Interview with Patrice K. Cokley, Owner of Management Firm, The Bassline Group
September 10, 2018 | Interviews
Patrice K. Cokley is the brand and marketing consultant, and owner of the talent development & management firm, The Bassline Group.
Holding both a BS and MBA in Marketing, Patrice took the entrepreneurial route to kickoff her career by serving local small business owners, entrepreneurs, artists and entertainers for nearly 10 years.
As a Detroit native who played the piano as an adolescent and started her collegiate years as a music major with a strong passion for the Music Business, Patrice knew it was time to bridge the gap between her profession and passion by launching The Bassline Group, a brand management and music consulting company.
1) For independent artists out there who are thinking about hiring a manager to help their music career, could you sum up what a manager’s role is?
A manager’s role is to literally manage all facets of your music career. I like to use the analogy of a retail store. The store manager oversees the entire operation from merchandise, sales, the location/facility, the utilities, other business expenses, staffing, etc.
An artist manager serves the same purpose for an artist; overseeing promotions, booking, merchandise, accounting, press, etc.
This doesn’t mean that their role is to perform all of those duties because that’s a lot for one person to handle, but their job is to oversee it and manage those who are responsible for those areas such as a publicist, booking agent, accountant, etc.
2) What’s the difference between a good manager and a great manager?
A good manager is someone who is always on top of things despite what they may be going through personally.
A great manager has that same quality, but also has creative ideas, willing to network and make connections they could leverage, has a great understanding of the business so they could look out for your best interest, and is truly a fan of your work.
3) As the founder-owner of The Bassline Group, could you describe what type of services your company provides to artists?
We have multiple capabilities in the areas of branding, public relations, marketing, and management. But lately we’ve been focusing on consulting and mentoring artists.
Since we’re living in a DIY (do-it-yourself) era, it’s important that artists understand the industry they’re trying to build a career. So right now, we’ve been focusing on education more than anything.
There are still many artists out here who don’t know what a PRO (performance rights organization) is or the various royalties they’re entitled to and how to obtain those royalties.
4) What role does branding play in the success of an artist?
Branding is extremely important. More so today than ever before. And I say this because the music industry has become extremely saturated over the years due to social media and the internet in general.
In fact, the entire internet is saturated, so it’s important that an artist identify who they are and how they can stand out and rise above the noise.
Typically, that one characteristic that an artist tries to hide is usually their “brand”. Too many would rather be someone else instead of being their authentic selves. When in fact, being authentic is the key.
5) What sort of mistakes do you commonly see in up-and-coming artists?
The biggest mistake that I tend to talk about a lot is investing more into music than marketing and promotion.
Too many artists would rather spend money on studio time or studio equipment instead of investing in marketing. What’s the point of having all of this great music if no one knows about it?
Instead of looking for a manager so early in their career (another mistake they make), I suggest artists work with a marketing professional who can help creatively market their music in a way that makes them stand out.
And instead of recording 20 songs, focus on a good 3, and take the rest of the money you would have spent on the other 17 and invest it into marketing the 3 good songs.
6) What do you think are the key elements to success for independent artists in 2018?
Knowing the business/industry, professionalism, being humble yet confident, always improve on your craft, and consistency.
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