QMusic, Queensland's music industry development organisation, goes into overdrive this week with QMUSIC CONNECT: The Masterclass Series offering free live masterclasses featuring industry leaders and professionals from this Thursday 30 April at 5.30pm (AEST).
Behind many of the artists we all love are incredible teams of managers, licensing agents and labels. Alongside dedicated fans, they form an integral part of the community that work around the clock to propel artists forward.
Some of the artist managers and industry professionals involved in our free professional development workshop series Industry Connect have divulged their industry insider tips and lessons learnt.
"What looks like overnight success is usually years and years of hard work, practice, rejection, hustle, networking, self improvement, and making the most of every opportunity that presents itself."ANDY IRVINE
General Manager, GYROstream
If you’re keen to hear more about building sustainable careers for artists or the art of being a DIY musician then head along to an Industry Connect ‘It’s A Business’ workshop near you.
Samuel Beck: Keep it fun!
Sasha Chifura: Throughout your journey, you're going to feel a lot of different ways. One day you feel like a genius, the next you will feel like shit. Try to remember the feeling of the former because the self-doubt can be punishing. However, negative feelings should also not be ignored. The self doubt can be your greatest asset if you don't let it overwhelm you. If you hold yourself to a high standard, your output will be of a high standard.
Gabriel Bravo: When I started, I worked for free because I didn't think I knew enough to deserve payment - putting out records for people and not taking a cut, helping with shows, just anything I could do. I'm not sure if that's the best advice for everyone, but when you're starting from absolutely nowhere sometimes it's the only way people will give you a chance to learn. I couldn't have grown up further away from the music industry and it got my foot in the door and around people who know way more than me and I'm still learning every day from those same people.
Tyler McLoughlan: Understand copyright - it's at the core of most industry dealings and contracts, and it represents a creative's ability to have a long career (or a short one if it's not given the appropriate attention). It may seem boring or complicated compared to the fun creative stuff, though songs ARE copyright - it's a beautiful dance (which coincidentally is also protected by copyright... along with many of the other creative promotional materials used in the entertainment industry which require consideration)!
Will Watson: Everything else is important, but ultimately, it's all about the song.
Adam Booth: Respect for creatives and what they personally go through to do what they do everyday.
Chryss Carr: It's taught me how to be resilient and strong and that when you maintain integrity you can never go wrong. Integrity also gives you an advantage in as much as when you stick to your integrity you have nothing to lose, and when you have nothing to lose you can play the game as you see fit and the outcome never fails you. It's important to simultaneously stay true to yourself and true to others.
Thomas Granger: No one really knows what they're doing, everyone is learning on the job and there's no blueprint to success. What worked for one person doesn't always work for the next.
Sasha Chifura: Because of a minimum income for a long time, I learnt the importance of being able to balance my energy and efforts across several side hustles and passions..... To weigh my options, follow my dreams, but also listen to the logical half of my brain. The ambition/creative in me initially said "go all in", but through consequences, I've learnt to listen to my rational thoughts and not ignore either side.
Tyler McLoughlan: Get everything in writing! Especially phone call discussions even if it seems everyone is on the same page - follow up immediately with key action points/your understanding of the conversation, as there's so many opportunities for misinterpretation or things going wrong due to unclear communication. Plus, it shows you are super professional which makes all the difference in gaining further opportunities.
John Mullen: Reputation is everything, always best to be upfront and honest with people.
Get to know more about the facilitators presenting at Industry Connect workshops and masterclasses all around the state between now and July!
Director at Calibre Artist Management / A&R Consultant at Sony-ATV
I strive to provide a stable platform for songwriters, producers and artists to be their best.
Adam Booth (Weez) is the director of management firm Calibre Artist Management (Thundamentals, 360, Adrian Eagle, Teischa) and boutique music production house Affinity Music with multi ARIA/APRA award-winning producer/songwriter Styalz Fuego and a roster of Gold and Platinum selling producers, songwriters and mixing engineers, plus The Base Recording Studio in South Melbourne. Previously at The Mushroom Group, Weez is also an A&R Consultant for Sony/ATV Publishing Australia and is responsible for signing acts as diverse as Remi, Thundamentals and Little May, and has worked closely on records with Hermitude, Sarah Aarons, LDRU, Peking Duk and more.
