Episode #039: What Is Artist Development?


Today’s show takes on a new format where CJ Ortiz joins Leah McHenry as cohost. CJ has over 20 years of experience in marketing and helping both individuals and organizations to achieve their visions. Currently, CJ works as the mindset and branding coach at the Superfan System Elite Program run at The Savvy Music Academy. In this episode, Leah and CJ talk about what artist development really is, delving deep into the complicated topic. They discuss what some crucial aspects of the artist development process are and how they think most traditional artist development companies are falling short and failing their clients. Leah also gives some insight into the process she has used to develop herself as an artist and how she thinks The Savvy Music Academy is breathing fresh air into artist development. Join us today for this and a whole lot more!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The primary problem in the music industry since Napster. 
  • What is artist development? 
  • Leah’s five-year plan for Savvy Musician Academy and where she realized this.  
  • The problems with traditional artist development agencies.
  • Leah’s insight into artist development in the new music industry.
  • Two things which are key to artist development.
  • Musicians should see themselves as entrepreneurs. 
  • How Savvy Musician Academy is doing artist development differently.
  • The role of the coach and how they should work. 
  • Leah’s own coaching style. 
  • How DIY management is different from traditional management
  • An understanding of branding that goes beyond logos and fonts. 
  • The real meaning of online marketing.
  • Making time to write or practice every day. 
  • Building a fan base is a perpetual activity.
  • And much more!


“The destiny of the company is artist development, but not in the typical sense.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:08:04]

“A high percentage of success is in the mindset part and the personal development part of it.” — @LEAHthemusic  [0:13:48]

“It doesn’t help to blow sunshine up somebody’s backside.” —  CJ Ortiz [0:22:40]

“We’re like Robin Hoods.” — CJ Ortiz [0:50:26]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Savvy Musician Academy on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/onlinemusician/ 

SMA: Superfan System Elite Program — www.callsma.com

Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.