With the music industry booming all around the world, it has become more imperative than ever to have visionary artist managers along with an entire team of people who make these artists a hit.
It is not the work of a single person but an entire unit that works collaboratively to make an artist successful. Hence, it can be safely said that one cannot function without the other and each of these factors is co-dependent in the making of a globally-known artist.
“In the US, artist managers are the point person for all aspects of the artists career. The manager is heavily involved across the board on all things touring, merchandise deals, recorded music, publishing, and all pieces of the artist pie. They are the key player to synergise every part of the artists’ businesses,” said Greg Thompson, President, Maverick.
In his conversation with Music Plus, Thompson shed light on the relationship between a booking agent and a manager.
“I feel that most managers in the US view their agent as a key member of the team. The agent is a part of the strategy that builds up an artist’s ability to tour and be a successful live act,” he said.
Currently serving as the president of Maverick, an American entertainment company founded in 1992, Thompson is well known for his role at Capitol Music Group and EMI Records.
“I spent 25 years working on the record label side. After having a large pool of opportunities allowing me to play many roles including running major labels, I felt more connected to the role of the manager. I loved the idea of being involved in every aspect of the artists’ career, and not just with the recorded masters,” he added.
Maverick, founded by Madonna and U2 manager Guy Oseary in partnership with Live Nation, has brought together globally renowned artist managers such as Scott Rodger (Sir Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire), Shawn Gee (The Roots, Jill Scott) Ron Laffitte (Pharrell Williams, One Republic, Alicia Keys), Clarence Spalding (Jason Aldean), Larry Rudolph (Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears) and Cortez Bryant & Gee Roberson (Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne).
“Maverick is blessed with many great artists and managers. We have the good fortune of looking after everyone from U2 and Paul McCartney, to the Weekend, Miley Cyrus, and of course Madonna. We are very excited to have MONSTA X in the family. French Montana continues to only get bigger, and we have a great crop of young new artists starting to really catch fire like Lil Nas X,” Thompson said.
The music industry, globally, has undergone a massive change in the last few years. When asked about his perspective on the Indian music market, Thompson has an interesting take,
“I strongly feel that India is beyond exciting. This market not only has an enormous population, but a tremendous amount of diversity and talent that global artists and their fans already connect with. There is such an obvious thread in terms of bridging the east and west. In an age of globalism, it’s clear that the Indian music market will only continue to grow and prosper.”
Speaking about the opportunity of collaborations with Indian musicians and artists based in the West, Thompson opined that it’s a logical partnership between artists from India and artists from the west. It’s no different than what’s happening with K-Pop currently. Mentioning Maverick’s future plans, Thompson further said,
“We have no immediate plans, but we are all focused on finding alliances to work with artist managers and promoters in that specific market. We are extremely attracted to opportunities in this major growth market.”
With an experience of over two decades in the industry, Thompson has witnessed a plethora of changes that the industry has undergone. He strongly feels that globally, in today’s world with the streaming and DSPs, there are no limits on how far or quickly music can travel.
From a managerial point of view, he further examined the difference in the business between a developed and an emerging market.
He said, “Developed markets offer more structure and sophistication. That being said, we all see emerging markets growing and the opportunity is heavily increasing. We view emerging markets as a key part of the long-term growth and strategy for all of our artists.”
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