With over thirty years of extensive sales and business development experience with major Blue Chip companies such as Sony and Polaroid handling multi-million accounts with major High Street retailers, Graham, affectionately known as 'G', has used the last five years as an opportunity to bring his transferable skills to the music industry, focusing primarily on emerging/grass roots level artists, considering it as an ‘apprenticeship’.
During this time, Graham has worked with the wonderful UK singer/songwriter Danni Nicholls as Day to Day Manager, but also taken on the responsibility of tour booking, tour management and PR.
Graham has always had a love of music taking advantage of getting an insight through friends who were lighting engineers for bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Runrig.
From the early days going to gigs with Danni, as a ‘fan’, it became apparent that at emerging/grass roots level, so much of the artists' time was spent tackling administration and maintaining social media accounts, thus deflecting them from where their skills really lie, namely being creative and performing.
It was the old 80/20 rule but one that needed to be reversed.
The more Graham became involved with Danni and directly with other artists such as Irish singer/songwriter Megan O’Neill, Australian siblings Matty and Julia Gurry who are Belle Roscoe, it became apparent that this balance of administration versus creativity/performance was a very common issue and strain for the artists. It limits how productive they can be, leading to them missing out on potential opportunities, and creating a sense of frustration that they are “doing the same old thing, at the same venues and not getting anywhere.”
Following further conversations with other artists, both in the UK and US, plus discussions with promoters, tour managers and organisations such as the Americana Music Association UK, it became clear that this situation was prevalent and having a major impact upon the artist’s achievements and, significantly, their mental well-being.
In an artist’s career, one question that regularly pops up is, “do I need a manager?” The answer is more than likely to be "At some stage, yes" but that it needs to be at the right time when balancing many important factors in terms of timing, label deals, control, finance and so on. However, until that point, and in line with the observations mentioned, the overriding need by nearly all artists, is the need for support.
Support in many aspects, all of which help to free up the artists to allow them to perform to their creative strengths and ability, backed by a ‘team’ or individual who can bring their business development strengths and skill set to complement and combine the work ethic with the artist to achieve key objectives.
Graham has successfully applied this principle with proven success in many aspects of support to ensure not only that everything runs smoothly but also significant strides are made in helping the artist on the road to success.
GJ Artist Services has been set up to be flexible, to offer more support for more artists, with more options and projects. No fixed rates or fees, it is essential to discuss what the artist's needs are, what suits their budgets - from a strategy plan to advice, day to day management to tour management, tour booking to PR and all in between.
The artist comes first, the artist remains the decision maker, GJ Artist Services supports.