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The Role Of An Artist Manager – By Toks Asher Young

A manager is the first buffer between an artiste and the world. As an artiste manager you are your acts’ biggest supporter, his biggest fan as well as his biggest critic. You have to support your artiste fully and always. Your support for him/her must be blind like love. If you don’t support your artiste 

 How then do you expect others to support him/her too. As a manager you have to give your all if possible to your artiste’s career. Sometimes artistes feel they know it all and they are very selfish and protective of their music and as such refuse to see/hear the voice of reason at times.

You have to humor him/her sometimes, encourage, direct, explain and always look for ways to make his next performance better than the last one. It is your job to observe every performance, the crowd reaction and his stage craft with a view to discussing with him/her on ways to improve or better his/her craft. Your job isn’t just to handle logistics, negotiate terms, sit and wait for bookings or opportunities to come your way, it also includes going out of your way to explore and exploit every opportunity or chance that you feel will expose your artiste to better times, good income, better music & performances and better days (One of the key characteristics of A Role Of An Artist Manager)

There’s nothing wrong with an artiste performing a FREE SHOW as long as it will benefit your artiste positively help him/her grow and add value to his brand/career. It might not be immediately but if you perform the right free event sometimes it can open doors quicker than a lot of paid gigs. Also without free shows or non paying events how else do you expect an artiste to hone and perfect his performance and stage craft? How then will he/she look back and realize the things he/she could have done better so that next time they can truly kill the show proper not just by word of mouth. Nothing teaches better than experience, no matter how much an artiste rehearses it won’t be the same as actually performing live on stage and what better way to get that than at a free event/show. A lot of managers and artistes assume that free shows are a waste of time cos it won’t make them any income or money but they are totally incorrect.

The problem isn’t that the show is FREE, the problem is that you put your artiste on a show/event/platform that doesn’t suit his genre of music or his style of performance. E.G you know your artiste’s strong point is live performances yet you allow him/she do a backing track performance. Or you know that the event is a street event not an intimate setting style gig yet you let your artiste who is a singer & vocalist perform just  cos you wanna say he killed the show 

You have to humor him/her sometimes, encourage, direct, explain and always look for ways to make his next performance better than the last one. It is your job (As The Role Of An Artist Manager) to observe every performance, the crowd reaction and his stage craft with a view to discussing with him/her on ways to improve or better his/her craft. Your job isn’t just to handle logistics, negotiate terms, sit and wait for bookings or opportunities to come your way, it also includes going out of your way to explore and exploit every opportunity or chance that you feel will expose your artiste to better times, good income, better music & performances and better days.

There’s nothing wrong with an artiste performing a FREE SHOW as long as it will benefit your artiste positively help him/her grow and add value to his brand/career. It might not be immediately but if you perform the right free event sometimes it can open doors quicker than a lot of paid gigs (Another key factor for A Role Of An Artist Manager).

Also without free shows or non paying events how else do you expect an artiste to hone and perfect his performance and stage craft? How then will he/she look back and realize the things he/she could have done better so that next time they can truly kill the show proper not just by word of mouth. Nothing teaches better than experience, no matter how much an artiste rehearses it won’t be the same as actually performing live on stage and what better way to get that than at a free event/show. A lot of managers and artistes assume that free shows are a waste of time cos it won’t make them any income or money but they are totally incorrect.

The problem isn’t that the show is FREE, the problem is that you put your artiste on a show/event/platform that doesn’t suit his genre of music or his style of performance. E.G you know your artiste’s strong point is live performances yet you allow him/she do a backing track performance. Or you know that the event is a street event not an intimate setting style gig yet you let your artiste who is a singer & vocalist perform just  cos you wanna say he killed the show 

Every artiste feeds off the energy from his audience/fans and if they are giving off a negative one sometimes it can mess up a performance if the artiste isn’t an experienced/seasoned performer. So if you put your artiste in front of the wrong crowd you can kill his vibe and confidence. 
If you really want to play The Role Of An Artist Manager, you have to always learn from those around you, sometimes observe other colleagues at events or gigs and try to add what you learn to what you already know. Read, study, watch and learn from those before you and always try to be friendly with other colleagues especially at events. And when in doubt never hesitate to ask questions. Also remember what works for artiste “A” may not work for artiste “B” cos each artiste is unique and peculiar in their own way so always do what will suit your artiste.

