Becoming an artist manager takes focus, persistence, and determination. The remarkable and inconspicuous Maverick A&R representative turned manager Nick Jarjour is accountable for some of the biggest hits of the decade. Projects that Nicks clients hold include:
- Rihanna & Starrah – Needed Me
- Camila Cabello & Starrah – Havana
- Imagine Dragons & Alex Da Kid – Thunder
- The Weeknd & Cirkut – Starboy
Not to mention a whole roster of songs which are equally as plausible.
Recently writing for Variety magazine, Nick voiced enlisting a ‘Songwriter of the Year’ award for the Grammy’s. The conformity of disreputable recognition for artists behind the art can become discouraging. Nick possesses coaching and creative characteristics that, when working with his clients, emboldens an established family feel. His inevitable passion to get his work family more awareness in the music industry lies ingrained in his ethics.
Nick Jarjour Interview
I got to ask Nick a few questions in response to current movements in the music industry. In doing so, I realize a humble sternness in his prospering responses, and a tenacious determination radiating through his sentences.
Behind the scenes of the biggest music hits!
Understanding how important the artists behind the art are e.g. songwriters and producers who provide vital components is song-making, what steps could the music industry further implement to make their credits more aware?
‘These silent giants are overlooked and under-credited all too often, because in the past artists have never wanted their fans to know they don’t write their own songs, or at least not all on their own. Because of the internet, information regarding credits is much more accessible and fans aren’t so easily fooled anymore. Implementing honours like Spotify’s Secret Genius Awards, and integrating a visible listing of credits in all the platform’s songs are great examples of small steps companies can take in terms of recognition.’
Lyric website Genius also takes pride in listing credited contributors, which is a great mainstream platform frequently used by music listeners.
Resisting Exclusion & Breaking Records!
Each of your clients has their own market segment, they know exactly who they are artistically, proving difficult sometimes being surrounded by big music moguls who can cloud executive decisions. That’s the great unique selling point that these artists offer, making them a great pool of new generational talent. Having said that, your clients have recently been involved in some of the biggest hit songs, breaking records! What was your reaction when Spotify implemented the ‘Secret Genius Award’, acknowledging and praising the efforts of the people behind the scenes.
‘I was overjoyed! It’s just so incredible to see a company as massive as Spotify step up to the plate and celebrate these individuals in such a beautiful way. It was especially rewarding to see my wonderful client Starrah take home two Secret Genius awards, Hip-Hop Songwriter and Female Songwriter of the Year.’
I imagine that was a slap in the face for producers who early in her career, claimed that Starrah was ‘too urban’ for studio sessions.
Stay Hungry & Nimble
Nick and his clients, Starrah, Alex Da Kid, and Cirkut, have a contemporary outlook on music bringing success to their every project having worked on. Their unorthodox elements to existing hits have transpired to become the framework of not only pop, but urban and hip-hop projects.
Based on previous frustrating conflict, which is all too familiar in the music industry, would you offer any advice to the next generation of songwriters/producers?
‘I urge them to stay hungry, nimble and write the most urgent songs possible – what you believe people need to hear the most. Follow my team and I’s progress on social media, and always watch and learn from those you most respect.’
What happens to album/single sales distribution?
Although profits and sales can present great figures to a record label, the main barrier of the fair dispersion of these are royalties. Inevitably, after a song/album release, promotion of that product and brand become a priority, and considering artists, songwriters, co-writers, publishers etc. it is a worry that the deserved shares do not go directly to their rightful owners.
‘The biggest remaining issue for songwriters are the shrinking revenues and the structure of royalty fees — this is something where managers, artists, and labels need to change the way they perceive songwriters entirely and offer them more respect for their invaluable contributions through concrete action.’
You’ve been on the backhand of so many chart success stories, how do you go about connecting your artists with others?
‘If you sign to me you’ll find out.’
Lastly, you have a keen ear for talent, what’s your favourite song/album at the moment?
‘My favourite songs and albums at the moment are actually my clients’ unreleased projects. Specifically, this morning I woke up to an unreleased Starrah song that I can’t get out of my head, and I’m confident that you all will be humming along to it too soon enough.’
I can’t wait!
Sharna Bains – Music Editor