Kompass Music Group’s Innovative Take On Artist Management

Kompass Music Group goes beyond what it means to be a typical management company. Aside from offering guidance in the music industry, the company is also dedicated to helping artists develop their brand, grow their community, find their voice and succeed on their own terms. In addition, Kompass Music Group also prioritizes diversity, inclusion and the mental health of its clients—a necessity in today’s music world as artists are pushed to their limits between touring and creating music.

“Their vision as a company not only focuses on cultivating a forward thinking sound [that] helps us achieve our ultimate form as artists but also prioritizes our mental health first and foremost, always,” musician Chee says. “It feels more like a supportive family than a traditional cold business structure.”

“The team prioritizes understanding the artistic identity and vision of their clients and orients their work around achieving the specific life and career goals of the people they work with,” artist G Jones says. “In my view, this is perhaps the most important and valuable characteristic of a great manager.”

The company—founded by Jay Rogovin, Blake Coppelson, Jade Gaines and Alec Donkin—calls on experience from Rogovin’s history at C3 Management and Coppelson’s work at Proximity, who is also the co-founder of Digital Mirage Festival. The management company’s roster includes EPROM, GoldFish, NotLö, Shades, Vintage Culture, KOAN Sound and Carola. Indeed, Kompass Music Group boasts a knowledgeable team, an impressive roster of clients and a notable mission.

Here, Rogovin and Coppelson share with Forbes what they want to see in the industry, supporting artist’s mental health, creating their own culture within the industry and more.

This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Lisa Kocay: What was the motivation behind starting Kompass Music Group?

Jay Rogovin: “I would say the motivation was to create a culture that was uniquely our own. That kind of was a culmination of a number of different, really amazing people and experiences in the music industry, to create something that we felt embodied or could help to embody what we want the music industry to represent, [what] we really want it to be. We are more mindful, less cutthroat, really just focusing on our experiences in more of a corporate setting and putting a more human touch to things.”

Kocay: You’re trying to create a culture uniquely your own and make what you want to see in the industry. Can you talk about what you define as your own culture and what you want to see in the industry?

Rogovin: “[For] people [to] be human to each other. We understand this is a business and I think understanding that we can all coexist together and help each other, even if we are technically competitors with each other…there is so much that we can do and we can coexist peacefully and happily together while also excelling as professionals. I think the human side of things is so important.

“We get why we all got into this business in the first place: because we love music and we love concerts. We love the feeling that we get when we’re at a concert, we’re together and we’re sharing this experience. There is artistry in artist management and giving back to that, helping each other and extending that outside of just the confines of each other’s companies.”

Blake Coppelson: “I think what we’re trying to do is not add another management company into the competitive fold of the music industry but try and segment ourselves in a way where we’re providing unique value. The reason why we joined forces is because we have the tech and digital side down from Proximity, and then we have a traditional management agency from a veteran who spent years at C3.”

Kocay: Kompass is trying to establish healthy boundaries and resources to support the mental health of artists. Can you talk about supporting their mental health and why that’s so important to Kompass Music Group?

Rogovin: “We advocate hugely for therapy. We believe that all of our artists, including ourselves, should be in therapy. It’s absolutely beneficial to have someone to talk to. I think it’s important to normalize talking about mental health—[it] doesn’t mean that you’re ill. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. [Touring is] so taxing, and being an artist or being [in the] music industry…if we’re not talking about this and we’re not being proactive, then we are essentially on our way to some sort of a disaster, whether it’s a personal breakdown or something terrible happening on the artist side, as well.

“Don’t forget to take some time off, especially when you are an artist that is buzzing and popular—everyone’s throwing offers your way and it’s easy to confirm, confirm, confirm, and then all of a sudden, your entire year is book down and you have no time for yourself. So making sure that we talk very openly with our artists about addiction, mental health, personal life—if they wanna air [that]—[and] understanding that that is part of our job as managers is to check in, be open and transparent and form that family dynamic where people feel comfortable talking about it.”

Kocay: What are your plans for the future?

Coppelson: “Our plan is to take this little seed of an idea that we had in terms of putting our heads and companies together and truly expand on that. I would love for each of our artists to own and operate their independent record labels—go from their independent releases to creating content on Instagram and to creating their own shows. I want them to be the biggest creator of their own brand. I feel like they can do that independently and in every regard—even beyond music. So I feel like the future for us is expanding on amazing ideas and the ethos that we have and bringing in more like minded people, whether that be managers or artists that are in our vision and and grow with us.”

Kocay: Is there anything else that you think I should know?

Rogovin: “We are trying to lead by example. I think looking around at the people who are at our company, who they are and what they stand for that says enough—I don’t think that we want to be the people that are like, ‘Hey, we have this person and this person, and that’s why we’re investing in people because they deserve to be invested in probably 100%.’

“What I will say is that we are very much mindful, not only as managers, but the artists that are part of the company as well, right along with us, hiring, making, prioritizing minorities, women and people of color on lineups.”

Editor’s Note: This article previously identified Kompass Music Group as Kompass Management Group.

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