Rules of Engagement | KanD Johnson

Are You Following the Rules of Engagement?

Are you Reaching Out to Music Industry Influencers but you’re not getting anywhere?

Rule No 1:

Know Your Shit

The information in this article may come as a surprise to you…

If so, you need a manager, that knows all of this, that will represent you with professionalism.

If you are a manager and you didn’t know any of this you may have ruined someone’s chances to be heard… or (bright side) better late than never. Right? 

It is the Artist and Manager’s responsibility, to do your homework. The process of shopping music and selling an artist, is very similar to applying for an Executive Position for a Large Corporation. Your chances of being picked out of thousands of applicants are greater when you are prepared to win.

Chess Strategy

You must have an effective plan or strategy. Spamming people’s emails in the music industry and every other industry is annoying and will more than likely be considered selfish and inconsiderate on your part. 



What ever you do don’t say, “Check this out”, “Check out”, “Halla at me”, “This is hot”, or any of the other slang words you use with your friends or relatives. Be mindful that this is a business contact.

Adopt a business conscious and be professional to earn the respect of business clients and to be viewed as professional.

It is not wise to send Mp3 Versions of recordings to anyone if at all possible but especially not radio stations or reps unless they specifically ask for it. I would recommend send wav file with a follow up in the correspondence that you have your music available in mp3 format if preferred.

Be Mindful or knowledgable that DJs don’t have that much power like they use to. The radio stations are owned are partly controlled by big industry Labels. They spend most of their airtime pushing their artist and people within their network.

In addition to this fact DJs are required to play music of a certain standard of quality on the air.

Mp3 Versions of music are lesser quality and do not make you look professional.


DO NOT Send Facebook inbox Messages!

God forbid you go to an individual’s Facebook page and post links to your music, or your youtube video on their Timeline! Don’t say oh please like no one does it plenty have. I know it sounds crazy right? We’ll that is the impression that people will have of you. They will think this person is Crazy ass hell, and they will not only unfriend you if you are a friend or follower, they will block you.

DO NOT, MENTION PEOPLE in Tweets telling them to check out” your music or artist. That is the rudest form of approach that drives us up the wall, especially when we look and see you don’t even freakin follow us! This applies to automated DM messages (Direct Messages) as well. Wth were you thinking? I’ll tell you, what we are thinking and many other people…

”You never retweeted any of our content and you’re demanding that we check out your stuff.” Idiot

No they are not gonna say Wow this person is really driven and determined. Not! There gonna mentally block you out, and block you on social media platforms plain and simple.

I know by now you’re wondering well how am I suppose to approach anyone?

It’s simple actually but it requires first and foremost Respect.

KEY: Engage with respect, get to know the person first.

Engage them on social media with mutual respect and with an understanding, that if you don’t share their post and appreciate what they are excited about already…. They will not take interest you and what you are requesting or need from them. Make genuine contact.

Strike up a conversation about something they have posted, share a few of their posts. Eventually you can ask them if it would be ok to send some of your tracks. Or even better they will WILLING gain interest in you enough to click on some of your youtube video post or links to your music. Industry professionals have contact information on their website if they are open to receive unsolicited music.

Find out how to approach them and go for it THEIR WAY! If not, take it as “Don’t send unsolicited Emails!”

GET OUT AND NETWORK! You could meet someone in a grocery store and just be having a casual conversation and it evolves into areas of interest which will lead you to presenting your artist or your own music. BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES.



You are supposed to believe in your artist. That’s why you manage them right? You know in your heart their talent is marketable. That is a good start but you have to know how to market that talent. If you are an artist that is promoting yourself be confident but not pushy and annoying. Learn how to sale yourself in business terms.

Take it with a grain of salt if people don’t like your music. Don’t tell people what they should or should not like. The whole world will not love your music. Let’s keep it real. As awesome as Michael Jackson is, believe it or not there are some people that do not care for his type of music. People have different tastes in music, and that’s just REALITY.  If someone is not gravitating to your music it would be wise to find out there reasons why so you can learn people in general and individually. This is very important to know for future performances because you can use that knowledge to appease the crowd on their level. Managers can use the knowledge to learn and restructure their sales pitch.

People that dislike your music does not represent people that have bad taste in music, nor does it mean that your music is necessarily bad (it is possible that it needs work…). Music has to be relatable to a large number of people. Not just your friends and family. There are Billions of people in the world with different tastes in music find the people that like your type of music. That is where you will find the opportunity to sale or create fans and supporters.

Charity record label




Know what you are bringing to table that will benefit the person you are approaching. If they don’t see it the way you do it is your job to either make sure you present yourself and value to them in an offer they would be a fool to refuse. I can’t say it enough “KEEP IN MIND THIS IS A BUSINESS AND PEOPLE IN BUSINESS want to make money they do not want to be your friend”. They are not charity donors you need to know up front what you are willing to give in exchange for their power, money or influence of position.




There is an old saying that,  “Pride goes before a fall” Saying the wrong thing can really mess up your career. Keep in mind that the majority of the people you will come in contact with are Ego driven idiots. We all know that but it is not safe to say it to them. They will put more effort into destroying your career then they would have to develop it. People are generally more driven to do negative things for some reason. I know it’s bad but the reality is…It is what it is.

First impressions are the most lasting and no matter how good you are or how much money you can make for them they will side with their EGOs every time. The good thing about taking NOs with grace is, that person will remember that as well, if they ever should come across your path again. It may make them give you a second chance to make a first impression. Believe it or not some people test you just to see how you respond under pressure. No one wants to be associated with a lose cannon that could destroy their reputation. Rejection is opportunity to establish your reputation by make wise decisions and reacting to unfavorable situations with grace and professionalism. You don’t have to kiss anyone’s behind to do that.


Use Strategy not Force! Build your followship! Eggheads and Twitterbots don’t buy music or go to concerts. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover some people act like big shots but they have no say so. Example people on twitter may have a lot of followers but you can buy followers look at who is following them is it a bunch of egg heads and TEAM FOLLOWBACK hashtaggers? Be aware that even celebrity artist are owned by their label they don’t have much say so on who does a project with them either. #RealTalk

Be persistent not demanding! Be reliable not hasty! Don’t give Up. Be Ready!

Artist Management Rules of Engagement: This is article contains information and advice on “How to” engage with label executives, and other music and entertainment professionals. Music Is Magic On Air Artist Development Program

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