Manager Steven “Stevo” Dingle from The Gloriam Group Talks to Us About His Experiences In The Music Industry and Gives Management Advice to Indie Artists

Steve Dingle has been in the music industry for a little over three years now. While attending Clark Atlanta, he started blogging for one of ATL’s top publications and went on to manage OG Maco, who ended up signing to Quality Control Music and then to Motown/Capitol. As a team, they broke Maco’s, “U Guessed It,” nationally. Currently, Stevo runs his own management company, The Gloriam Group. We’ve been watching Stevo move for a while now and we love what he does, so we were excited when Steve was down to chat with us.
TasteCreators: Do you consider yourself a #TasteCreator? Why?

Stevo: Yes. I support what I like. It doesn’t matter if it’s popular, I’m not afraid to cosign something early on, whether it be an artist or a song etc. If I like it I like it.
TasteCreators: When did you decide to become a manager? What sparked the flame?
Stevo: I started managing my first artist in October 2012, with Miloh Smith. I studied the game for quite some time, at times even indirectly. I studied the industry and the executives who I thought were great at what they did, plus the relationships I built on my own. I figured I would make a pretty good manager. Of course, a label job was ideal, A&R, Product manager, lifestyle marketing but I never interned so I also felt management was my only way “in” for lack of better words.

TasteCreators: What’s the best AND worst way to approach you (or anyone) for management?

Stevo: See, I don’t like when I meet an artist and I tell them I’m a manager and they say “oh I need a manager can I send you my music?” right from the jump. Instead, you should do some research on me first. Take a look at the artists I work with, see if it would be a good fit. For all you know I can be some scammer, yet you heard that I’m a manager so you automatically want to send me your music. No, do your research first.
I’m a very nice person. I don’t mind tossing you my email if you hit me on Twitter. However, only send 1 or 2 records, don’t try to overdo it. I’m not going to listen to your whole project. Also, don’t expect much feedback. I’m not going to give you an in depth response about how much I enjoyed or hated your music. If I like it I’ll let you know, if you don’t hear from me, just keep working. I’m not the “end all be all” – so just keep working.
TasteCreators: What do you look for in an artist that would make you want to manage them?
Stevo: First off, when it comes to management that’s BUSINESS. So overall, in order for me to want to manage you, I need some evidence that we can “sell” you. We don’t want to invest in something that people aren’t buying. I need to see fans and people that support. I like the 3-person-rule, so like when 3 people ask me about you, that’s a good sign for me to really check you out. For instance, one person might hit me on Twitter like “yo steve have you heard of this artist?” then maybe a few weeks go by and another person is like “yo steve you heard of them?” and then some time later another person hits me like “yo steve you should check out this artist they’re dope” and it’s like ok I need to see who this person is.
It also comes down to the music. I just go with my gut feeling and rely on my ear for music. I can usually tell if the music is worth investing into. When I hear the music I close my eyes and see if I can envision where I can see this track playing. For instance, can I hear it playing in Starbucks? Or maybe if it’s energetic, can I envision you performing it? I look for things like that.
TasteCreators: How should an artist go about gaining fans when they are just getting started?
Stevo: Artists need to get the support of their city, their community. Like you mentioned earlier in the convo, artists need to be confident in their music in order to make this happen. If the music is hot as you say it is, then you shouldn’t have a hard time gaining fans. Start with your friends, your family, people in your school. Put up posters around prominent areas in your city. If I’m walking by I might not pay too much attention to it at first, but if I see you again I’ll be like “oh I know you” – it’s all about brand recognition.
TasteCreators: Being an artist manager. what are some of the common “craziness” that happens behind the scenes?
Stevo: One thing that happens from time to time is that a promoter will book an artist, we’ll get the down payment and we’ll fly out there and then the promoter says they don’t have enough to pay you the rest.
TasteCreators: Yea we’ve definitely heard of that happening. We’ve also seen it happen on the other side, where the promoter will book the artist and pay them and then the artist just won’t show up. Now our question is, what can an artist (and their manager) do to protect themselves from that happening? 
Steve: Have your own contracts. You can’t always rely on the promoter or venue to give you a contract, and you don’t always want to because their contracts are usually geared towards protecting them. You’ll want to have your own contracts that you use, that have clauses in them to make sure you get paid or you don’t go on. If I’m in that situation I also give my artist the option. I keep communication open. Like if we get to the venue and we’re supposed to go on in an hour but we haven’t gotten the other half of our payment, I’ll tell the artist it’s up to them if they want to perform. Sometimes an artist will still perform, especially if there’s a lot of people in attendance because all those people came out and you don’t want to let them down, but they may cut the performance short. Like maybe they were supposed to have a 1 hour set but they’ll cut it down to 20/30 minutes. But overall, just make sure you have your contractual agreements ready.
Be sure to follow Stevo on Twitter @Stevozone4