases, workshops and networking including AWAL, AIM, The BPI, Awesome Merchandise, WARM, ROTOR and ACM which have all made for a fantastic team around the event.

I think my experience as an artist manager has definately helped to drive the development of the event. I really wanted to create a better music industry infrastructure in the midlands and really drive growth for all the creative industries here.

As an artist manager, or seen as a professional within the industry, you’re often seen as a fountain of knowledge (debateable) and contacts, and we often find ourselves with our inboxes full of messages that start with “I hope you don’t mind me asking but how did you....”

Chris: I really believe in not being a closed book with my contacts. We have all worked hard to build those relationships but the industry for me is all about supporting each other and making new ones.

I think I want to know why you want to speak to certain people, how is it going to help you and how have you already tried to get in touch. I think seeing the work that people have already tried to do to contact people is massively important.

However there is always a limit to the amount I’m going to share but I’m happy for people to message always. If I can’t help I’ll say or I’ll point them in the right direction, or if it’s not the right time for that introduction I’ll be honest.

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