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Quick Tips & Advice From Agents And Managers Seeking New Talent

20 November 2015 | 3:14 pm | Neil Griffiths

"It’s not scientific, it’s really just ‘Do I love it?’"

For emerging bands and artists, seeking representation and/or management can be a difficult process, but speaking today on a panel during Australian Music Week, co-owner of Winterman & Goldstein, Andy Cassell, and director of Select Music, Stephen Wade, shared their tips on what they are looking for and what bands can be doing to be looked at.

While Cassell has worked with acts such as Jet, The Vines and Youth Group over the years, Wade currently represents some of the country’s biggest names including Boy & Bear, Rufus, Josh Pyke, San Cisco and more.

Check out their best tips and advice.

Stephen wade – seeking an agent 

  • "Understand that we can’t see [your music] the way you do. You think it’s amazing and so you should, you created it. But when you’re trying to convey that to somebody else who has to look at it subjectively… that’s where I find the breakdown occurs."
  • "It’s very rare that if you’ve got something compelling and you’re an amazing artist… that the industry won’t find you and especially now with social media and YouTube - things that are actually real indicators to us that your music is connecting with a wider audience."
  • "You’ve got to have a compelling enough argument to be able to pitch [your music] so that it means something to the person on the other end of the line."
  • "If it’s just you thinking you need an agent because it’s the next step or the right thing to do, I’ve rarely ever seen that work."
  • "Every act we take on, there’s an 18-month process, basically… before you’re even going to have a level of success. It takes time to get you into venues and start selling tickets."

Andy Cassell – what does a manager look for? 

  • "It comes down to gut feel. I could go through and try and work out ‘Does it tick this box?’ but it’s not scientific, it’s really just ‘Do I love it?’"
  • "I do look at artists and say ‘Do I think this artist will be international?’ because to make a career in this day and age especially, it’s very hard to do so."
  • "There are a lot of people who I’ve had to [manage] who currently don’t have a job because their job is music. But if they stopped playing gigs, they’d stop making money and have to get a job."
  • "Ultimately, it’s going to be the song. I would say for any artist, make sure your songs are as good as they can be."