As we begin to leave the chaos of the pandemic and COVID behind us, of course now we have the economical and sustainable problems it created.
It feels like a new start. Everything seems to be starting over. Same with me. Sure, the artists I work with are still here, but they have their careers and are doing fine. The fresh start though offers me an opportunity to find a new artist that I could breakthrough in the world. I’m also excited about the new networks and places I know where I have a big chance as a manager to make a difference in a career and make the perfect storm.
What do I look for? I will be totally honest here and tell you the things that I’m looking for when I choose to start working with an artist. Not always all criteria are met but most of them must be fulfilled to be able to take advantage of the opportunity I can provide for their career.
I need an artist that can write hit songs. If that is not the possible (not everyone is able to do that Elvis Presley is a good example) they need to also have a budget to be able to buy or at least co-write songs that are hits. I’m not interested in your niche jazz project with Balkan sounds or the EDM DJ that just does whatever Swedish House Mafia did. Here you need to have really good songs in English that can be placed around the world. I can provide opportunities to write with the best people, but still, you have to be able to contribute yourself either with a release plan or song credits.
You want to have a global career. Your home country is nice, but you need to see yourself as the top artist in the world in ten years. That means that you are not screwing around with an EP here and a single there in your native language just because someone tells you that it’s an easy thing to do. You need to have a focus on your career.
You are able to play live. I’m not as interested in a solo artist that needs eight people just to make a little show somewhere. Nor the one with just backtracks. You need to be able to do a great live show in a short time schedule and with just three or four people. On the big things you can add as much as you want, but in the beginning, it is very important to just say yes to everything that is offered and just go for it. Most artists fail because they become comfortable and really don’t take a chance, just take to doing the obvious ones. The problem is that the small, fast ones are the ones that provide you with the big ones.
The artist also needs to be funded to do this. You still need the budget to be able to act on the opportunity that I give you. If I can get you a special price to work with one of the most famous producers in a studio in another country, you need to have the funds to pay that special price and the studio time. Or if I get this gig on the largest festival in the world you need to be able to get you and your crew there to play that opportunity, and no they won’t pay full price for a new artist that no one has ever heard of so you will lose money with these opportunities, and that is why you need funds. This is an opportunity to build your career, so I don’t want to hear that we can’t take this opportunity since we can’t afford it. The big ones that would cost too much money I take off these never reach my artists. I only present the ones that make sense but when I do that, they need to take these to make their career go forward.
The artist should be under 25 years of age. In the perfect world, the artist should be under 20 years of age. Why do you ask? I look at this in the long term. To take an artist from scratch to the top level and go through all systems takes five years. On top of that, you probably have to skip some because of logistics, so in reality seven years. I don’t say that a person that is 35 is bad, I just say that they will be middle age when they break through and most people like that have a backpack with different things that takes time and money, like a partner, kids, house, mortgage and so on. It’s just plain reality and harder to have the focus that is needed to make it.
You want to be an artist, not an influencer. If you are just looking for fame, be an influencer, I’m looking for someone that wants to be an artist that has music that they want the world to hear.
Lastly, they need to be open to ideas. Not be followers, be leaders. I have worked with too many artists that won’t do things because they just saw this and that artist do this so they want to copy that. In a career, you need to be able to test things, not all work, but the things that work you keep. I don’t want an artist that thinks that we get the perfect things on the first go.
Ok, so you fit my description. Hit me up, I’m on all the normal places on social media and email etc. If you need help to find me then I certainly don’t want you as an artist. Do your homework.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.