Why I started smartistU
smartistU x Smartist University (formerly Smart Band Management) is a resource created by me, Jamie New, to help artist managers & music industry professionals navigate the music business, advance their artist’s careers, and build successful music businesses.
When I started managing my first band, I had no idea what I was doing. I was surrounded by experienced managers, attended conferences and workshops (and even planned them myself!), Googled everything, but still felt like my questions weren’t being answered fast enough or succinctly enough. I often thought that if there was just one website that could tell me everything I needed to know in an organized, quick but detailed, step-by-step, and easy-to-understand format, then I’d be set! That’s not too much to ask, right?
But not only that I also wanted to learn more about the worlds of successful artists and artist managers; their processes, their challenges, their failures, and their biggest lessons. I wanted to learn straight from the mouths of the best in the world that I didn’t have to fly to another Country or Province for, or wait 6 months and pay $600 to attend the next event.
And in May of 2013, there became the birth of what is now known as smartistU.
smartistU offers in-depth music business and artist management training, monthly coaching with experts, networking, community support, industry discounts, business tools & other resources.
The best place to start is to sign up for a free account via the signup button in the menu.
Thanks for being here. Read more of my story below!
Ok so, who the heck is Jamie New?
I’m a music business author, marketer, course creator, educator, and retired artist manager, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I started my music industry career planning educational workshops with some of North America’s top artist managers, then moved on to manage commercial radio and internationally touring artists independently.
In my spare time, you can find me taking hip hop dance classes, playing beach volleyball, re-decorating my home, enjoying all the craft beers Canada has to offer, relaxing on the cottage dock, snowboarding in the mountains, and telling myself I really need to go to the gym.
Check out the timeline below to learn a little bit more about my story!
After graduating from Brock University with a Bachelors Degree in Arts & Culture Studies, I got my first job at the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival. It was the best first big-girl job I could ask for. I got to live at my family cottage on the lake and coordinate in-school arts programs, summer camps, and a small summer festival series in Canada’s best cottage country. On the weekends, I bartended at Muskoka’s famous concert venue, The KEE to Bala.
When my one-year contract was up with the festival, I moved back to Toronto and became the fundraising coordinator for the Canadian Music Centre.
I first got involved in the artist management world in 2011 when I got hired to run the operations of the Music Managers Forum Canada. There are over 50 MMF’s around the world and each of them provide networking, awards, advocacy, and education for music managers. It was my DREAM job.
Reporting directly to the board of directors (10 of Canada’s top artist managers), I managed the memberships, partnerships, marketing, communications, sponsorships, fundraising, financing, and events. The majority of the events were educational workshops for artists and managers to learn from expert artist managers. I was working with so many successful artist managers that it didn’t take long for me to decide that I wanted to be just like them.
So, I started managing my first band.
After two years at MMF, finishing my first year as a College Teacher, and a 14-year history as a gymnastics, cheerleading, and trampoline coach, I realized that I had an innate desire to help people succeed. That, coupled with my passion for music, my experience in artist management, and a gap in the market place, I started my blog, Smart Band Management.
At the same time, I also realized that I had a strong desire to live in Western Canada, so I moved 3400km away from my hometown to the wonderful mountain-surrounded land of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In Calgary, I worked and consulted for educational music industry organizations such as Alberta Music and Music Calgary, among others, and continued to independently manage and co-manage a handful of promising Western Canadian acts in rock, pop rock, pop, and r&b genres.
Gay Nineties were getting airplay on rock radio stations across Canada reaching #5, and getting nominated for radio awards; Sidney York were touring internationally and becoming quite a buzz band; The Wet Secrets won a radio-run artist development project earning them a cheque for over $100,000; and Jocelyn Alice had created a name for herself through a few major television and film placements. Exciting stuff for a new manager.
Toronto was calling my name again. My client Jocelyn Alice had decided to move to Toronto, and shortly after I decided to as well. In January of 2015, we released Jocelyn’s first single as a solo artist ‘Jackpot’ to Hot AC/Top 40 radio in Canada. It reached the top of multiple Mediabase, Billboard, Shazam, and iTunes charts, and by September 2016 it was certified Platinum (80,000 sales) in Canada. A nearly impossible feat for an independent Canadian artist in pop music.
After moving back to Toronto I took on several contracts for record labels, publishers, and festivals, and even decided to work out my editorial muscles a little more and became the managing editor for TopCountry.ca, Canada’s top spot for country music access. There, I interviewed the top country artists (umm, I even got to attend an editors round with DOLLY friggen PARTON), wrote news, produced content, and managed partnerships.
Don’t let my love for country fool you. If you need a dance party playlist full of Bieber, Tove Lo, Major Lazer, and Rihanna; or some hip hop and R&B full of Travis Scott, Jazz Cartier, Bryson Tiller, or Kendrick Lamar, I’m your girl.
Follow me on Spotify to see what I’m listening to.
In April of 2016, I wrote and published my first book called The Music Business for Artist Managers & Self-Managed Artists: All You Need To know To Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. I questioned and interviewed nearly 40 experts from all areas of the business in an effort to find out exactly how people prefer to be contacted and pitched, and how they decide to sign artists. I learned more through the researching and writing of that book than I had learned in the past 5 years prior.
Up until late 2017, I continued as an artist manager both independently as well as for Bumstead Productions, an artist management company (and former record label) having managed JUNO and GRAMMY Award-Winning Artists since 1979. Over the years the company represented artists such as k.d. lang, Big Sugar, Colin James, The Trews, Tim Chaisson, and The Lazys, to name a few.
Independently, I launched the solo career of Country/Pop Artist, Tareya, 1/2 of JUNO and CCMA Nominated ‘Autumn Hill’.
In late 2017, Smart Band Management went from my side-blog to my main job, when I created our first ever online course, and launched our brand new “online school”, SmartistU.
In 2018, I become the Professor of the Artist Management Course in the 3-year Music Business Management Program at Durham College, outside Toronto, Canada, while finishing my first full-year, full-time, on SmartistU.
In 2019, SmartistU has now become a go-to artist management resource around the globe with a community of over 10,000 artists and managers from every single country in the world, and an annual blog-reader base of over 200,000 people.
Now offering in-depth training, ongoing monthly training with experts, a daily mentorship and support community with management professionals from around the globe, and every business tool, template, and resource, we have everything you need to go from inception to recognition.
Visit our website or any of our social channels to find out more, and join the club for free!