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Celebrating artist managers in Jamaica

 

posted by Focused on November 16, 2010 @ 9:09 am in CULTURE

Given the importance of music in Jamaican culture and the abundance of artistes hailing from the island, it is mind-boggling to see that artist management is not celebrated enough within Jamaican culture. Go to any community in Jamaica and you are almost guaranteed to find at least one celebrated singer, instrumentalist and dancer. Are the odds as high when it comes to finding a celebrated artist manager? I am not so sure.

 

Why? Because when it comes to envisioning their involvement in the music business, being a manager is hardly the first option in the minds of many. Do we really celebrate the importance of being a good music manager? The answer is not enough. Do some of us keep lamenting the fact Jamaica does not have a proper music industry (not to be confused with a business)? All the time. Is it a coincidence? No.

 

While their jobs are not that glamorous and publicized, one must remember that good managers are just as valuable to an artiste’s career as the artiste’s craft itself. You’ve probably heard the African proverb that says that “it takes a village to raise a child”. I believe that the same principle applies to an artist in the sense that it takes a good team to take an artiste’s career to its highest level.

 

Considering the importance of the artist management profession, I believe that it should be introduced to Jamaican students from as early as high school (if it isn’t being done already). The benefit of such a move would be that the students contemplating a career as an artiste would know more about what to look out for the time comes to choosing a manager. Knowledge is power, right? This would prevent them from being robbed by unscrupulous managers due to business ignorance.

 

Another benefit of teaching artist management in high school is that students wishing to become managers in other fields would benefit from it too. Even if they are learnt with the aim of being applied in a specific niche, managerial skills can be transferred to any aspect of business in general.

 

Overall, the ideal situation is when people can make informed career decisions. Having an artiste who is aware of the business process should make a manager more efficient at the job (he or she would be working with a trained mind). More will be achieved in an artiste’s career when he or she is properly educated about the business.

To be continued…

 

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Tags : jamaica, artist management, business, music
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