So You Think You Need A Manager?

“A manager can’t make a star, he or she can only aid and abet one.”

— Uncle Jamz

What is the first thing that rolls into the mind of an artist barely scratching the surface of what this industry has to offer? The “need” for management. Artists book a few shows, release a few records, and network their way into a few radio stations, then begin thinking it is time for representation. As a former talent manager, I often had artists find their way into my inboxes in search of a manager. The moment I asked them why they needed representation, it was always the predictable, “every artist needs a manager” back story of how hard they thought it was. Several artists have no idea when they really need representation, how to truly get it, and the ingredients to build and maintain the relationship when it is developed.

The Common Mistake

Truth be told, not every artist’s journey is ready to be overseen, UNTIL you have something to oversee. It’s a mere waste of time and finances, funneling money into someone who is unable to do his or her job because you haven’t fully developed into a marketable brand. What does that mean? You are a product still in the prototypical stage. After you have supplemented into a product ready to be placed on the shelves, then consider yourself ready for representation.

“I believe artists believe they need management for an easy way out. Artists assume that having a manager will get them to the next level when really, they aren’t ready for a manager. Managers need something to MANAGE.”

— Diana Schweinbeck

Is It Time?

“There is no set formula on this, but certainly if you are going to be doing concerts, releasing records legitimately and engaging in expansion of your brand. If your fan base is ReverbNation or SoundCloud only, then you don’t need a manager.”

— Uncle Jamz

I believe in direct honesty in the hopes of it assisting an artist, and inspiring them to thrive for greatness. With that being said;




SoundCloud buzz has been the underlying problem in majority of artist’s logic. Your reach and fan base should not stop there if you are leaning towards representation. If it still cultivates in this area, get partnered up with a mentor. Someone actively working in the industry, who will reliably be of aid to you in expanding. It will condition you for what all professional managers look for within the brand of an artist.

You Don’t Find Representation, It Finds You

You are the product remember? Becoming a fully marketable brand plays a part in assisting you in gaining representation. Realistically, you want to generate a buzz that will draw eyes in your direction. “Whenever I am interested in what an artist has going on, I stay in contact and they do the same – you never know when a business relationship will blossom,” says Schweinbeck. If you happen to find yourself requesting to work with a manager, develop an authentic business relationship. If you are someone they can see themselves working with, they will make it happen.

When It’s Time

After joining forces with a knowledgeable manager, remember to stay humble and willing to accept the guidance that comes along with them. They are there for you! You don’t know it all, or else you wouldn’t need a manager. Bad vibes and disloyalty can kill ANY relationship, including professional ones.

“ Some acts start out cool, but at a certain point they start listening to their friends or family members that know nod diddly squat about the entertainment business and they change because they feel like they should be a star, and as a manager you didn’t make them one. They never stop to realize that stardom is on what the artist projects that makes people in masses gravitate towards them.”

— Uncle Jamz

Featured Quotes & Insight From:

Diana Schweinbeck; Talent Manager at Schweinbeck, LLC (Sy Ari Da Kid & Damar Jackson)


Sid “Uncle Jamz” Johnson; Talent Manager at MECAP (Skypp, Endure, Rodney Stepp, plus several additional)

Former Manager of Babyface & Field Mob

Twitter: @unclejamz

IG: @unclejamz_

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