A music manager (or band manager) may handle career areas for bands and singers and DJs.
A music manager may be hired by a musician or band, or the manager may discover the band, and the relationship is usually contractually bound with mutual assurances, warranties, performances guarantees, and so forth. The manager’s main job is to help with determining decisions related to career moves, bookings, promotion, business deals, recording contracts, etc. The role of music managers can be extensive and may include similar duties to that of a press agent, promoter, booking agent, business manager (who are usually certified public accountants), tour managers, and sometimes even a personal assistant. Manager’s contracts, however, cannot license those responsibilities unto the manager in the same way a state license would empower the agent to do so. Therefore, conflicting areas of interest may arise unless those are clarified in the contract. That said, a manager should be able to read and understand and explain a contract and study up on the long-term implications of contractual agreements that they, the bands, and the people they do business with, enter into.
Before the manager enters into a contract with the band, their relationship may be regarded as competing for interest; after a good contract is signed, their interests, obligations and incentives are aligned, and the interest in success is shared.
Responsibilities of a music manager are often divided among many who manage various aspects of a musical career. With an unsigned act, music managers may assume multiple roles: booking agent, graphic designer, publicist, promoter, and handling money and finances. As an artist’s career develops, responsibilities may grow, and because of their percentage agreement with the band, the manager’s income may grow as well. A music manager becomes important to managing the many different pieces that make up a career in music. The manager can assist singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists in molding a career, finding music producers, and developing relationships with record companies, publishers, agents, and the music-loving public. They should carefully consider when certain contributions have been made which would also entitle them to cowriting credits, Executive Producer credit, or Producer credit should they become involved in songwriting, financing works, or actually producing demos and recordings, and should carefully know these jobs and these fees should be considered either as separate from the contract, in addition to the contract, or as free to the musician as clarified in emails and the contract.
The duties of an active music manager may include supporting the band’s development of a reputation for the musician(s) and building a fan base, which may include mastering and launching a demo CD, developing and releasing press kits, planning promotional activities, creating social network identities for bands, and booking shows. A music manager may be present during recording sessions and should support the artist during the creative process while not interfering between the artist and the producer, but also musicians may also find valuable feedback in 3rd pair of ears and this should be carefully considered as well. They may gain access to a recording studio, photographers, and promotions. He or she will see that CD labels, posters, and promotional materials appropriately represent the band or artist, and that press kits are released in a timely manner to appropriate media. Launching a CD with complementary venues and dates is also a music managers responsibility.
Despite the many hats that managers are expected to wear, the contract should comprehensively specify the range of activities and mutual responsibilities the manager has to the band, and visa-versa. It is not the manager’s “job” to lend, give, or subsidize the artist’s careers no matter how great the disparities in their personal incomes, although terms for lending the band money, and the band’s repayment of the manager’s expenses may be defined in their contract.