The touring award finalists for top manager -- Pat Corcoran with Chance the Rapper, Jeffrey Azoff with Harry Styles and Scooter Braun with Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande -- reveal how they build artist careers that last.
What is the most important quality in an artist manager right now?
Corcoran: Trust. Trust in your client, trust in yourself, and trust in each other. If you have that, nothing can stop you and the artists you’re working with from achieving amazing things together.
Azoff: My father [veteran manager Irving Azoff] has always taught me to support my clients and do what’s best for the artist no matter what the circumstance is.
Braun: Stability. You can’t be frantic. The artist is looking for direction, and to give them the right direction, you’ve got to come from a solid ground.
What’s your proudest achievement in the past year?
Braun: The One Love Manchester concert [after the May terrorist attack outside a Grande show in England] gave me a real sense of purpose -- that I can make a difference and so can the artists I work with.
Azoff: Continuing to grow Full Stop [Management and] merging with Azoff Music and The Creed Company. I am now surrounded by so many smart people that it has gotten really hard for me to do anything stupid.
Corcoran: We just passed the one-year anniversary of the Magnificent Coloring Day festival. Throwing that at the baseball stadium [the Chicago White Sox’s Guaranteed Rate Field] where we grew up was incredible.
What has changed most in terms of what managers need to do?
Azoff: I don’t think people yell at each other anymore; that’s an old tactic. Sign talented people, support their vision and work as hard as you can to make it happen.
Braun: When I started, everyone told me that I was crazy to sign an act [Bieber] off of YouTube. They told me a manager can never build a brand for their company. Now you’re seeing lots of managers building brands with and for their clients.
What is a common mistake young managers make?
Corcoran: There are times you have to grind and hit the road for months at a time, but you have to remember that your life matters too. Focus on improving the quality of your life, and the quality of your work will improve too.