Gee Roberson: 'I Made a Hell of a Detour' on the Way to Managing Nicki Minaj
NICKI'S BRANDING BOSS
This profile is part of Billboard's Oct. 25 cover story package on the launch of Maverick, a new music-management consortium. You can find our full coverage right here.
“As far as innovative deals [I’ve brokered], there’s the venture with Nicki Minaj and her Moscato wine line, Myx Fusions. The beverage is exploding at a great rate; it’s now at Walmart and other chains. It’s another example of the power of branding and helping an artist become multilayered.”
“I’m a fan of synergy. I’ve always been a fan of collaborating with other managers. There is nothing more important than to surround yourself with like-minded individuals and nothing more attractive than to build a canopy of fellow managers from different sides of the industry.”
“The heavy decline of album sales. You can be in the top 10 of an album chart now by just selling 20,000 records. That’s challenging. And the only way to meet that challenge is by building multi-layered ventures within your artist’s brand. The name of the game for an artist today is to keep yourself relevant and stay ahead. A lot of my time goes into that particular arena, building out opportunities.”
SIGN OF THE TIMES
“The big difference between when I started as a manager and now: You have to have the ability to build and grow other ventures. Artists weren’t thinking that way then. And these ventures must not only work in pushing the artist and his music, but also in pushing the artist into other spaces that will grow him or her as a brand.”
“You have to have patience. Not everything will work out in the time you want it to happen. That also teaches you about perseverance; to keep fighting and never give up.”
IF I WASN’T A MUSIC MANAGER...
“I would be an obstetrician, due to the influence of a little TV program called The Cosby Show. I’ve always been fascinated by medicine and wanted to be Dr. Huxtable. Then in my second year of college, I learned I could make a career out of my love for music. I made a hell of a detour.”
MYSELF, IN FIVE WORDS
“Absolutely determined, passionate, driven, focused.”
This article first appeared in the Oct. 25 issue of Billboard.