Indie Manager Spotlight – Andre Clarke

Part 2 of our “Indie Manager Spotlight” is on Andre Clarke, who manages TTK – visual artist, painter and sneaker customizer. I met Dre through mutual friends and knew him as the guy who hosted the cool hip hop showcases. He became the host for my “Show & Tell” events last year, and I’m really happy to finally get to learn more about him through this series. Enjoy…

Andre Clarke

What made you decide to get into artist management, and why did you choose the artist you work with?

I originally got into artist management because I had the gift of gab. Honestly, I always loved music and entertainment but I had no talent (LOL), so I tried the business side. I went to Five Towns College which is a music college and tried everything. I realized I had the gift of gab and was good at connecting the right people with the right projects. Managing fit me like a glove. As far as managing TTK, at first I didn’t want to. I had a bad experience managing an R&B artist years ago and I didn’t want to deal with the nonsense that comes along with stroking artist egos. TTK was very persistent and intent on making me his manager. After seeing his work and considering the possibilities, I couldn’t deny his talent. I’m very happy and grateful that he refused to give up.

What are the pros & cons of managing an independent artist?

The pros of managing an indie artist, in my opinion, is building a brand from ground up. The artist is a brand and should be treated as one. Putting in that hard work and seeing your ideas come to life, I love it. I love the work…and at the end of the day, you and the artist reap the rewards. There’s no middle man taking unnecessary cuts or laying claim to the work that you and the artist put in the way a big company or agency sponsoring you would. My biggest con would have to be lack of resources. All costs come out of pocket. You need a side job just to fund your dreams! We also throw our own events so that adds even more to our costs, but in the end it’s all worth it.

What, in your opinion, does it take to be a great manager?

The understanding that you’re going to do the most work and get the least amount of credit. You work hard to put your artist in the best position possible, in a position to receive all the recognition and fame while you play the background. If you don’t have a full understanding of this, everything else you do is irrelevant. Also, sleepless nights. A lot of sleepless nights.

Can you share some memorable experiences from your journeys with your artist?

Seeing people in awe of TTK’s work. The first time viewing his paintings with their mouths wide open or a big smile because his work brings them back to a certain time in their lives or because they didn’t expect what they saw on canvas. Also seeing his work in magazines like SLAM and The Source magazine and seeing him interviewed on Hot 97 were big moments for me too. It let me know that the hard work is paying off. Lastly the love we receive when we put together our events, our last event was attended by over 200 people, these are the experiences that make it all worth it for me.

If there was one thing you could change about your experience as a manager, what would it be?

I wish I started doing it sooner.

Links:

TTK – www.gottkgo.com

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Comments
3 Responses to “Indie Manager Spotlight – Andre Clarke”
  1. La Toya says:

    Thanks so much for this great interview Liz! Congrats on all your success Andre & TTK!

  2. TTK says:

    My brother, my comrade, my right hand BIG UP

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