The music industry is a totally different ball game than what it was let’s just say two decades ago. Since social media wasn’t really a ‘thing’ back then, artists pretty much needed a full team from the very beginning of their careers if they wanted to achieve success. Today things are slightly different but one thing remains a constant—artists still need a good manager. This is where the dynamic tandem Big 8 and Robert Lee come into play. With a resume consisting of artists of: Lil Keed, Lil Got It, and Slimelife Shawty, the duo dropped some gems in a conversation with Mike Boyd.
Boyd: What is the biggest thing you guys have learned so far from being managers?
8 & Lee: That every artist is different. Everybody works differently, and some you have to be more understanding when dealing with them.
Boyd: Since you guys have such a large roster when it comes to artists, what is the difference between working with somebody like Slimelife Shawty and an artist like Lil Keed?
8 & Lee: They come from the same background, but they are two totally different people. Keed is more of a ‘people person,’ and Slime is more laid back. You just have to learn your artists. Once you learn your artist, you will know how to work and deal with them. Being a manager means you have to get to know your artist and be there for them.
Boyd: Talk to us a little more about that because Atlanta is a different beast, and a lot of people don’t really know how it goes down. What’s your plan of attack?
8 & Lee: Basically we make everybody contact a lawyer first so we can get the paperwork to make sure nobody is playing around.
Boyd: What is your opinion on when artists should drop projects?
8: My personal opinion is that artists should drop projects fast. I don’t think artists should hold back especially if you have an ear. I think you should drop at least every three or four months. Especially if you have a project that didn’t do as well as you thought it should. Try to come back and win.
Lee: I agree. At least drop something!
Boyd: How do you approach achieving your goals? Do you plan them out?
8: I believe in both short-term and long-term goals. So if it is something that I can accomplish in a month, I will do it, but I believe in long term goals as well. I write everything down. I like to make a checklist, and mark things off. I have a morning routine—I check my missed calls and messages, and then try to get work done for each artist after that.
Lee: Yeah it depends on what it is. If it’s something quick we will pull it out for sure, but if it’s a project, we’ll make a long-term goal. It’s the same for me.
Boyd: Last question, what is one of the biggest things people may not know about being an artist manager?
8 & Lee: You have to take the time to get to know your artist. It’s a round the clock job, and pretty much have to be their parent! You’re like the additional parent basically—they are going to come to you with their problems! You have to be there for everything. So you have to learn your artist or you are going to have a lot of problems.
Be sure to keep up with Big 8 and Robert Lee on Instagram.