As founder of Prodigy International, artist manager and talent coach Robbie Danzie works with independent musicians, actors, and models to take their entertainment careers to the next level. Her passion for what she does is fueled by her own unique path in the business: first, as lead singer of the successful female R&B group, Krystol; second, as a dinner theater performer and seminar leader in Japan. (You can hear the interview in its entirety on BlogTalkRadio.)
What were your starting blocks to becoming a manager?
First of all, turning off Robbie Danzie, the artist, and trying to turn on Robbie Danzie, the manager. Not letting the two mix so much. Because what happens with me, being an artist, is I tend to look at things from the artist’s point of view. That’s good, but I needed to start thinking in terms of, “How do I handle the business of a particular song? How can I market it, how can I promote it?” I had to start thinking with the other side of my brain: business, business, business! And just starting to handle the paperwork, documentation, and contracts — all these things that these artists need. Starting to handle that for someone else was fun, but also something that was new.
My client K.D. Brosia was like my guinea pig. I had first gone to Japan in 1991; but it wasn’t until 2004, when I met him and we became friends, that I got into management. He asked me to manage him. After some deliberation, I agreed. For a time, I was actually touring with him both as an artist and his manager.
Was making business connections initially a hard thing to do, or was a lot of it in place already with your background in performing?
You would think it would be in place; but a lot of people I wanted to reach out to, I didn’t — because I wanted to make sure that I had everything organized, and a good product. I understood from being in the industry that you cannot knock on the same door twice, having had nothing truly to present the first time. They don’t give you many chances to come back. So, I waited a bit and made new contacts. And I was already in that circle, so when I would meet people I would announce, “My name’s Robbie Danzie; this is my artist K.D. Brosia, who I represent.” I was establishing myself as a manager, not as an artist.
You mentioned that K.D. Brosia approached you to manage him. Was he just starting out, or was he an established act in Japan?