Next up in the Manager Series is Lyndon Gomez, manager of Aaron ‘Voice’ St. Louis, 3-time winner of International Soca Monarch. Voice has won International Soca Monarch three times with the hits Cheers to Life (2016), Far From Finished (2017) and Year For Love (2018). I had the opportunity to speak with Lyndon briefly backstage at the Get Mad Fest (London, UK) regarding his role as manager of this singer/songwriter.
How did you become the manager of Voice? Well he’s my brother in law. He had a manager before me. I was doing marketing at the time. He then asked me if I could manage him. I said ‘Ok’. I left my job in marketing and worked with him.
What do you think are the essential qualities for the role of ‘manager’? I think it is a few things. I think you genuinely have to care about the career of your artist and be wiling to put yourself in the background. Some managers kind of wanna be in the front.
How do keep to the background? Well I look at it differently. I think because of my background in marketing, I understand that if he does better, so do I. So I just need to see him doing well. I don’t need to see me out there doing it you know.
What do you think is your greatest strength as a manager? My background in marketing is my greatest strength. Cause I understand the artist is just not an artist but a brand. And because I studied brand management before, I understand about the right image and the right lyrics is very important to get your fans to relate and connect with you.
Do you manage just Voice? Just him. Would you ever consider managing anyone else? Umm I would, and I have in the past but the thing is that I really believe in him, so I really have to believe in somebody else. It’s a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of investment. If I meet another artist and I would really have to believe in their work and I think they are going in the right direction… we have to be compatible too. If that happens, then maybe I will consider another artist.
Have you got a clear plan for Voice? Some managers when asked about plans for their artists say , ‘We will see how it goes.’ Others have very clear strategic plans. Yes, we have a very clear plan. He has won soca monarch three years in a row. That was our plan.
How did you get that plan going? Well I think one of the things is that we look at what everyone else is doing. We look at where we want soca music to get to. We look at international artists a lot and what they are doing. We want to raise the bar in terms of what we do locally and what we do for soca. I think that is the main part of it. So, we focus on everything, the smallest details of performances, songs, everything that we do. He is a song writer as well so that helps.
How do you protect him? From people like us who want his time, from himself when he is working too hard? I think we have a good understanding. You know? So that if I say something and I am serious he will listen. Does he always listen? Most times [laughter] Because we are also related, and I know him way before he even thought about singing, I genuinely care about his best interests so that helps.
If you had to describe your personal managerial style, what would that be? I would say, I try to relate. I think that is the best way. I think that to be authoritative, everyone does not respond positively to that. If you are trying to find that common ground and you are trying to relate to someone and they know that you have their best interests, it tends to work.
Do you think there is any difference between the male and female managerial style? I think that would maybe depend on the artist. Once the artist understands and respects that person, the manager could be male or female.
If you had any advice for future or aspiring managers, what would that be? I would say make sure that you are managing someone that you truly believe in. So that the work is a lot easier.
Lyndon is a cool, calm and collected individual who genuinely cares about his brother in law and artist, Voice. There is a clear plan for Voice’s further success; locally and internationally. And with Voice’s talent? There is absolutely no doubt of his longevity, aided by the support and guidance of his manager Lyndon Gomez.
Images were retrieved from instagram. One image taken by @captainplexx, @Bim_UK