Mission Makers Podcast | London | UK
EXPLORING THE TIPPING POINT
FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
ATISH + SAQIB
S4: EP 5
PROFOUND SHIFTS IN MINDSET
CULTIVATING FINANCIAL FREEDOM
NAILING NEGOTIATION SKILLS
Recorded live from the vibrant energy of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), we were honored to air a live podcast exploring the tipping point for emerging artists with the dynamic duo Atish + Saqib, who offer our listeners a unique perspective on the transformative forces shaping an artist’s career.
Atish is not only a luminary figure in the music industry with his work on cultured labels and collectives like Anjunadeep and Robot Heart, but he is also the visionary behind the label, Manjumasi, and a highly acclaimed mentorship program that paves the way for future talent.
Joining the discussion was SAQIB, a rising star hailing from Brooklyn, NY, who has been making waves with prestigious releases on labels like Abracadabra and Sol Selectas. Both Saqib and our host, Farah Nanji have been mentees in Atish’s legendary mentorship program, so the conversation felt very synergetic!
The discussion unfolds by exploring the profound mindset shifts among artists who are approaching the nexus of a tipping point. As Atish emphasizes, “One of the biggest mindset shifts is viewing yourself as the CEO of a startup because it’s no longer a purely artistic project. You have to think about how you run and manage other vital areas of your business as the team grows, such as finance and marketing.”
As the stakes get higher, so too do the pressure points. The intricacies of managing the heightened stress and expectations that accompany the trajectory of career growth are delicate and must be managed with sensitivity. Whether it’s changing relationships or performing in front of bigger audiences, as Saqib reflects “the hustle never ends” but as Atish urges, “the most important thing is to always stay true to yourself.”
Perhaps one of the most stressful aspects of this is cultivating financial freedom, especially as your art form swings toward becoming full-time. Despite the huge investments required for music production and the necessity for those songs to drive the demand for gigs, it is well-known that streaming provides very little in the grand scheme of things with an average of $0.004 earned on platforms such as Spotify. Atish candidly sheds light on one of the biggest risks he took, leaving his lucratively full-time role as an engineer at Facebook as his music career was gaining serious traction. He was able to do so by having a minimum of two years of savings in the pot. The biggest advice he gives artists in this regard is to be extremely analytical about their finances, mapping everything out against a game plan, so they can have a truly ‘uncompromising approach to their art without having to take gigs for short-term financial gains’.
Negotiation skills become a focal point as the duo share essential tips for artists navigating bookings without an agent. Drawing from their wealth of experience, Atish and Saqib emphasize the importance of being realistic about your worth, always having a contract, and being aware of how your online presence can fundamentally reshape an artist’s trajectory. For a deeper dive into the negotiation process, listen back to our previous episode with Leticia van Riel and Jon Sax from LvR Management and Liason artists who share invaluable insights on the enigma between managers and agents.
As the episode draws to a close, the trio provides their perspectives on being South Asian artists, from addressing strategic conversations with parents to navigating societal expectations, and deciding whether to leave native lands for bigger opportunities abroad, the conversation leaves our listeners with a lot of revelations and reflections to deeper understand the inherent challenges faced by emerging artists.
We also uncover:
Balancing multiple jobs
How to seek out a good mentor
Navigating feelings of self-doubt
Recognizing the importance of timing
Transitioning towards the journey of parenthood
Overcoming creative blocks and maintaining a consistent flow of inspiration
If you’d like to listen, head to the Mission Makers podcast for the full conversation.
This episode can be found in the video below and on iTunes and Spotify.
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Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
Approach your artistic career like a CEO
Never lose sight of yourself and your integrity
Map your finances into a game plan to always keep your creative freedom