It just comes in waves. Suddenly you have a couple of artists just destroying their careers. The methods are quite varied and there is not a shortage of intriguing ways that they do it. The funny thing is these mistakes are always blamed on the industry itself. Also many times the artist totally ignores advice and does things anyways, blames the industry, and then just does exactly as the advice says and then acts like they invented sliced bread. I guess my list could be be very long. I just will take the ones that happened in the past two weeks have been discussed in different managers forums around the internet.
I want to be special and change my artist name!
This happens from time to time. When things are going slow then suddenly the artist wants to change the name. Like rebranding everything from scratch. That is a good way to just put years of work just into the trash. Also, they usually also want to use strange things in spelling. Like a band I had years ago they spelled Ness and should promptly have a Ñess. Yes, you guessed it. A search of this is impossible. And that doesn’t really help anything for the whole situation. So, on some sites, they are Ness and some Ñess. Some search engines won’t understand if you search with the right spelling. A good way to destroy your career is doing shit like this to make it harder for people to find your music. Stay even away from small apostrophes that can mess things up. I saw three cases of this week, just saying.
Being rude and messing with the staff!
Just because you haven’t got your statement, you don’t email everyone on the record label threatening to go to court if you don’t get your statement right now. On top of that, you start to mess with all the people you have befriended on the label on Facebook when you didn’t get an answer in the first thirty minutes, even people that have nothing to do with accounting. I don’t know if we have more narcissistic people thinking that the universe is revolving around them? And this artist then thinks everything is alright when they get what they asked for. No instead, they just put themselves on the bottom list of people you want to help. Sure, you should get your statement, but an error can happen and give people at least some time to answer things. Especially now when people are working at home and might not be able to access everything right then. I had four cases this week of artists that begged for services from me that has acted this way and of course, I’m not interested to give them anything. In one case I even said no to big money just because I didn’t want to have anything with that a-hole again.
Blame the organizer for your own faults!
It seems the world is full of small Donald Trumps. The worst thing you can do is blame the organizers. Okay, they can do errors but if they try to fix that. Still, most of the errors are on yourself. Most of the times these people gave you a chance, an opportunity, it’s not right to blame them when you couldn’t handle what they gave them. I have seen too many artists getting airplay and just ignore it, at least four times this week. Artists talking shit that their career didn’t explode on a certain event and because of that, the event is shit, two times this week. In both cases, the artist actually didn’t do anything about the event. They just got there played. Did no networking. Was rude to the staff and got drunk. Suddenly that is the organizer's fault that nothing happened. You can be sure though that these things are talked abou in the inner circles. I had at least five warnings about artists that act this way just this week.
My career is going to be better if I change my manager!
Oh, boy, don’t get me started on this one. Bands that just get a manager and expect them to fix everything and do nothing. Now during the pandemic, I see so many artists that suddenly should change the manager since they are not doing enough. Like they could, seems like the artist forgot that the there is a pandemic going on and the COVID-19 situation is also affects managers. So for not having much action at all right now, they have to start to post things and get some jobs done. Then they think they are work hard and why do you need a manager then? Instead of doing things to further their career they spend their time hunting for a new manager. In the end, they are just jumping networks or becomed dropped. Then they try to use the old connections that the manager introduced them to in the first place.
The list can probably go on and on, but these just happened in one way or another I might get back on this in the future.
There are too many artists that lose their career on simple mistakes and the industry is not forgiving of those things.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 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. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes scheduled for September 16-18, 2021.