Artist Manager at Leisurely
We manage artists, we manage their music, their labels, the team and sometimes their personal lives. It’s a truly unique job.
Sam started out as small time promoter in the Brisbane club scene. It quickly took off from the first bookings of Van She, Bag Raiders and Riot In Belgium to move into the international and live space. He promoted the first shows for Metronomy, Crystal Castles, Boyz Noize, Surkin, A-Trak and more. The skill sets in this space set him up for a management role in 2010 with Flight Facilities and he’s never looked back.
Presenting at ‘It’s A Business’, Brisbane, May 9 - free registration here
Artist Manager and Senior Publicist at AUM PR + MGMT
Chryss Carr has been in the music industry for over 30 years. She started in promotions working at Mushroom, Virgin and EMI Records. In 1999 she opened AUM PR + MGMT where she worked on breakthrough campaigns for various independent artists and Indigneous events including Gurrumul, Dan Sultan, Darwin Festival and the National Indigenous Music Awards. Chryss transitioned into management in 2015 and now manages Baker Boy, Benny Walker, Dallas Woods and until recently co-managed KIAN.
General Manager at Audiopaxx
Thomas Granger has been working in the music industry for 10 years, originally starting out in events and entertainment bookings for venues. He is now the General Manager of Audiopaxx Agency (International Tours, Management and Local Bookings) and he Manages LDRU, Yahtzel, Carmada, Pacific Avenue, The Zilzies and Elk Road. Tom works with a wide range of domestic and international artists, labels and publishers on a daily basis.
Director at Foreign Echo / Co-Director at Valve Sounds
Sasha started his career in entertainment by Co-founding a Melbourne label called Valve Sounds, as the Co-director, the label has built a strong cult status in Melbourne, with numerous sold-out events, and is now looking to solidify its place as the leader of Rap/HipHop/R&B and Soul music in Australia. Sasha also acts as the Director of Melbourne artist management company Foreign Echo, which currently looks after the likes of Tkay Maidza, UV boi, Baro, Tobiahs and a few more.
- ‘It’s A Business + Getting It Out There’, Gold Coast, May 11 - free registration here
- ‘Click Here + The Release Cycle’, Sunshine Coast, June 1 - free registration here
- ‘Click Here + The Release Cycle’, Cairns, July 6 - free registration here
Manager at Cloak Entertainment
I manage artists who are my friends first. That's lead me to amazing opportunities doing different things in all facets of music from events, tours, publishing and labels.
Presenting at ‘It’s A Business’, Brisbane, May 9 - free registration here.
Music Licensing Agent & Supervisor at The Sound Pound / Artist Manager for Bobby Alu
I work with advertising agencies, production companies, producers, directors, film makers, brands and anyone making creative content to ensure the process of using music is a smooth one. This may involve licensing songs controlled by record labels and/or publishers, searching for great indie tracks, or finding composers/musicians to create new works. Sometimes a combination of all three in one production. On the flip side, I look for interesting independent music to pitch for sync opportunities.
In my separate role as an artist manager, I oversee the business and career of Bobby Alu to ensure his creative vision is supported with short and long term strategy. I nurture relationships with key team members, partners and supporters across areas including touring, recording, distribution, publicity, media, merch, sync, brands, content & digital marketing, fan engagement, logistics & personnel.
- ‘It’s A Business + Getting It Out There’, Sunshine Coast, May 4 - free registration here
- ‘It’s A Business + Getting It Out There’, Ipswich, May 18 - free registration here.
Managing Director at PS Music Group
I wear three hats.
A booking agent representing over 50 acts in Australia and New Zealand including Tijuana Cartel, Bobby Alu, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Sex On Toast.
Artist manager for thando
Tour promoter, promoting a select few tours each year. In the past we have promoted tours for Hot 8 Brass Band, Akala, Frazey Ford.
Presenting at ‘It’s A Business + Getting It Out There’, Ipswich, May 18 - free registration here.
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