I will always have an artist in me, whether in a creative or commercial sense. For me it’s the same thing. When the pandemic started, it made me think about my skills and my ambitions, and I decided to take the leap from artist to entrepreneur. So even though I didn’t completely hang up my gloves, I knew it was time to pivot.
One thing that became clear to me was that I had several skill sets that I wasn’t tapping into. From knowing how to start a business, to discovering talent, songwriting, executive production, clothing design – the batch. I started doing all of this during the pandemic while recording music. During this time, I also worked internally in a management company in order to learn the intricacies of the trade. Soon I started building talent and letting my network know that I had moved into management so we could collaborate.
“I know the difference between a bad manager and a great manager who adds value to your career.”
I never imagined starting my own management company, but realized that if I wanted the artists I worked with to get the service they deserved, I had to put together the team myself. I’ve been through everything most acts have been through. I’ve wasted contracts, spent sleepless nights, traveled the world and fought for my art. Anyway, I saw it. I’m on the talent side because we fought the same fight and I can relate to that. I know the difference between having a bad manager and a great manager who adds value to your career. It’s not just one person producing music – you’re responsible for someone’s livelihood. Artists often sacrifice a lot to follow their dreams.
I started out doing a few acts on my own, but I was discovering so many great talents that I had to expand. Now my company Peral Management is a team of six, including myself, looking after four artists and six producers whose work has been certified silver, reached the top 40, and been nominated for Rated Awards .
There have been challenges, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with Peral. We’re in a time where people like me can be self-sufficient outside of a label and build something of their own. I am grateful to Alwayz Recordings for showing me at a young age that you could make a living selling records. We grew up downtown and it’s hard not to get locked into a lifestyle that can get you in trouble, but I’ve always wanted to set an example for the next generation and demonstrate that there is another way. It’s tough and definitely a risk, but the reward at the other end has been invaluable.
“You need to know what your audience wants from you, who they are, and how to locate them at the bare minimum.”
If you compare it to the United States in the early 2000s – Murder Inc., Roc-A-Fella and Cash Money Records had a global impact – our scene is still in its infancy. But I believe we are growing. Black-owned record labels, publishing and management companies are forming, and as distribution evolves, we’re becoming more capable of releasing music the way we want it. We are already decision makers and we are already moving in the right direction. We are innovators, and it’s not always an easy road. You must have confidence. Being a music industry innovator in 2022 is all about being able to take risks, not being afraid to make mistakes, going against the grain and implementing new ideas that you strongly believe in. .
It is important to remember that knowledge is power. In today’s music industry, even if you know how to make great music, you have to know your business. You need to know what your audience expects from you, who they are, and how to locate them at the bare minimum. You have to serve them because that’s what drives your business. On top of that, you need to be able to build the right team around you – the right accountant, manager and lawyer – to ensure your contracts are properly checked and you manage your finances properly.
“It’s about ownership, about creative control, about sharing royalties. Get your influence to the highest possible level and learn how to leverage it.
You have to learn the game. How do you collect your posts? If you’re in a deal, how much do you need to collect before you get paid? How do you trade your splits? You have to constantly learn, look at your revenue streams and ask yourself, “Am I monetizing this to its fullest potential?”
Your brand is extremely important. Big companies buy into culture and want to use your brand for exposure, so you need to know your cultural motto and influence. They’re going to use your brand awareness and audience to drive sales, so they’re wondering if you have to ask yourself, “How am I going to get a slice of this?” It’s not just about free clothes or a live show anymore, or even a check. It’s a matter of ownership, creative control, distribution of royalties. Get your influence to the highest possible level and learn how to leverage it.
You need to be ready to take action and be an advocate for yourself and your artists, because no one else will do it for you.