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Photo credit: Youth.sg/Grace Neo and David Yip

The art of managing a band

The quirky members of Disco Hue know that they can always count on their manager to support them.

Phang Jing Lin


Published: 14 June 2017, 1:13 PM

I have always loved the entertainment scene.

When I was assigned to be a freelance artiste manager for a day, I was thrilled. All I could think of was taking care of the artiste(s), which means I can be up close and personal with them!

I had the chance to join Disco Hue, a local Synth Pop quartet, for their full band set gig at Marina Bay Sands on June 2. I learnt the ropes from their freelance artiste manager, Nur Afiqah Bte Azhar, also known as Fee, 24, who has been managing the band for one year.

While waiting for Disco Hue’s turn to do their sound check, I asked Fee why she wanted to be an artiste manager.

“I like helping someone accomplish their dream and have their work be known to the world,” Fee said smilingly.

 

Fee mentioned that being able to multi-task is a very important skill.

 

She added: “There are so many local musicians and singer-songwriters that have the potential to go far. However, these new artistes don’t know where to start and can’t possibly manage themselves as they need to focus on their creative work – producing music.”

Her responsibilities include taking care of the members’ welfare and to manage the publicity of the band, such as bookings for events and liaising with event organisers.

 

“Will I screw up my first task?” I wondered nervously.

 

My first task for that night was to guide Disco Hue’s members to the backstage to place their musical instruments after their sound check and ensure that they are hydrated.

While waiting for the members to pack up, my palms started to turn sweaty and I kept looking around for Fee to have some sense of reassurance. However, as Fee had previously introduced me to the members and told them about my role for the day, they were very cooperative and followed me as I called them.

Just 15 minutes before Disco Hue’s performance, I was tasked with gathering the members backstage to standby. Initially, I could not find all the members. Then, I realised that most of them were already backstage, which showed how experienced they were in preparing themselves before a performance.

The publicity part of the job came in during Disco Hue’s performance, where I had to update their Instagram account.

 

I got to use Disco Hue’s Instagram account!

 

Fee told me to record and post the chorus of every song the band performed, on their Instagram story.

 

I had to tiptoe most of the time and my legs were shaking midway through the evening.

 

I had to ensure that all the members were in the frame. For someone who is short, this is a real challenge. Thankfully, the Instagram stories turned out to be fairly stable.

 

I was afraid that I would make a mistake while updating their Instagram story, so I constantly checked with Fee to ensure that I was going in the right direction.

 

Following the end of the show, I handed water to the members and thanked them for their cooperation, thereafter which I ended my job for the day.

Overall, I feel that the job of an artiste manager is underrated, because the limelight is always given to the artiste(s) instead of their manager. However, artiste managers are the ones who ensure and always fight for the best for the artiste.

Next time you see your favourite band(s) or celebrities, do remember to acknowledge the hard work of their manager(s) too!


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