A music agent is also known as a talent agent. However, ‘talent agent’ is a broader term because a talent agent can work in music industries, movie industries, or personally with celebrities. The type of talent agent who is the subject of discourse here is a music agent. Therefore, this is to say that the talent in question here is music. Who then is a music agent?
In this article, we would explore the following:
- Who is a music agent?
- What does a music agent do?
Who Is a Music Agent?
There has been a lot of deliberations from people about who a music agent is. Some people believe that the agent is anyone who works with a musician in one way or the other. However, there are different tasks that people in the music industry perform, and particular tasks define who a music agent is. It helps disband the notion that everyone that works in the music industry is a talent agent. In essence, a music agent is a person that stands in between a musician and his music career. Most of the time, the role of a music agent can be undermined by people because they don’t know what the job entails.
What Does a Music Agent Do?
As stated earlier, the different roles that people play in the music industry are a function of their tasks in the industry. A talent agent does the following tasks in the industry:
Planning of Activities
Agents are in charge of planning most of the activities that a musician does. An agent is like a musicians’ personal assistant. For example, an upcoming artist will have to have different shows to sell themselves to the populace.
It is the agent’s job to organize events or write to events to invite the artist. There will be activities on the ground for a popular artist already, so what the agent has to do is regulate the ones the musician will attend or not attend. In summary, a music agent handles and arranges the musicians’ schedules of everything that has to do with their music career.
An agent’s job is to ensure that the musician’s career is kept intact and well-publicized. For musicians to sell songs, they need to remain in the spotlight to gather more fans. There are lots of things the agent has to plan on behalf of the artist to do this. For example, musicians go for such things as world tours and interviews. These are the things that sell them out to people. As earlier stated, artists need to always be in the spotlight as their career demands. When an artist publishes a new song, the main aim is to give it as much publicity as possible. The agent books interview sessions about the music and give it as much hype as possible to get the populace’s interest.
Social Media Control
Certain unexpected events are bound to happen in the music industry that can negatively affect an artist’s career. As celebrities, it is hard to keep personal lives. There are a lot of media personalities that are very eager to get manipulative stories about celebrities. Most of these stories, true or not, can put an artist’s career in jeopardy. Issues like these are inevitable because they are bound to happen. When celebrities try to keep very clean records, people dig up things that have occurred in the past or cook up stories about the celebrities. In cases like this, it is the work of the agent to regulate the activities on social media. Sometimes, it goes as far as making public statements to renounce some rumors. A series of interviews can sometimes do this on radio and T.V. stations.
Endorsement Deals and Ambassadorship Deals
It is not just enough for a musician to know how to sing. There is the need to sell out the talent. By talent selling, the musician has to have a string of connections and associations that can connect them to the top. The role of the agent is to find deals that can cut good monetary deals for the artist. Also, as regards ambassadorship, it is the agent’s job to make sure that the agreement is as favorable to the artist as possible when it comes to these deals. Apart from being the face of products and services, an artist might also be given deals like making advertisement songs, movies, etc.
Following the responsibilities listed above, the work of a music agent involves a lot. An agent might not have to do up to this for some music industries or might even do more. It largely depends on the agreement that the agent and the artist make from the beginning. In most cases, the music agent is also the musician’s assistant, while in other cases, the musician keeps both a P.A. and an agent separately. From the above-listed activities, we can also say that an agent is all-encompassing; they are doing the work of a manager, travel agent, quality assurance, and a P.R.O.
Qualifications of a Music Agent
Following the large chunk of responsibilities that an agent has to carry, it is expected that whoever will be a music agent must have certain essential qualities. Usually, it is always very hard for musicians to pick a new agent. Therefore this is the reason why most musicians prefer to work with someone they have already know, who they can trust and vouch for to deliver. As a way of doing this, they always tend to pick their agents from their most competent close workers. As an agent, you have to be brilliant, have a good relationship with people, industries, and companies, multitask, be a good negotiator and be a good communicator, amongst other professional skills.
Why Do You Need a Music Agent
It is almost impossible for artists to carry out all their responsibilities solely. It establishes the primary ground that they do need a music agent. An agent is primarily the key to having a successful career. The truth is that no matter how hardworking an artist may seem, he can never handle his career by himself. Sometimes, a music agent has more exposure than the artist they are working for.
The industry is not just about singing alone. It is also about what you can use your talent to do or get. In other words, we can say that a music agent is technically a talent manager. A music agent is the face of the career. By meeting with other agents, a music agent gets many experiences and knowledge to channel into growing the music career.
Usually, an agent’s circle will consist of people like advertisers, people from different record labels, other artists and performers, etc. A musician might keep a circle of close friends and associates, but that might not help their career. Part of the expectations from an agent is that they should keep a circle of friends that can promote the artist’s career.
Booking and Planning Events
Music agents are also important because when it comes to organizing events on behalf of an artist, they are at the forefront of the planning. The publicity, booking, and invites are is to be done by the music agent. In the music industry, no show is just a ‘show.’ Every show is an avenue for an artist to present himself to the world. The agent has to make sure that the appropriate people are at the show. It will include officials from various industries and organizations who might have an interest in signing the artist.
When it comes to booking, the work of an agent cannot be overemphasized. Booking has to do with the jobs or events that an artist has to attend. It might not be possible for a very popular musician to attend all the programs they get an invite to. Hence, it is the agent’s job to regulate the bookings by selecting the ones the artist will attend. Also, upon accepting the invitation, the agent’s job is to make sure necessary provisions like transport, accommodation, and feeding for the artist are in place. Also, the agent should take care of whatever the musician needs for the performances. If an artist does not have a good music agent, such an artist cannot have a good performance. That is why an artist must make sure that they pick someone capable and efficient.
It Gives You Time To Focus on What Truly Matters
While an agent is busy going about how the artist will have a smooth music career, the artist should write more songs and prepare for performances. It will be considered very cliché for an artist to be found calling journalists, T.V. hosts, and radio hosts and convincing them to interview or write about them. An average artist in the 21st century needs to have a music agent or a music manager. It helps the artist to free up his schedule.
Imagine having a world tour and trying to get accommodation, transport, feeding, taking care of stage props, and the rest; there will be absolutely no time for the artist to practice their music. If the planning is perfect and the music is whack, it will negatively affect the music career. In the same vein, if the performance is excellent and the planning is not good, many things will go wrong. For example, the sound system might flop, or the accommodation might be too far from the music venue, and this might cause the artist to go late. In essence, an artist can never cover-up for the responsibilities of a music agent on his own. It is always better to get a professional who can handle it on your behalf.
Speaking of professionalism, there is a very professional outlook to having a music agent working with you. In working alone, even as a sound artist, people might consider you as an ‘upcoming’ or ‘unserious’ artist and might take your talent for granted. However, if you have a chain of workers, especially a music agent, with you, people will take you seriously; in fact, more serious than you might be. Also, having a music agent does not mean you already have an accountant, a manager, a lawyer, and a logistics person all in one person.
It only means that you can have all these people, but they report to the agent and not to you. It will be too much work for the agent to see every detail about tours and programs. There should be other people that will be working with the agents. The agent’s job is similar to that of an overseer. He has to make sure that the various departments handle their jobs well and there is nothing left undone.
In conclusion, what a music agent does, in a nutshell, is to make life easier for the artist. The agent will have to make themselves available to the public at all times possible. The agent has to be at the beck and call of the artist all the time. Also, it will only be reasonable for an artist to have an agent for things to run smoothly on the artist’s part. An agent gives an artist’s career a professional outlook and handles logistics, transport services, accommodations, bookings, interviews, meetings, finances, and meetings.