No, I Won’t Discuss Your Music!

Submitted by Peter Åstedt

Sorry I really don’t have time to sit down and discuss the music of an artist that I have no interest in. I know that you have put all your heart and soul into your music. To tell you the truth, I don’t even sit down and talk music with artists that I’m a bit interested in. In most cases I don’t even discuss music with artists I work deeply with as a manager. Why not you ask?

The same reason the artist never discusses what I’m doing. They expect me to give them results in PR, bookings, development and opportunities. It’s not that we sit down and discuss how I fulfill these requests either. I also don’t really want to. They wouldn’t understand half of the meetings and logistics that I’m doing to create their career. In reality, I don’t understand either how they create their songs or what went into them.

What I can do is tell them if I think the song has potential. Or if there is the technical stuff that might have advice on, like if it contains explicit words, make a clean edit. If you have a 40 min intro, make a radio version. What channels this song would be a great thing to send out on. Stuff like that I’m great at doing and we talk about that. There is no need for me to know what plugins they used or if it’s recorded with a certain microphone e or if the solo has changed several times. I expect the artist to deliver a great song; that is why I work with them. If they have a problem with that then we need to take in a songwriter for them, so I get a perfect song to work with to move forward.

I get a lot of emails from artists that think that they should meet me over a coffee or a Zoom meeting to talk about their music. What they don’t seem to understand is that soon as their music ends up on my screen, I take a listen to it. Of course, it must be mind-blowing for me to come back to you and talk about it. In 99% of the cases, the music is not mind-blowing. If we don’t discuss music well then, they want to talk about their career.

Here is the problem. This is my job and if I don’t go in and choose the guitar that you’re going to record with you don’t interfere with my network of contacts. In the same way, you can tell me when you will write your first hit song. I can’t tell you when my work will get a big effect on your career. We just have to trust that both of these will happen.

So having a meeting with someone that has ideas or in many cases fantasies on how it’s done will just waste my time. I have been in those meetings, and they are like jerking off with a cheese cutter, slightly amusing most painful. I guess the industry today is more if we find you, you don’t find us. You can still present new music and material to us but the request to take my valuable time to arrange a meeting is not going to happen unless we are working together. 

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.