Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Kate O Driscoll 

BA [Hons] Creative Music Production

My name is Kate O'Driscoll; I am a multi-instrumentalist from Dublin. I entered the Practice Pathway of the Creative Music Production course with the aim of improving my performance skills and focusing on live music. However, over the course of my studies, I have developed an interest in industry studies and have been able to expand my knowledge of the music industry within my final year project, which focuses on the role of the artist manager.

Project Description

The role of the artist manager is one which can be of extreme importance in the career of a musician. It is a role which requires a lot of work, and one vital aspect of a manager’s job is the maintenance of a healthy artist-manager relationship dynamic. This study was carried out in order to gain a further understanding of the role of the artist manager and how this profession is perceived by musicians, as well as to explore the important factors which affect the artist-manager dynamic. The qualitative research was conducted in the form of structured formal interviews with three managers and three musicians, each of whom was asked a variety of questions regarding their experiences either in the role of management or working alongside a manager, as well as other relevant questions about the Irish music industry.

Project Outcomes

Based on the results of these qualitative interviews, it can be concluded that the management of expectations between musicians and managers is one of the most critical factors in achieving a successful collaboration. It was also established that both parties feel more positive about the artist-manager partnership when they are working in an environment where the artist-manager appreciates and believes in the music that the artist is making. One of the main stressors which can cause a strain on the artist-manager relationship is the struggle to maintain financial stability for either party, managers in particular, and this is not aided by the fact that musicians are becoming less likely to seek to work with Irish managers due to the increased focus on being “export-ready”.