Danny Reiner of Alessia Cara’s Management Team Speaks Music Industry Truths.

Danny Reiner’s Realm of Experience in Entertainment

Danny Reiner currently resides in client management within the music industry. Present clients include global star Alessia Cara, Tyler Shaw, and Ryland James. His previous projects contain work with Nelly Furtado, JoJo, and Kreesha Turner. With his array of experience in brand management, social media, and PR, Danny understands the managerial intricacies of the striving digital music landscape. Music platforms are vastly changing by the day, making the infrastructure of daily music management easily primitive. Reiner has a first-hand insight into developments in the industry and manages his clients accordingly and successfully.

 

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Danny with his client Tyler Shaw and Sony Music crew at the Reeperbahn festival in Germany

 


Interview With Danny Reiner

You’ve worked in PR, brand development, and brand acquisition etc. What projects/process have you most enjoyed working on?

I’ve always enjoyed the development process, artists like Alessia, Tyler, and Ryland have been rewarding to work with because I’ve seen so much growth in their music, their artistry and even them as people. Working with artists who understand who they are and where they want to be in their career is an enjoyable experience for me. Not that it’s any easier, but a clear vision and long-term plan feels more authentic and organic to build a brand on. It’s hard to choose one particular project because they’re all special in terms of growth and career development.

Danny first started work as an intern, gaining industry insight from people around him in a variety of departments, from tour management to licensing and syncs. Now he attends award shows such as The Grammy Awards, has SNL appearances,  assists in the tour and promotional management, and has even been a part of Alessia Cara’s ‘Seventeen’ music video.

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Currently, under Chris Smith Management, Danny’s career has enlisted him a roster of music clients. Being immersed in the music industry for over a decade, new challenges inevitably present themselves daily.

Battle of the Ego’s

In your experience, being directly and vicariously involved in media/music projects for over 11 years, what has been the most challenging aspect of your career so far?

I think my confidence helped me get through any challenge I was faced with and that was fuelled by knowledge and experience. Ego and feelings can often cloud judgement and deter you from your objectives. Making mistakes is also challenging but important, to grow and learn.

“The trick is to remain selfless in an otherwise selfish industry.”

Working with Alessia Cara

Your client Alessia Cara has told some brave, bold truths through her music and performances, addressing to the younger generations the main issues in the music industry. How do you personally feel that one of your clients can channel such statements to a worldwide audience?

Alessia is one of many artists I’ve had the privilege of working with. She has a clear vision for herself and her career goals and is quite vocal about concepts for her own music and live performances. She continues to grow and challenge herself, so for that, I admire her. She’s a brilliant young talent with a great head on her shoulders. Her family and team are a great support system.

 

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Danny Reiner & client Alessia Cara

 

“Alessia is the anti-social pessimist, the wall flower, the awkward kid at the party. She makes us feel that it’s somehow the new ‘cool’. We can identify.”

Why do you think her music connects with people on another level?

I think that a wide range of demographics, not only young girls, can connect with her because she speaks to the ‘others’ through her music. Alessia is a primary songwriter and tells stories that are authentic and vulnerable at the same time. When we saw the reactions from the public for songs like ‘Here’ and ‘Wild Things’, we knew that the ‘others’ amongst our listeners felt like they had been heard or understood. It was from there, Alessia has been afforded incredible platforms (MTV VMA’s, Grammy Awards etc.) to bring that same vulnerability to her live performances, personifying the truth in her lyrics and music.

“She works as an artist because she came into the industry at a time when we needed her. She told us not what we wanted to hear, but what we needed to hear.”

Professional vs Personal Decisions

Cardi B publicly announced her pregnancy on SNL recently, gaining massive media attention just after her album release. I’m a big Cardi B fan and thought her reveal was unique to the entertainment scene. Considering she took full advantage of her platform, she made her mark in the music industry and stole people’s hearts with that performance.

 

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Cardi B revealing her pregnancy during her SNL performance of ‘Be Careful’

 

Having previously worked with friends on business projects, I ultimately found it hard separating professional business operations with emotions and feelings. I, therefore, understand the blurry line between work and relationships. Do you think it can be challenging sometimes to distinguish the line between intimate and managerial moves in music today giving the multiple platforms artists are given?

“I had this idea coming into it all that record labels and artist teams were well oiled machines. Not to say that they aren’t or can’t be.”

The music industry presents a fine line and boundaries. Often, personal lives can overlap an artist’s career, similarly how artists write songs about first-hand relationships. The reality of the music business is that we are all humans, with feelings, families, and real-time experiences. So, I think it is hard sometimes if not most to establish boundaries, but I find identifying boundaries is helpful. When a manager can separate the artist as a product from the artist as an actual person, it helps create harmony in the business relationship.

Music Expectations & Realities

There are endless controversies in music, from label responsibilities, royalties, and copyright legislation. You began your career in the music industry over a decade ago, when digital music services saw massive potential for artists. Within the industry itself, what were some of the most shocking aspects you were exposed to?

My earliest shock turned lesson was understanding the concept of expectations vs reality. Fulfilling promises for an artist who has an expectation of what should be delivered, versus what stage their career is actually at and what is delivered. Or even what we expect of one another in a business relationship versus the reality of that. The industry is based on being on the same page. Trust, loyalty, and respect. Having witnessed both sides of the coin, the most successful artists are those who have a solid vision, a supportive team and strong work ethic. You can identify those who are destined for great things in their career, just as you can those who want quick gratification and accolades but may not last as long.

 

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Alessia Cara winning Best New Artist at the 2018 Grammy Awards.

 

“Know when to sit down and let others do their job and when to stand up rising to the occasion when needed.”

Danny’s Music Business Tips!

Business models in the music industry die, in the same way, others develop, and frequently new models are introduced. From a manager’s perspective, how do you keep up with an ever-changing marketing and distribution process?

The objective is to think 10 steps ahead, especially in an industry where digital retailers and streaming service platforms have taken over. Consumers are buying Vinyl’s and cassettes again, they are extremely savvy when it comes to consuming music. Sometimes you have to excite them with non-traditional marketing strategies. Make consumers feel as if they are not being pitched what’s cool, but that they have stumbled upon a new talent they can grow with from the earliest stage of their career.

What are the key qualities to successfully working in the music business?

Patience is key. With yourself, your artists, and others. Being able to manage expectations and objectives through a solid communication structure. It is crucial not to rush business operations as it can hinder future success. Most definitely having a plan of action and a timeline to follow, ‘drivers’ help support that process and are important. Whether it be content or media, ‘drivers’ are crucial to effectively release and market a project.


Danny is a firm believer in working hard before seeing any kind of benefits, and that an understanding of all aspects of the music business is imperative to being successful with yourself and your clients.

‘Reining’ in on new talents, Danny looks forward to work from promising artists Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar and says we should look out for them in the coming future. He is also a fan of Dua Lipa (who isn’t?) and can’t wait for her new projects. When asked what his favourite album of all time was, he doubtingly replied ‘Michel Jackson, but is that too obvious of a choice?’. Rest assured, we all love the king of pop!

 

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