Jason Davis is a prominent artist manager and creative executive who has blazed his own trail through the music industry for over twenty years. His creative endeavors include One One 7 Entertainment, Radar Label Group, Awaken Records, and Noble Management. He has worked with everyone; from developing unknown artists to working with the biggest names in the industry. Davis has gotten many artists record deals and continues to be an innovator in artist management, what it takes to get a record deal, and all things related to successful artistry.
What do you look for in an artist that you might potentially manage? When considering an artist that I might potentially manage, I go through stages. At first, I’m looking for someone who is really passionate that seems like they have the same fire that I do. I also try to discern if this is something that they’re truly meant to do with their life. The second stage is observing how well they listen. Listening skills are massively important in addition to work ethic. The third phase is seeing if other people that I know and trust respond the same way that I respond to the artist. In the end, no matter how much I like an artist, I need more people to respond enthusiastically to the artist in order for them to have a career. For example, you know how the first thing you do when you see an artist you like is you show them to your friends? It’s the same thing with executives in the music business. There needs to be buzz
What is the most important thing an artist should be doing in order to further their career? I think the most important thing an artist can be doing in order to further their career is work on their craft. If their strong suit is singing, then they should always work on their voice. If they are a writer, they should constantly write. The three big things are vocal ability, songwriting ability, and live performance ability. Working on any of those three things is always a good thing.
What does it take to get a record deal? I would say, first and foremost it is crucial to have very competitive songs. They should be competitive to what is hitting in the marketplace. Most artists don’t have that. Second, having a great voice is important. And third, (and some people would put this as second) being a really likable and easy to work with person. Fourth is being able to walk into a room and really take over that room with your personality.
What are the biggest mistakes artists are making? The number one mistake artists are making is not working hard enough on their craft. Number two is tying themselves either emotionally or contractually to the wrong people. And number three is often listening to the wrong advice.
Any other tips that you’d like to share with artists? Yes, I have a few tips. I would say one of the most important tips is to not be too precious about your songs and to really do whatever it takes to get your songs to be stronger. Whether it’s co-writing or just writing endlessly, you have to get a strong product. I would also recommend that an artist finds management once they have the product. When it comes to management, it is very important that the manager not only knows what they’re doing, but also cares about you.