321 Artists Q&A - In depth

We recently completed our first ever Q&A over on Instagram and had a lot of really interesting questions asked that we couldn’t answer in the detail we really wanted to! So, here are some of the questions we were asked, I hope you find them useful!

Do you manage differently depending on the artist?

Absolutely, you definitely have to learn how to adapt when you are managing, especially when you’re many multiple artists. It won’t work if you go straight in with a strategy before really getting to understand the artist. Some artists are really hands on with their project, especially if they’re not used to being represented, so as a manager you take a more informal, less regimented approach to managing and are simply an extra pair of hands. However, some artists need a lot more direction and appreciate being told what to do in essence, a lot more than others. It definitely takes time to understand each other and work out the best strategy for each artist, but it’s an exciting challenge learning to adapt and manage in a different way.

What do managers look for when taking on an artist?

I think this is completely individual to the manager, but for me, I look for the passion and energetic attitude towards the project. I want to be able to listen to an artist talk about their project and for me to be hooked on every word and eventually be as excited as you are. I look for an artist who has a sense of ambition and plans for the future, for me this shows that they have dedication and commitment to the project. I, of course, need to fully believe in the music you’re making. This doesn’t mean the music isn’t good enough, just means it might not be a project I think I have the knowledge or experience to be able to work with effectively.

If you’re an artist, who may be at the beginning stages of their project, don’t think artist managers always look for experience or wealth of knowledge, this can be taught. I don’t have a preference in terms of working with new or more established projects, for me it’s about the things I’ve highlighted above.

What is your top tip to maintain productivity during lockdown?

I think one of the most important things to say in response to this question is to remind you that there is no pressure to achieve a certain level of “productivity”. Everyone is going to deal with this situation we’re in very differently, and if being productive is your coping strategy, then you know that’s the right thing for you. If this is a time you wish to stop and recharge your batteries, that’s also absolutely fine.

For me, I’ve been very up and down in terms of motivation, but I’m a visual thinker, so writing a physical to do list with five realistic tasks that I can complete and tick off has been really beneficial for me. When I say realistic, these are tasks that vary in size, but are all doable.

I know people who are writing a “done” list at the end of the day, rather than a to do list which may be a more positive and uplifting way of doing it, it means you celebrate the little wins and achievements more.

An important point to make is to not force motivation or productivity. If you’re completing a task and your head isn’t completely in it, you won’t be happy with the final product, and it’ll have been a complete waste of time, and that isn’t going to be any benefit to you.

What would you say is the perfect artist/manager partnership?

As a manager, I think I’m constantly thinking of new initiatives and ideas to aid the artists, and my artists tend to have the same attitude. I like creativity and energy. I think an important element of the partnership is that we’re mates as well as having a professional partnership - this may be due to my age in relation to my artists, which is an interesting idea to consider… I think having a sense of humour and being able to switch back to work mode is really important, I want artists to enjoy working with 321, and equally, I want to enjoy working with them. When you’re spending so much time with your artists, you need to be able to enjoy their company - that’s how a management partnership should be in my eyes. BUT this is going to be completely different for every manager and artist partnership. There are a lot of elements that build the dynamics, but those are the ingredients that build my perfect artist/manager partnership.

Dream band/artist to manage?

I’ve actually been really lucky as all of the artists I’ve had the pleasure to manage, I’ve always been like “Man, I’d really love to manage them one day” which is a really lovely thing. If I could work with any artist, it’d have to be Billy Lockett. He is utterly incredible, and I think he’d be great to work with. Also Samm Henshaw, I bet he’s cool.


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