We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Wilkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Hustle and Grind remains a popular mantra of music creatives. The culture conflates effort with consequences. The harder you hustle or the longer you are on your grind, the better chance you have to succeed. While I agree work ethic is very important, too often musicians mistake activity for achievement. Too much time, energy and effort is spent on the business of creativity instead of creating. And even when artists achieve the success they are grinding for, their work/life balance becomes unbalanced it is hard to enjoy it.
I believe in setting limits, working smarter not necessarily harder and enjoying life while it is happening. There are only 24hrs in the day. This hasn’t changed no matter what technology provides or demands. It is ok to Hustle and Grind but taking to time to Rest and Recharge outside of work is a mantra worth repeating also.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an artist manager. I provide support and guidance for Artists, Producers, Songwriters and Creatives with their careers. My goal is to foster the artistic vision and maximize the financial growth of my clients. I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve have. My current clients and former clients are friends. When you are working so closely with someone to reach their creative goals, you have to have a respect for one another. You will not always agree. And disagreements are tough when dealing with someone’s creative work. So respect is the basis, the foundation of everything you do in working with an artist.
I started my career in radio. I had been a college radio DJ and then a commercial radio DJ. I realized I liked the music more than just talking on air about it. And I became interested in this still new world online. I liked the discovery and marketing points for music on the web. That interest eventually led me to NYC working with record labels to promote their artists both in retail stores and online. I was running an online marketing team for a label when a friend mentioned that her management company was looking for someone with online expertise to work directly with one of their young, upcoming artists. That artist was Rihanna. And that was my first job in artist management.
Probably the biggest lesson I learned working for an artist on that level is that you have to have a vision and put in the work. Talent doesn’t even get you a foot in the door. It maybe gets you a knock. Having a vision for yourself, your art and a work ethic to realize that vision is just as important.
I just want the world to know about the artists I work with. I want the world to know about their music, art and creativity. And hopefully love and support their work as much as I do. The world knows the Beatles. Brian Epstein’s story is that the world knows the Beatles.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like to show friends a different side of Miami than the normal tourists spots. I like South Beach but there is so much more to experience in Miami. Upper Buena Vista has shopping, food, live entertainment all in a unique open air community setting. Lagniappe is a favorite place for live music, wine and good times. The Citadel in Little River has everything you want to eat, drink and be merry under one roof and on their roof top. And if South Beach is a destination then The Broken Shaker is a great oasis from the luxury hotel bottle service dance clubs or Collins Avenue Hookah Huts.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents deserve much more than a shoutout. Neither of my parents are musicians. But they both have a great love for music. I grew up surrounded by music. My parents had albums playing in the house. We listened to the radio on long car rides. And they encouraged me to pursue music. They bought me my first guitar. They even helped make and sell t-shirts at my band’s shows in high school and college.
My parents still love music today. And they still support all of my music endeavors. And I am forever grateful!