Hostess, Sammy Approved began the event by announcing the IdOMusic program updates, then lead into the introduction of Ms. Diop. Diop shared her keys to longevity in the urban market, dealing with client relations and adjusting to the digital changes in the music industry.
“I call myself an artist whisperer… [I] try to keep artists focused…it’s more like being a friend, a confidant and then knowing your business at the same time,” Diop described.
Diop lead by telling the story of how she got into the music business by accident after being asked to help start the career of video girl, Buffie The Body. Diop then began climbing the ranks in Hip-hop, working with various clients. Her clients include rappers Young Thug and Gucci Mane and model Keyshia Ka'oir.
She explained her role as a manager and the various responsibilities that come with the job. From building itineraries, to managing attendance, business and artist productivity, she does it all. Diop spoke about her team of assistants, publishers, marketing coordinators and booking agents to keep her clients’ careers moving.
Diop expressed her perspective on the industry as she has seen where it was years ago vs. in the digital age now. Due to the rise of streaming, labels tend to spend less on developing artists, they’re looking for artists who already have the whole package.
She also explained how she connects with new clients. Diop said she doesn’t normally look for artists and that they normally come to her. She talked about that superstar quality that many artists seek, but never really find.
“If your sound is like someone else’s sound, I personally can’t work with you,” said Diop.
The conversation with Diop touched on adversities faced in the urban market and also touched on the challenges of balancing business and personal. She offered advice to the audience about how to handle focusing on other’s lives without falling behind on yours. She said to keep a strong team that will help maintain balance.
This workshop gave guests the foundation of building an artist’s career and keeping up with the ever-changing music business. As a manager or as an artist, she expressed how important it is to know your business and or your craft. She left guests with many tips to success in the industry, here are the top 5 takeaways from this Weekend’s Werkshop:
- Build a strong management team: Management is not a one-person job, having a strong team will keep clients happy and help keep the manager grounded.
- Be well-read in your industry: Always stay up to date on what’s happening and changing in the industry.
- Artists, know your craft and know it well: Whether it’s songwriting, singing, rapping, perfect the craft.
- Producers, follow your money: Always know where your beats are being used, create split sheets, etc.
- Create a lot of music: Artists aren’t ready to go out into the marketplace until they have at least 100 + songs.