The next time you go out to see a live band, hopefully sometime soon, look around at all the people on stage performing, working in the wings or backstage, standing behind the mixing board, sitting at the merch table, or waiting outside with the trucks ready to tear down. As a long time musician, I can tell you this takes an incredible amount of teamwork.
The music projects in which I have been involved range from putting a live band together for gigging, to setting up recording sessions with multiple musicians, engineers, and producers, to simply performing in a showcase with a songwriter. Between interviewing (and picking) the right people for the project, as well as scheduling rehearsals, defining roles and responsibilities, establishing the scope of work, things can get very complicated and stressful. Inevitably, the power of a team is the only way to accomplish the goal effectively and every part of that team, regardless of whether they are in the spotlight or not, is very important.
The same holds true for projects at an agency. There will always be a need for at least a couple of different internal departments to get involved as well as outside vendors or freelancers. No matter what the deliverable may be, the client’s expectation is that the agency will be able to understand all the particular needs of their project and accomplish all of the tasks from beginning to end successfully. Thorough and effective communication with each person at every step will make sure the process is carefully planned with all respective responsibilities clearly understood.
As in putting together a good band, having a select team of individuals that are highly competent in their skills and fully capable of handling their responsibilities is the foundation. Sometimes this requires more internal hours for a particular skill set, or finding and appropriating various materials or placements, or maybe using several external sources that can provide services beyond what an agency has internally.
From there, everyone needs to be able to communicate, collaborate, and negotiate with each other effectively. In a band, this is facilitated by a bandleader, who picks the setlist for a show or the songs to be recorded. The singer will work with the band for arrangements and the key for each tune. Each individual musician will make sure their instruments are in good working condition and finely tuned, while the crew and managers set the stage, book the venues, and get the logistics in order before the events can happen. Even a solo artist has a manager, a booking agent, and probably a gear tech/roadie to help make everything run smoothly and with a little less stress.
Bridging both the music world and agency world, I can attest to the fact that every single job this agency does will have an array of knowledgeable, responsible, and committed people working to deliver the best possible product/outcome. When we break down the silos and collaborate effectively it is like, well, music. As musicians, we usually say, “Let’s jam.” As an agency, we say “Let’s work together.”