Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
An artiste's career, if it is to be successful, is not just about his creativity or talent, but also about how well he (or those around him) does business.
Fireworks singer OMI, mentioned to The Sunday Gleaner that the business aspect of his career is something he values greatly.
"First of all, you want to always be punctual. If you are expected to show up anywhere at a certain time - whether it's a show or interview - you should always be on time," OMI advised.
The artiste also says he tries to maintain a good relationship with his team as they are the ones helping to get his music out there and he thinks they should feel appreciated.
"Your overall business ethics should be good. Business ethics covers a lot, but you basically want to make sure that you have a good relationship with the people you work with," The artiste said, adding that maintaining good business ethics will promote longevity in an artiste's career.
GT Taylor, the promoter behind GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza, told The Sunday Gleaner that he believes that a lot of artistes in the Jamaican music industry are not looking at their careers as businesses.
around in circles
Taylor complained that sometimes when he is looking to book artistes he ends up going around in circles between artistes and management teams.
"It's either 'yes, I can do the show' or 'no, I cannot do the show', or, 'I charge this much to do these shows', etc.," Taylor explained, adding that some artistes need to work out certain things with their management teams beforehand so that when someone is trying to book them, things flow more smoothly.
Taylor also revealed that he was faced with dilemmas when booking certain artistes for his annual stage show. However, for one in particular, his problem was not with the artiste but more the artiste's management.
According to Taylor, the artiste's manager was personally invested in another stage show happening around the same time as his and refused to book the artiste for GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza because he wanted to use the artiste at the other stage show.
This disregard for professionalism, Taylor explains, sometimes deters promoters from wanting to work with certain artistes, as personal affairs should never be mixed with business.
"When a promoter is booking an artiste, that artiste is not doing the promoter a favour by agreeing to do the show. It is a business transaction and the promoter is more the one doing the favour by seeking out that artiste, by giving them the opportunity to perform for their fans," Taylor said.
Carlette Deleon from Headline Entertainment told The Sunday Gleaner artistes need to have a good team around them.
"Every artiste needs to have an attorney, business manager and accountant. They don't have to employ them full-time but they should at least have them on commission," Deleon advised.
Entertainment Attorney-at-law, Clover Hamilton, reiterated Deleon's sentiments, saying artistes need to engage more professionals in their careers.
"Artistes should not manage themselves. In my view the artiste should only create," Hamilton said.
According to Hamilton, one song might have several contracts tied to it, as the music industry is multifaceted and the artiste needs a team to keep track of all of this and a lawyer to review every contract before signing.
The attorney mentioned that politics is involved in most industries and the same goes for the music industry, but artistes should make sure they are surrounded by professionals and they themselves should conduct themselves like professionals.
Hamilton's advice to every artiste is to put everything in writing. This she says is very important even if the artiste is working with a friend.
Deleon also told The Sunday Gleaner artistes need to invest in themselves and their music more instead of splurging on unnecessary material possessions. Things like voice training and good equipment, Deleon says, will help the artiste in the long run.
"The entertainment industry is a very fickle business so artistes need to also diversify their investments and invest in something outside of music which will bolster their financial security," Deleon said.