Loyalty is key in every field and most especially in the music and entertainment industry. And as a manager you will be privy to a lot of detail/information about your artiste. You will sometimes see/hear him/her at his/her worst. Sometimes you may have to make excuses or even lie for them. As a manager you loyalty is always us first to your artiste/client. While working with him/her and even after you no longer work for/with them. Whatever detail, confidential info, data you are gain access to by virtue of the fact you guys are working or worked together will always remain privileged and confidential. So no matter what happens between you and any artiste, you are expected as a good/great manager to keep his/her secrets or private information totally private even if it means taking it to your grave.  A manager with a leaky or loose mouth cannot be trusted and in the music industry word gets round and this may prevent you from get prospective or new clients or even keep existing ones.

Trust, loyalty and integrity is another major factor of The Role Of An Artist Manager

I can go on and on but the simple truth is that many of those who call themselves managers are merely assistants. Nobody is perfect and none was born a manager but as long as you are open to learning and can easily adapt and improve everybody can be a good/great manager. 

MEET AWARD WINNING CELEBRITY MODEL, ARTIST MANAGER & BRAND AMBASSADOR TOKS ASHER YOUNG.*

Toks Asher Young (born TOCHUKWU YOUNG UMEZULIKE) is a Nigerian entertainment entrepreneur and celebrity manager.

Born in Adazi in the 70s, Toks hails from Umueji, Ufuma in Orumba North LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria.

He attended Ekulu Primary School, Enugu from 1978 to 1984, Sacred Heart Seminary Nsude from 1984 – 1988 with hopes of becoming a priest some day. Realizing priesthood wasn’t his calling, he proceeded to Special Science School Ihe, Awgu from 1989 to 1990.

Toks then went on to study Electro-Mechanics at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and graduated in 1998. He did the mandatory one (1) year National Youth Service Corps in Ise Orun LGA, Ekiti State In 1999 and moved to Lagos soon after.Toks tried different jobs in Lagos before getting into the music and artist management industry in 2007/2008. His first talent was Romanus Chika aka JUJU whom he managed for a year during which he was mentored by veteran radio/TV hosts and Kennis Music executives Keke Ogungbe and Hon. Dayo D1 Adeneye before he met dancehall sensation General Pype in January 2009.
Toks co-founded Podium Worldwide Ent. and signed General Pype.

He partnered with Storm 360/Storm Records to executive produce dancehall anthem CHAMPION. STORM RECORDS now defunct was an indigenous music label which brought forth artistes like Naeto C, Sasha P, Ikechukwu, L.O.S, Yung6ix.

Toks naturally prefers to work with upcoming artists. He believes working with budding acts who can still be directed and guided is the way to go rather than established artistes whose egos might get in the way.

In June 2014 Toks was contracted by by telecom company 9mobile formerly ETISALAT as talent manager for their CLOUD NINE musical event series held in Port Harcourt and Abuja, Nigeria. Cloud Nine was a musical event aimed at bringing two musical artistes one of the older/golden generation and a younger artiste to perform their individual songs and still collaborate on a fusion medley of their songs and perform it live together. While Patoranking and Bright Chimezie performed at the PH event, Mike Okri and Niyola performed at the Abuja event held at Harrow Park.
In 2017 He was the resident judge for the first edition of THE GROUNDED TALENT SEARCH which was won by BShine an indigenous hiphop artist based in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.

He has received many accolades for his work, including winning Artiste Manager Of The Year (NIGERIA HYPE AWARDS 2018 and was also nominated for Talent Manager Of The Year SCREAM AWARDS 2016, NIGERIA GOODWILL AMBASSADOR AWARDS 2016, CAMPUS CHOICE AWARDS 2017 for Entertainment Personality Of The Year and THE INTELLECTUAL AWARDS 2019 for Best Publicist.

Toks believes that loyalty is key in every field but most especially in the music and entertainment industry, which has helped him maintain a good relationship with the talents he manages as well as his peers in the business.

He currently manages multiple award winning hiphop artiste and Special Assistant to the Governor of Imo State NAETO CHIKWE aka NAETO C, Award winning Afrotrap Star YUNG6IX, urban contemporary act KOLLYDEE, upcoming trap artist GRINDHA.

Toks is brand ambassador for MR OKADA, a Nigerian city themed game app, an A&R consultant and TV Host. He is also an amateur model, poet and OpEd writer whose work has been published on several blogs and newspapers. He loves travelling, making friends, networking and building new connections. Thus authoring the name of this article of ”The Role Of An Artist Manager

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