Becoming A Good Artist Manager & Challenges in the Nigerian Music Industry

Artist-ManagerA lot of artiste out there are looking for good managers but can’t afford to pay for the services & most of the time they end up falling in the wrong hands . Most people claim to be managers but are only there to mis-manage the artiste & care for their selfish needs. Instead of focusing on the artiste career, they party with the artiste everyday & spend promotional money on drinks and many other un-necessary things but then let’s look at who a manager/talent manager is .

A manager is the person who handles all business aspects of the act’s career. The manager is the person who consults with the act on decisions and deals with the other members of the team on behalf of the act. The manager is in charge of the day to day running of the business for the act, including promotional strategy, ,accounting and making key career decisions for the act. The general purpose of the manager is to handle all aspects of an act’s business so the act is free to concentrate solely on performing & making good delivery . This topic centers on both becoming a good manager & also the challenges faced altogether . Many people have the talent, some have more than others do, but being successful in the music industry is based on more than just talent.

From the Wikipedia definition it says ” A talent manager, also known as an artist manager or band manager, is an individual or company who guides the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry.”

Patience | Communication | Building Relationship | Publicity

Be prepared for setbacks and brace yourself for recovery . People will disappoint you, especially those you depended on . Give yourself a good self-assessment by looking at the strengths you have and how you will use those to the best advantage of yourself and your artiste & remember under every circumstance, act and be professional. Always see your artiste as the key to your success ,believe so much in him/her for things to work out well, stay humble & honest .

Managing an artiste’s career requires patience and understanding of that person’s behavior and attitude. The music business is one where egos thrive, with many trying to be “somebody” or trying to assert that they already are somebody . It is necessary to manage around the ego of another “The Artiste”. The biggest problem in managing an artiste is when the manager him/herself is arrogant and ego-driven but thank God that’s not a problem in the Nigerian music industry .

Managing an artiste requires a good communication skill, that is interacting with people of all personality as you are bound to come across different people with pleasant & some unpleasant behaviors’ In most circumstances . Remember Leadership is an important skill of a Manager at the beginning of an Artiste’s career or at the beginning of the Artiste-manager relationship.

Build and maintain a network of contacts, that means calling on your contacts for assistance when you need it but it also means offering help when they don’t expect it. Building a very good relationship with promoters & the fans is a key factor to success . The influence of an Artiste Manager on the early planning and development of an artiste’s career is what helps the artiste develop a focus and an organized purpose. It is important for the manager to keep good relationship with Booking Agencies/Promoters and key Media people. If your phone calls are not returned or your emails not acknowledged, it is not personal, it just means you haven’t developed the perception that you offer something that will improve the other person’s business

Publicity is another important professional tool in assuring an act’s success. You the manager may be the publicist but it’s advisable you hire a Publicist or PR (public relations). A PR person is responsible for getting every tidbit of publicity about your act to the media whether it be Online Promotion ,TV, radio, magazine or newspaper. He will work closely with you the manager to obtain exposure for your act through Publications, interviews, press releases, and personal appearances for promotional considerations. Every time an act’s name is seen or heard it plants a seed in the mind of the reader, listener or viewer.


Take charge advantage of the social network & see that your artiste is doing well most especially it’s very wrong of your artiste who’s face is yet unknown to be dropping songs without his ‘her face on the art . Even 2Face uses his face till date for his promotion & also does promo cd’s & promotion except if your artiste is dead Ugly please use photoshop or you can then use write up’s as cover design.

Knowing the Hit Song & Brand Visibility 

Don’t just jump into the conclusion by saying a song is a hit song just because you like alone . Don’t be selfish but watch & observe the expression of the listeners & ask for the sincere opinion of people you know most especially & those you don’t know also . A wack song can sometimes become a hit song as people make fun of it . A hit single that is on high rotation online ,on radio and tv attracts the attention of promoters, meaning the manager no longer makes calls for bookings, they automatically come due to the artist’s popularity and relevance. A hit song must not be a danceable song like Iyanya’s kukere,let take for example Banky W’s “Strong Thing” , Wizkid’s Holla at your Boy , Patoranking’s Giriie O . Now take for instance Sauce Kid (Sinzu )“ You Don dey Madt” & then you will agree with me that it was a very unserious song that made a hit . You as a manger should not just drop a song for your upcoming artiste same day you know a star act is dropping his/hers ! Know when to drop the song .

If your artiste stage appearance is weak, hire a choreographer to help him/her but not advisable for a start up artiste with little or no financial support .

There are so many other required skill which can be self discovered & challenges also such as funding .

By Bello Shuaibu (Badmus) @badmusbello

Byline: Bello Shuaibu (Badmus) is the CEO and Founder  of , and  Entrepreneur and writer.

Photocredit: Africa Music Law

NOTE: The information and views set out in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of  Africa Music Law™ or its founder.

Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website, livestream and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through its brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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  1. frank says:

    Hi Uduak after Reading this article i found out some unsigned artist do not know the role of an artiste manager in their career. I came back to Nigeria to get into the business just to do some research and i came across an artist who i was interested in working with in terms of management. We talked and when i told the artist my plan the artist began requesting astronimical things like he wants a car, a flat to be paid for and and a monthly financial upkeep. i was like where in the World have you Heard managers provide all of this for their clients or let me say artist they do manage, i was like you need to do some research to be sure you want to be in this business, i also met Another one who wanted me to bank roll their career , so in my mind i am like this unsigned artist need to be educated more about business or maybe its the system that is been praticed in Nigeria. i Think seminars / confrences need to be held quite often to educate bunch of these kids who really want to get into the business.


    1. LOL! Frank. " I was like where in the World have you Heard managers provide all of this for their clients or let me say artist they do manage, i was like you need to do some research to be sure you want to be in this business…" LOL!

  2. frank says:

    lol …,, ok now whe will you address the PAYOLA issue in the Nigerian Music industry. Radio presenters are extorting upcoming artist, taking crazy amount of Money from artist just to play their songs on radio. i Believe its a criminal act and thats part of the problem in the Entertainment industry in Nigeria. I know it happens in the US but not like the way it is in Nigeria, like you have to pay an arm and leg to get air play, its really crazy and thats why you hear alot of wack artist on radio because they can afford to pay radio presenters . the stuff they play on radio can kill someones brain cells. You should touch that topic.


    1. Yes. I will. 2015 will have guests directly working in the system show up and address that specific issue. Thank you for your comment.

    2. Winston Balagare says:

      @frank– I think these artists need to understand that the day of Payola is over.

      Why do you need to pay to get a song played on a local/regional radio station, when you upload your own music directly to the internet, for the entire world to hear?

      The question is "are you wiling to put in the work to build your brand and increase your web-presence?" Being on the radio doesn't guarantee any success besides impressing the people in your village. And even they will become bored with it after a while.

      Look at artists like MC Galaxy, for instance. How is he able to book multiple shows in America and elsewhere? Is he the most popular Nigerian act? Is his billionaire father bankrolling his endeavors? Likely, not. But his web-presence is so strong, he uploads some songs, uploads some videos, and he becomes a household name here (at least in Nigerian households here in the US).

      It can be a slow process, but it will eventually pay off, if the artists are serious about their music.

  3. Victor says:

    Hello. I don’t know if this is still active but I need advice on a gem I’m managing at the moment and I need HELP. How do I reach out to you? Please.

    1. Please email ([email protected]).


      -Ms. Uduak

    2. david says:

      My name is david emmanuel
      Upcoming artist
      Stag name Davkel
      I need a manager who will help me in music industry

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