The importance of having a professional team behind you as an artist.

Each music fan or enthusiast would like to see their favourite artist grow into a flawless brand that withstands whatever the naysayers would like to hang on to. Take Makhadzi, for example. Before she was the African Queen and a literal bar of stage presence, she was a young lady from an improvised background, persistent in her dreams and gift of song. Most who have encountered her in the early stages of her career fell in love with more than just her talent and passion for music but also her hard work and dedication. Today, she is a brand and equally so a business that needs all loose ends to be tied.

Recently, Makhadzi joined fellow hitmakers like Nomcebo Zikode at Open Mic Productions, Emtee, and A-reece at Ambitiouz Entertainment in complaining through her social media platforms about being treated unfairly, not receiving her share of royalties, and not being credited appropriately for her work. The singer also announced that she will henceforth be her own manager and that her fans should book her directly rather than through Open Mic Productions. These statements led to widespread speculation that the singer was preparing to part ways with her label.

The dispute between Makhadzi and Open Mic Productions is a reminder of how contractual disputes can arise even between artists and their recording labels, affecting their brand. The legalities of recording contracts can be complex, and as a music blog, we are not in a position to debate the merits of the dispute. However, in this blog post, play along as I explore the importance of having a professional team and suggest a team that can help manage an artist’s brand.

As an artist, your brand is everything. It’s your music, your image, and your reputation. Building a successful career and being a popular artist in the music industry requires more than just talent and hard work; it requires excellent overall management skills and a team of professionals with the knowledge to navigate the complex world of contracts, finances, and public relations. Having a team of professionals handling the business side of things gives you enough time to focus on your music and creative process.

The Importance of a Professional Team

Having a professional team to assist you in navigating the industry is critical for South African artists, as many have been exploited by record labels in the past and aren’t aware that they’re currently locked in unreasonable deals that make it difficult to make a living from their music. Having a professional team can make the difference between being yet another talented person and being a brand. Here are some of the benefits of having a team behind you:

Increased Reach
A professional team can help you reach a wider audience by using their connections and expertise. A publicist can help you get media coverage, while a manager/booking agent can help you book gigs and connect with other industry professionals.

Better Financial Management

Managing finances can be a daunting task for any artist. A financial advisor can help you keep track of your income and expenses, create a functional budget, and make sure your investments are bringing in returns.

Protection Against Fraud or Exploitation
Unfortunately, the music industry is rife with fraud and exploitation. Having a qualified legal advisor on your team can help protect you from being scammed or exploited and ensure that your contracts are fair.

The Risks of Not Having a Professional Team
Not having a professional team can be risky for artists, and the lack of this has made some disappear into obscurity without reaping the rewards of their talents. Here are some of the risks associated with being a jack of all trades:

Being Taken Advantage of by Record Labels
With the overwhelming statistics of illiteracy in South Africa, unfortunately, artists are not spared from this social problem, and record labels end up taking advantage of artists who don’t have legal representation or advice. Without a lawyer to review contracts and negotiate on your behalf, you could end up signing a deal that’s not in your best interests and has terms that suppress even your creative juices.

Inability to Manage Finances Effectively
Managing finances is a critical part of any artist’s career. Music, like football, is not a long career, like it should be, so an artist must make sure that their pockets are longer than a hit single’s span. Without a financial advisor or accountant, you may struggle to keep track of your income and expenses, which can lead to financial and tax problems down the line.

The Team Members an Artist Needs
Here are some of the key team members an artist needs to build a successful career:

A manager is the person responsible for overseeing the overall business and career affairs of the artist. They handle the details of the artist’s project, marketing campaigns, and contracts. A manager can also double as a booking agent; however, it is advisable to have a secondary person act as a booking agent. A booking agent is responsible for booking and scheduling the artist’s concerts and events. They also negotiate deals, manage contracts, and ensure that the artist’s tour runs smoothly.

A lawyer is essential in negotiating and reviewing contracts, advising the artist on legal matters, and protecting their interests, such as intellectual property.


An accountant is responsible for managing the artist’s finances, handling tax matters, advising on investments, and keeping track of financial records.

A publicist is responsible for building and maintaining an artist’s image in the media. They handle press releases, media interviews, and brand awareness. A publicist should work hand in hand with a digital marketing specialist and a personal photographer. A digital marketer creates and executes online marketing campaigns to promote the artist’s brand and music. They also ensure that the artist has an
active social media presence.

Having a professional team is crucial for the success of any artist. The team members listed above are essential in ensuring that the artist’s brand is protected, contracts are fair, and that their popularity and reach are maximised, especially In South Africa, where the music industry has a complex history of division along ethnic, racial, and economic lines. By working with a team of experts, artists can build a successful career and achieve their goals.

Additional Tips and Resources
Here are some additional tips and resources for artists looking to build a professional team or navigate the music industry:

  • Attend industry events and network with other professionals.
  • Join a professional organization, such as the South African Music Rights Organization (SAMRO).
  • Research potential team members carefully and ask for referrals from other artists.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate contracts and ask for what you’re worth.
  • Stay informed about industry trends and changes by reading industry publications and following relevant social media accounts.