Artist Manager Charlene Bryant Uncovers the Layers of Fandom

Candace McDuffie / November 28, 2022

The veteran manager behind Trippie Redd’s number one success discusses all the different levels of fans and why they’re all important.

As emerging artists know, fans play a pivotal role in their success. They show support by streaming and buying music, purchasing merch and recommending that artist to their peers. However, for musicians just starting out, building a fanbase can be quite daunting. How can artists stay authentic to their craft while cultivating a loyal following? How can they keep fans with different levels of commitment interested in what they're doing?

Charlene Bryant - who championed artists at Sony, Warner, and Universal before launching her own company, Riveter Management - helped rap sensation Trippie Redd reach number one on the charts with 2019's A Love Letter To You 4. In a recent conversation for our Co.Lab Sessions podcast, she discusses how to peel back the layers of fandom on your way to creating a loyal fan base.

Listen to the episode here and read on below for more of her advice.

Taking it to the Next Level

Understanding how different kinds of fans show their interest will help you discern how to interact with them, Bryant says. "A casual fan is someone that adds a song to a playlist. A loyal fan might be a fan that goes to a show, buys a concert ticket, maybe buys a piece of merch. A super fan...that person's gonna be engaged in everything that you do."

Once you've figured that out, Bryant explained, you can directly appeal to them. "How you convert that is based on the level of engagement and just bringing them along the journey of your story. People really just wanna be a part of something. One of the silver linings of the pandemic was we got to slow down and really tap into who we are, listen to ourselves, and try to figure out what brings us joy." 

Make Social Special

Bryant believes that unfiltered moments are vital to engaging fans since they create a vulnerable and personal moment that feels familiar. "In the beginning, when we had to grow [Redd's] Instagram, it was a bit of a battle, you know? He didn't want to post anything inauthentic. And so he was like 'I'm just gonna go on IG live and smoke a blunt.' When he did it, I remember it went from a couple hundred people, to a couple thousand, to tens of thousands."

"It reminded me of when I would call my family on Sundays and my cousin would just put the phone on speaker and I could hear my family in the background talking and doing their thing. I felt like I was home. And I think that's ultimately what was happening... That's how he grew his Instagram."

Investing in Hard Work Pays Off

Bryant shares a story of how Trippie Redd's perseverance in the beginning of his career ultimately helped him breakthrough. Other artists can learn from his resolve, she says. "One of the things that Trippie did very well early in his career...he was shaking hands, kissing babies, getting to know people. You have to get out, you have to meet people. It's important because a lot of times people from labels [go to] to shows. They're out and about."

All artists have to decide what kind of career they want. "You could be a one hit wonder, you can get that check," she says. "But if you want that long standing career and that longevity, you're gonna have to put in that work."

Listen to Charlene Bryant's full Co.Lab Sessions episode and then check out other Co.Lab Sessions podcast episodes about building your team, creating a scene around your music, protecting your career, and more.

Spotify for Artists helps you to develop the fanbase you need to reach your goals.

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