The Subtle Truth. 002 - Shay Behboodi
Behind the scenes yet playing such a major role in an artist’s career is their manager. This week on ‘The Subtle Truth’ we are stoked to speak with Shay Behboodi. Shay is an artist manager located in Los Angeles. Currently representing an insane roster of artists which includes BVRNOUT, Cyclops, GAWM, Synymata, and WHZLY, he truly is a force to be reckoned with.
We are super excited to get to talk about his background in the music industry and help our readers gain some insight on the reality of being a manager in the scene.
Thanks for joining us Shay.
Q. How long have you been working as an artist manager? A. I've been working in artist management for about 2 1/2 years now, and I've been loving it.
Q. How did you first get involved in the music industry? Did you start off as a manager right away? A. I actually slowly eased my way into it. I didn't know much about the industry growing up and didn't really have any connections. I always loved music but didn't see myself as a creative. I ended up enrolling myself to get a masters degree in music business. From there I gained work experience at various artist management companies doing a lot of administrative tasks, and I worked at Capitol Records for a little while here in Hollywood, CA. After I felt comfortable/ready to become an artist manager, I picked up my first artist in 2018.
Q. In your experience, what are some of the biggest misconceptions of an artist management career? A. That you have to be an a**hole to get your point across or look like a good manager. Life isn't an episode of Entourage, and you sure as hell are not Ari Gold (for those who get the reference), so might as well kill that ego at the door. Being a nice person who's easy to work with will go much further than the person nobody wants to deal with because you're too intense for no reason. Be nice, stay humble, and appreciate/be thankful for all the opportunities that come your way no matter how big or small.
Other than that, there really is no set blueprint for how to be successful as a manager. Sure everyone has their own opinions and you can choose to agree or disagree, but at the end of the day run with whatever process works for you. It's quite simple, buckle down, work hard, don't have an ego, be eager to learn, be patient, and turn this into a passion. You'll only fail if you quit. There's going to be hard days that'll kick you to the ground. It's on you to get up and keep on going. Your outcomes in this industry are based on how hard you work towards your goals.
Q. How did you start working with the artists that are currently on your roster?
A. My first artist WHZLY collaborated with all the artists on my roster, and he was the one who introduced them to me. After a few conversations with all those artists, it seemed like a perfect fit and I wanted to work with them. They're all so talented and they make me want to put in 110% every day to help them achieve their goals and dreams. I just started to co-manage a new artist named Cyclops with my boy Andrew Sierra. Really excited to be working with Cyclops, he's a true talent with a great head on his shoulders.
Q. What keeps you motivated to work in the music industry even on harder days? A. The harder days are my motivation. Like I mentioned before, you gotta have thick skin and just keep on going on the harder days. Go back to the drawing board and come up with a new plan. Yes, there are some days that are very brutal especially in the up and coming stages. When one door closes, you need to find another door. How I stay motivated is by doing just that. Don't just give up and take no as an answer, have a plan A-Z for everything. Progress! There's no better feeling than working towards a goal and finally achieving it. You hear a ton of rejections in this line of work and it's always nice to hear those acceptances.
Q. What’s a piece of advice you’d give to anyone looking to start working as an artist manager?
A. It's a very selfless job. Every day you need to be prepared to ask yourself "what can I do today to help these artists thrive." You are a constant support system. Find the artists you are passionate about working with and build a team that align with your values. Make your work environment as enjoyable as possible. I can't stress enough how much patience you'll need to develop in order to be a manager. Everything you or your artists do will be a process no matter what. Become obsessed with your goals and learn every single day. If your artists are working on music 10 hours of the day, you need to match that with the amount of work. Read books, understand the lingo, seek opportunities, learn how your artists can monetize in multiple ways (in case a pandemic hits and live events get put on hold), and find a handful of mentors you can shadow.
Be sure to follow all of Shay’s artists and show some love! LINK: https://biglink.to/ShayBehboodi