Music Managers Forum Talk

Solent University provided information on how to start your career in music management by inviting MMF Events Co-Coordinator Joe Lever and Artist Manager Jenny Carroll to talk to students within the music courses about the best routes into the industry.

“You’ll get knocked back time and time again”

Jenny told students that, even though she studied music throughout her education, she still struggled to figure out what part of the music industry she wanted to work in.  Jenny spent her time doing internships as a radio plugger, alongside building as much experience as possible in every aspect of music (such as going to gigs and networking).  Through these activities, she realised that more young women were getting into the industry in different areas, which inspired her to keep going when it got tough.

Jenny also gave advice to the aspiring band managers in the room about how to approach an artist at an early career stage. She suggested chatting to artists before or after their gigs, even if students feel that they may lack experience. This method provides more time to develop a relationship with the artist and grow together as creative people. 

Jenny talked about how major record labels are leaving it later and later to start to talk to artists/bands and how this presents an advantage for managers who approach bands at an early stage. Jenny gave the example that five of her seven artists are self-releasing, with the DIY movement always moving and growing. 

Taking the DIY route does however mean a smaller team around the artist, whereas a major label will have the big teams for marketing, PR,legal and more. Therefore, social media can be your friend during the early stages. 

“Social Media is the main thing to focus on for managers”

Both Joe and Jenny talked about how social media is the best way to promote an artist at an early stage. They recommended using Instagram stories during the gigs as a tactic that works well.  

Jenny also discussed making sure that managers get paid. She explained that most managers are most often paid commission of 20% on artist earnings. It’s rare that managers are paid a salary by either a management company or artist.

Jenny’s final point to the students was to provide tips on how best to use Spotify. She recommends that artists put out as many singles as possible initially, rather than packaging tracks as a full album. This is because the current Spotify algorithm works best with singles, especially in relation to playlists like “New Music Friday”.

Talks like these give an insight as to what students can look forward to in the future and it’s important for these talks to keep happening.