Jeff Blackwell, Sr. Music-Business Advisor at Dynamic Producer / Dynamic Songwriter sat down with Glen Phillips, Associate Director, Writer/Publisher Relations, SESAC to discuss his background and achieving success in the music industry.
When you were doing artist management, did you find yourself managing an artist’s personal life just as much as you managed their career?
Artist management is also referred to as “personal management”, so yes…there are very few things that aren’t in the job description of an artist manager, it’s a 24/7 job. But all artists are different, and some are higher maintenance than others. Sometimes as a manager you also need to know when to back off or not intrude on an artist’s personal life too.
How has working in the management and licensing field helped you with your current position with SESAC?
Before I was a manager, I was a tour manager, which is basically living with your artists on the road. This kind of experience has helped me relate to artists and writers not just as creative people, but just as people. There are so many hours on the road that you have to go deep with your bands, and get to know them. I still find myself doing that today even though I work in an office.
Do you feel that songwriters and producers should have their own publishing company?
There are pros and cons to retaining ownership of your publishing, just as there are pros and cons to signing with a publisher. There are too many variables to give a simple answer here, but overall I feel that, as with any relationship, the outside publisher should be adding value to the equation, whether it’s in the form of marketing, licensing, or an advance.
What’s your take on music streaming services? How does it affect songwriters and producers?
There’s been a lot of controversy and discussion about Pandora and Spotify this past summer, on whether they are paying fairly, etc. I don’t think anyone can argue that services such as these are great for the music fan, and I like to believe that empowering the fan with a positive experience will only yield the same for the artist and writer in the long run.
I would like to ask you a non music related question, what is favorite your song of all time?
It’s impossible to pin down a favorite song of all time, but lately I’ve been enjoying “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Gerry & The Pacemakers. It’s become an anthem at European football games.
To learn more about Glen Phillips click here.