Artist development 101
Artist Development is a combination of creative and business issues that must be dealt with to make the music, and the business surrounding the music, run smoothly. Artist Development is about pre-release. It's about preparing the artist and/or the song for exposure. It's the work done prior to developing a product.
Additional areas of focus may include:
- Preparing Careers
- Brand Development
- Song Creation
- Vocal Coaching
- Protecting Songs (Copyrights)
- Sync Licensing
- Business Establishment
- Business Management
- Performance Coaching
- Creating Images
- Preparing to Record / Perform
Artist Development through Song Creation
Everything starts with a song. Without great songs, there is no music business. Songwriting is not just an artistic expression; it is the axis upon which the music business rotates. Artist Development is about the music itself. Good songs are not good enough when preparing to market the music. People only respond to what they feel are great songs. The songs must have some commercial appeal, if only to a certain music niche. (Hip Hop, Alternative Rock, New Age, Jazz, Blues, Folk, etc.) Finding that niche, and learning how to manage its growth is essential to developing a successful act. So, the songs must be of a VERY high caliber.
Artist Development is also about protecting the songs by registering them with the copyright office.
The business of music publishing, which is really the business of finding uses for songs, is very important for the financial income streams of our songwriters.
Choosing a name for the act, and filing for a trademark to prevent others from using the chosen name are also part of the business organization of properly developing an Artist's career.
Starting The Business
Artists need to have and/or start their own business (sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation). This is a necessity if Artists want to have control over their careers. There are many questions to be answered about operating a business, financially and professionally. Artists need to update any changes in the business operations as they may occur, because the different city, state, and federal laws affecting any business are constantly changing and evolving.
As Artists careers develop, Artists may wish to improve on some of their creative talents by taking voice lessons or master classes from more experienced musicians. Investing in the best equipment, musical instruments, and guidance is another necessity if Artists are going to be a professional, working musician or performing artist.
As Artists become more successful in their careers, Artists will need the services of an entertainment law attorney. Artists should utilize attorneys who have experience within the music industry. Artists will need them to look over any band agreements, record label contracts, publishing deals, or any other number of legal matters.
Band Agreements should define the issues related to running careers as a business and how members will work with others in the band.