In the Spotlight with Marcus Mason
Written by Creative Reader on April 14, 2022
Today I have the huge pleasure to have with me Marcus Mason, the manager behind
the band “Hit The Ground Runnin'” that I had the pleasure to chat with just last week.
Thank you Marcus for joining us.
What is it that a manager does?
A manager’s role is forever changing and evolving as I encounter different challenges
and opportunities along the way. I have taken on a lot of different roles throughout my
time with the band. For Hit The Ground Runnin’ I have designed and redesigned the
artwork from the 1989 Sudden Impact Re-Release and the new album “Lost In
Translation” arriving in June 2022. I am also the author of their biography book that is
slated to be released sometime this Spring. I have also helped the band with some
smaller composing roles on the new album. My role like I said is always changing, and
in addition with these tasks I discuss daily with labels, music promoters, fans and other
artists and professionals alike taking each challenge one by one.
What made you interested in that part of the music business?
As a long time music fan and collector I started my interest in starting my very own
podcast on Spotify, Itunes and Amazon music called “MelodicAOR” about three years
ago where I profiled bands from my collection that are fantastic but yet many have
never heard of. It is through my relationship with these artists I began to become ever
so familiar with label contacts, magazine, radio and other media associates that allowed
me to easily transition into a managerial role and get these bands signed to re-releases
on many great labels worldwide.
How did you get started?
For Hit The Ground Runnin’ I started working with the band when I reached out to them
to do a feature on my podcast as I have always become a big fan of their 1989 Album
“Sudden Impact” that is very rare to find. As a began to interview the band members I
began to put together an amazing story that was much bigger than anticipated. The
band was very impressed with my story that Paul Piccari (The Bass Player) asked me if
I was interested in writing a biography book about them. It is through this book I was
able to transition myself into a managerial role with the band, not only finding and
working with all the members, but successfully reuniting them, getting them to work on
new material and signing them to two record deals with two well-known and fantastic
labels (AORHeaven, Pride and Joy Music) within the Rock/AOR Community.
How did you land your first job managing a band?
Hit The Ground Runnin’ was my first managerial debut. But I have also worked with
Brian Island, Aces Wild, A Diamond In The Rough, Rio, and a few more projects that
are on the way.
Is being a manager a one band job or do/could you manage more bands at once?
I would love to do more one day but I am very much focused on the success of Hit The
Ground Runnin’ as so many things are happening and evolving. It is just crazy right
now! I’m really excited what is next!
What is the most frustrating and rewarding part of your job?
One of the most important parts of this industry I have discovered is the importance of
making connections and contacts with people in the business. Other artists, promoters,
journalists and labels. It is through close contact and strong friendships you can be
rewarded with amazing opportunities, advice and contacts that will propel your band
forward to that next level that you are looking for. Working in a managerial role with the
band is never easy but it is solving issues and potential roadblocks with meaningful and
well thought solutions in consultation with the band and other partners will guide you to
successful endeavours. The most rewarding part of the job is the unexpected success
that you never thought was originally possible. Seeing the album you worked so hard to
promote sell out in 48 hours, and weeks later chart to number 1 on the import disk
charts in Japan was a huge highlight for me and the band.
One of the most challenging aspects of the job,
Hit The Ground Runnin’ is a fantastic band that the world is beginning to appreciate and
enjoy. It requires a lot of level headed patience and personal ambition to find the right
label, radio station and promoter that believes in your product and has the right plan that
fits with your bands motives and goals. I can’t tell you enough how many labels, radio
stations and promoters I contacted before things started to take off! Some won’t spend
the time to contact you or will reject you right away without seeing the potential of the
product you have presented to them. But I never take that personally as it strives me to
be better. It is the ones that do respond and see and value your product that made this
whole process worth the hard work in the long run. My philosophy… prove them all
wrong and show them what you can do!
What is the one thing you would like the music business to know?
If you believe in your music keep pushing and promoting it and you will find the right
fans, labels and community that will support you every step of the way. You need to be
active and it is through small steps that will not happen overnight and can result in the
long run big gains over several months if not years of commitment to the end goal. For
Hit The Ground Runnin’ we didn’t have a YouTube page and a small social media
footprint. In almost 12 months after creation we had tripled our Facebook and Spotify
pages, our new YouTube page featured original older content and a new music video
that took our page to the next level. When the video “Simply Because” was posted; it
organically grew to 140,000 views, and 1200 new subscribers in 6 months after
released. Constantly promoting and pushing was part of my plan that took us to a
success that wasn’t anticipated or predicted right away… sometimes it can be
unexpected and truly random!
And what advice do you have to all those that are hoping for a job in the music industry?
Have an end goal in mind and do not be afraid to start somewhere else in order to gain
sufficient experience and develop the necessary contacts and connections to drive you
closer to not only your next opportunity but your ultimate end goal.
And that was my chat with Marcus Mason.
If you want to contact him you can reach him thru the Hit The Ground Runnin’ webpage
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