Austin native Saaya Temori is an artist manager at Emagen Entertainment Group who over the years has had her hand in various projects across their digital, production, and day to day tasks. Emagen handles a variety of artists including Nas, Future, Gunna, Alina Baraz, Col3trane and more. Her high spirited nature and mindful approach to artist management have quickly made her a standout across the industry in the past few years. We got the chance to ask her a few questions as to how she maintains a positive approach when facing challenges and her answers are truly a must-read.
From an outsider’s perspective, you seem to gravitate towards a holistic approach when facing obstacles on the management and digital side of things; what steps and/or tricks have you developed over the years to help you stay grounded and maintain a balance between micro and macro-level decisions?
I've realized over the years that dealing with conflict/any big decision making with grace is the only way to handle things no matter how big or small something is. Approaching all things with a rational piece of mind is key. Management is essentially a job of putting out fires and if you don't learn to deal with things calmly, you'll ultimately burn yourself to the ground. Another important reminder is defining an issue or task as important vs urgent. Important over urgent always - something my mentor and boss, Anthony Saleh has always emphasized. Take a step back, take a deep breath, you're not saving lives, you're helping execute someone's art in some capacity or another - there's no need to explode with stress - stay rational and grounded!
With each project for Alina Baraz it feels that there’s always been a natural scaling to the project that doesn’t compromise its integrity - as Alina season kicks off again, how do you go about making sure the rollout stays true to Alina’s identity and message in a digital space that tends to promote the exact opposite (forced viral campaigns, memes, etc)?
Alina knows exactly what she wants and from a management end, we strive to support that, empower that, and nourish it. With external pressures from the mainstream to change her sound and strive to be more pop, Alina's stood her ground in staying authentic to herself and her sound. As a manager, it's your job to make sure your artist has all the tools necessary to make their vision a reality, and if your artist doesn't know what they want - it's your job to give them the tools to figure it out. With Alina and all of our clients, we've realized authenticity and genuine art equates to longevity. Viral campaigns are dope and are crucial in some artists' paths but longevity - this is what separates a timeless artist and a "trend" artist.
You’ve had the chance to work with a lot of strong female figures while also being one yourself - what advice would you give to women starting out in the industry who may feel that their perspective/insight will be overlooked?
CONFIDENCE. You know more than you think you do. Coming up, I would always second guess myself as if I hadn't worked hard and taken years to learn the ins and out of the industry. Eventually, when I started working with Alina on a full-time management basis, I realized everything I needed was within me. There was no one who could do the job better than I could and that's why I was put in the position to do it! The universe is intentional and doesn't put you places that you are not meant to be. Whatever it is, own it. Be sure of yourself, because at the end of the day everyone is just figuring it out, it's the people who assert themselves with confidence who get their point across.