When you think of music, you often think of the artist, although there are so many great people behind that artist, so here at Canadian Beats we decided to start a new feature, “Inside The Music” where we showcase an important person in the music industry. For our first segment, we have chosen Toronto based artist manager, Kathrine Weiss. Kathrine has worked with many artists throughout her career, and has also spend 10 years as a FACTOR music judge. Currently, Kathrine manages HipHop/ Dance artist, PoppySeed. We asked her a few questions based around an artist manager’s role to help give the reader some insight into the important person behind the artist’s you love. Also, as a side note, I feel it necessary to mention that Kathrine is also a talented songwriter, and has played piano for 38 years, so she’s an artist in her own right!
Please tell us a bit about yourself?
Ahhh, the universal much-loathed question, lol
I’m pretty humble when it comes to myself. But I can say, I love music and business. I was raised to be a hard worker, kind and loyal. Mostly I enjoy being dedicated and passionate about the projects I’m involved in.
What is the role of an artist manager?
It varies, in my opinion you’re like an advisor or analyst. You have to come up with strategic ideas for your artist, create a game plan and follow through. Personally, I want the artist to focus on writing, recording and engaging with their fans. A manager works closely with their artists, so the role of friendship is just as important.
How long have you been managing acts?
I’ve been very thankful to be in this industry now for 16 + years. And have been managing artists for the last 5 years. I have worked with many talented people. For the last 2 years I have been the international representation for Canadian Hip-Hop artist PoppySeed.
What is a standout moment for you as a manager for one of your acts?
I don’t think I have had my standout moment yet. Sure I’ve done a lot of great things with a lot of great people, artists, musicians, colleagues, and executives. I guess my time, hard work; dedication and perseverance is all in preparation for when that moment arrives.
Who are some of the acts you have managed?
In the past I have worked with certified gold artists, award-winning bands, duos and solo acts. It’s been fun, but PoppySeed comes to mind right away. From the time I get up, to the time I go to sleep. That’s predominately what I think about. I am constantly learning from someone who is better so I can make my artists better.
What advice would you give someone looking to become an artist manager?
You must like their music. If you don’t like the music of the artist you represent how can you care to understand and monetize their brand? Networking skills are imperial. Development and keeping up with current music trends is key. Communication with the artist you manage will be the difference between success and setbacks.
What background education do you need to be an artist manager?
There are many aspects of education and constant learning. Aside from my 20 years of understanding music theory and composition, I have attended workshops and have a degree in business. I also did a 12 – week study from Berklee to understand the business behind the music, including contractual and copyright law. Above all, an artist manager must have excellent social, networking and negotiation skills, but sometimes that just comes from life, not a book.
At what point do you feel an artist should consider acquiring a manager?
When the artist finds that they are spending more time on the business part of music (checking emails/dealing with promoters) and less on their craft, that would be a good time to inquire about a manager. Maybe at the start the artist or group can find a friend that is a fan of their music and have them sort through the day-to-day paperwork and phone calls. It’s a partnership, so it’s essential to find the right fit for both parties. That said, having a manager is not the mark of success; it just helps you get to the next level a little faster.
What advice would you give an artist who is currently looking for a manager?
First thing I recommend is having all your social media sites up to industry standards, your music is produced and engineered the best it can be, and your live show is better than your competition. If you don’t have those things together, chances are no manager will want to work with you. A good manager will find you, and be passionate about your project. Finding a manager is a right place, right time situation. But remember, none of this matters if you are not having fun. So go enjoy the journey, the rest will fall into place.
Connect with Kathrine Weiss: