In my 30 years of working in the music industry, one thing has become clear: no artist succeeds alone. While every artist starts their musical journey alone, whether learning an instrument or writing songs, it is through collaboration and building a team that true success is achieved. In this blog, we will explore the importance of collaboration and how artists go from starting solo to creating an ecosystem of supporters, collaborators, and service providers. We will also discuss the significance of understanding the business side of the music industry before bringing on a professional manager.
As artists begin their journey, they often partner up with friends, cousins, or neighborhood kids who share their passion for music. This leads to forming bands or creative partnerships where the collective creative energy starts to take shape. From recording tracks in bedrooms and garages, artists eventually find themselves in local studios, expanding their circle of collaborators. This early stage is crucial for finding their footing and growing their ecosystem.
As an artist starts performing on local stages, their ecosystem begins to grow. They attract fans, collaborators, contemporaries, and service providers who contribute to their artistic journey. Friends who were once just companions become photographers, videographers, or road managers. This organic expansion happens as the artist focuses on their craft and the journey, attracting the right people who align with their vision.
As an artist starts generating revenue from their music and performances, the realization of the “business” aspect of the music industry becomes apparent. This is usually where artists start to understand the importance of maintaining a sustainable business model and recognizing the value of the people who have helped them along the way. It is crucial to have a grasp of the financial side of the music industry before bringing on a professional manager.
Once an artist has established revenue streams and has a solid understanding of the business side of the music industry, the time may be right to bring on a professional manager. A manager can provide valuable guidance, connections, and strategic direction to help take the artist’s career to the next level. However, it is essential to have a strong foundation and a clear understanding of the artist’s business before seeking professional management.
Collaboration is the lifeblood of success in the music industry. No artist achieves greatness alone. From starting as a solo artist to building a team of collaborators, fans, and service providers, the journey is filled with organic growth and meaningful connections. Understanding the business side of music is crucial to maintaining sustainability and recognizing the importance of those who have contributed to your success. When the time is right, a professional manager can further enhance your career. Embrace collaboration, focus on your craft, and remember that success in the music industry is a collective effort.
Hakim Draper, the founder, and CEO of Artist Intelligence Labs, is innovating the music industry by fusing his profound musical background with state-of-the-art technology. With a diverse journey encompassing early encounters with jazz legends, pioneering endeavors in Silicon Valley, and executive roles at Warner Music Group, Hakim is reshaping the landscape by equipping creators with revolutionary tools and data-driven solutions. His leadership, unwavering commitment, and trailblazing spirit position him at the forefront of the industry’s transformation, driving innovation and empowering artists to reach new heights.