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Dumi, Adex And SK Talk Talent Management In The Entertainment Industry

Dumi, Adex And SK Talk Talent Management In The Entertainment Industry

Author: Tevyn J | Thursday 21st October 2021

Dumi, Adex And SK Talk Talent Management In The Entertainment Industry Photograph

For this months instalment of the Link Up TV Consultancy round up, we spoke to Dumi Oburota, CEO of Disturbing London, Adex, CEO of NQ and SK, CEO of Finesse Foreva to gain an insight on the world of talent management in the UK entertainment industry. All 3 prior mentioned CEO's are very successful individuals in their own right and have achieved impressive feats with the respective talent they work or worked with over the years.

Dumi Oburota: Disturbing London CEO

5 things you look for when deciding to manage an artist/talent:

1) Talent - I have to be a fan of their music

2) Ambition - Artist has to be ambitious

3) Intelligence - They have to be intelligent

4) Values - Our core beliefs should be aligned

5) Winners mentality - The artist has to want to be the best in the world/aim for global takeover!

5 biggest music management myths:

1) A&R - That managers don't A&R

2) Agreements - That managers should agree with everything the artist says - opinion and input is important - but not every manager is a 'Yes Man'

3) Value - Thinking every manager is replaceable - often there is little understanding of the value a manager contributes to an artist and their loyalty

4) Commission - That managers are always on 20%

5) Responsibilities - That a manager is an artist's personal PA

5 biggest disagreement points between managers and talent:

1) Commission - Payment of commission

2) Etiquette - Time keeping of the artist

3) Professionalism - How serious the artist is taking their role & vice versa, this can also be applicable to the manager!

4) Investment - How much time both the artist and manager are putting into their roles

5) Competition - Of both the artist & the manager - managers can often have multiple artists on their roster, so trust is key that they are prioritising the artist's career and that the artist feels supported

Extra Point) Communication - A breakdown in clear communication can be one of the biggest factors - overall, an artist and manager are in a professional relationship, so there are multiple factors that can affect/complicate this relationship. If there is limited/zero communication, then the relationship suffers

Michael Adex: NQ CEO


5 things you look for when deciding to manage an artist/talent:

1) Uniqueness – In an age where there are so many similar artists focusing on the trends that are present to truly stand out you need to be unique. Having a point of difference that people can remember you for is so important when it comes to gaining an audience’s attention

2) Talent – This is an obvious one but not as common as you think. For me personally, in order to work with an artist I have to be a fan -almost their biggest. Because my job is based on constantly having to sell my artists and if I’m not passionate about their music it just wouldn’t work

3) Work Rate – An artist who can match my work rate will get the best out of me as I will want to go 10x harder for them. There is nothing worse than getting shown up or left behind

4) Vision – An artist with vision makes the manager’s job 100x easier, not all artists have this and often as a manager you will have to guide an artist to get to that point but when it comes to making decisions on artwork, single titles, album titles, features etc. - an artist with vision makes those conversations a lot more progressive (even if it means headache)

5) Shared Morals/Respect – It’s important for me that all those who work with/for me have the right morals. It’s as simple as saying please and thank you, for me it’s how I’ve been brought up and how I will continue to work. It’s that old cliché “The same people you see going up, are the same people you will see coming down”

4 biggest disagreement points between managers and talent:

1) Money – This one shouldn’t be the case but it almost always is, every story that comes out where a manager/artist relationship has broken down almost always succumbs to money issues unfortunately. Apart from when we first start working together I try and not have conversations about money with my artists and leave that all to their respective accountants, this way it makes it really transparent with a third party involved

2) Difference in Work Ethic – There are a lot of lazy artists out there and a lot of lazy managers, usually when one out works the other it eventually comes to a halt

3) Direction – Its uber important in a manager/artist relationship that both parties are on the same page in terms of direction. By direction I mean understanding the vision of where the where/how the artist sees themselves, if not then that can lead to a lot of differences

4) Miscommunication – Being able to effectively communicate with your artist is imperative when it comes to being a manager in the same breath artists need to be able to effectively communicate their feelings/opinions

4 biggest music management myths:

1) We don’t do anything 😂 – Many people don’t realise managers do quite a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to elevating an artist's career. Unfortunately for this we are often the last to get credit after the artist and label

2) Every day is a party – Instagram has made managers a lot cooler than they were in the past and a lot of the things people see are managers taking pictures backstage with their artists or on holiday islands when doing bookings. This has clouded a lot of people's understanding of the job to where it seems like a party every day- which it unfortunately is not

3) You need to be with your artist – Every manager is different and works in a different way but for me as a manager I feel like the least valuable place I can be is stood next to my artist whether in the studio, at a show or a brand function. Unless it’s an important occasion or a necessity to build more business, then I’d rather be engaging in conversations elsewhere about my artists to increase business and opportunities for us

4) There are holidays – Unfortunately in management there is no such thing as a holiday even if you are on holiday there are always things that may come up, if you have partners and aren’t a sole manager then maybe there is workload you can share, but even then your mind will never let you rest

SK: Finesse Foreva CEO


5 things you look for when deciding to manage an artist/talent:

1) Self-investment - Are they invested in themselves (what material have they recorded alone, have they released anything, have they done artist development? Etc.)

2) Attitude - Their attitude to work & towards others. As an artist you need to learn how to work with other people

3) Talent - I only work with artists if I like their music

4) Goals - What they want to achieve as an artist- their short & long term goals

5) Financial situation - If the artist is tied to any contracts- seeing if I can guide with any of these situations where needed


5 biggest disagreement points between managers and talent:

1) Music quality - What song qualifies as a "Hit"

2) Features - Mixed opinions over who to do features with

3) Social media - What content works & what doesn’t in regards to what they post on their social media platforms

4) Press - Doing many press appearances & features can feel tiresome for some artists although it’s essential

5) Time-keeping - Artist abiding to deadlines & meeting timings

Biggest music management myth:

1) Job role - My main & most important point- people think management is part time, it is a full time 24/7 job

For any enquiries regarding artist and brand development, managing or launching a new campaign etc, hit us up via consultancy@linkuptv.co.uk with all the relevant info!