Caracal is an alternative-rock band based in Singapore which has been around since 2006. The band consists of five members, KC Meals on vocals, Henry Louis Velge on the bass guitar, Gabriel De Souza on the lead guitar, Field Teo on the rhythm guitar and Martin Kong on drums. Since their debut into the local scene in 2006, Caracal has gained fame among the locals in Singapore and is considered as one of the few bands to succeed alongside The Great Spy Experiment.
Currently, Caracal has signed a contract with Straits Records – their type of label is still indie-, which is a local record label dedicated to develop and promote original local and regional music. Straits Records believe in integrating music with various art forms, cultures and social issues/politics as a channel and vehicle, for entertainment and creativity as well as education. Also, Straits Records actively organise music events at venues such The Arts House, The Substation, Esplanade and many more.
Bands under their label have tours regionally to promote Singapore music overseas.  Through this, Caracal has been invited to Toronto to play for the Canadian Music Festival on the 9th of March alongside established iconic musicians such as Janet Jackson, Sean Kingston, Papa Roach and Good Charlotte. In addition, Caracal has just release their most recent album, “Bear. Shark. Wolf. ” at The Substation with not only a sold out performance but also overwhelming demand for their album.
The aims and objectives for the year 2011 for the band are to establish a fan base and that Talent Scouts from reputable record labels abroad are willing to sign them through the Canadian Music Festival. Also, to be the opening act for iconic guest bands brought down from overseas for most performances in Singapore. The goals of the band are somewhat similar to the aims and objectives stated above as they have been self-managing themselves well up to today’s date.
This management plan will encompass how and through what methods the band and manger will undergo to achieve the stated goals. To start off, an analysis will be conducted on the strength and weaknesses of the band, Caracal. Caracal’s strength has always been the ability – or talent- to compose new songs which are able to convert people who do not listen to their particular type of genre to becoming avid fans of their music. Moreover, they cover songs from well known artists and bands with ease which is a plus as the audience members tend not to know their original songs.
Additionally, Caracal’s capability to manage themselves before signing with Straits Records has brought them far in the local scene in Singapore with performances at Baybeats Singapore, a music festival organised by the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay, which has brought down famous bands such as Anberlin from the United States of America. However, the weakness of Caracal is that being Singaporeans, they have to go through National Service which disrupts their ability as a band to move forward for a period of years till all of them have completed their National Service.
Also, in the year 2010, their vocalist was kicked out of the band due to commitment problems and they went through an overhaul in identity change making it difficult for fans to understand as they had not known about the change. The image of the band’s branding has been marketed as a rock band as most members of the band have full sleeve tattoos covering at least one side of the arms. This has proven a problem as the general public would perceive that Caracal is a rule-breaking, rowdy bunch of guys trying to force their way into the music scene in Singapore.
However, with press releases and public appearances with fans, the public has actually realised that instead of the former, the band members are a fun, joking, carefree and down to earth group. Therefore, the manager has to remove all current negative perceptions of the band by organising more outreach programmes for the band. Also, making sure that media attention on the band is closely monitored while sending press releases to the media informing about upcoming performances and public appearances.
Lastly, the manager has to acquire the help of a publicist or if not needed, publicise the band as it adds value to the band by setting up CD sales, getting more bookings for shows and interviews. Opportunities for Caracal is that being based in Singapore, the market is small and is easier to break into the music scene and be one of the famous bands around. On the other hand, the limitation of being in Singapore is that the music scene is not as recognized and huge such as companies in the United States of America where talent scouts are everywhere looking for new talent every other day for their record labels.
Therefore, an action plan must be set for the goals, aims and objectives of both the band and the manager must be put into place. Firstly, with the band flying off overseas for the Canadian Music Festival in Toronto, press releases must be printed and sent out to the media involved in the music festival. Not stopping there, more press releases and also portable info-packs should be printed out so that when attending artists networking conferences in Canada, the United States of America or in fact anywhere around the world, the manager is able to promote their band to A-list record labels or scouts.
Networking is an important and vital part of the band’s image. By pparticipating and attending festivals, symposia, international meetings that are open to managers, it ensures that contacts can be made while being able to distribute Caracal’s information through prepared portable info-packs. Therefore, once a contact is made, make certain that a follow up is done as soon as possible so that the band and manager can move on to greener pastures. The info-packs should contain Caracal’s biography, CV, photos of the band and also a CD or album.
Secondly, the manager has to analyse the band’s data to help figure out things like which of the artists’ products sell the most (downloads, physical products, custom items, tickets, subscriptions, etc), and which sell the least and perhaps should be discontinued. What new products can be added and which new revenue streams can be exploited. Which pay models work the best (fixed price, pay-what-you-want, donations, bundles, etc). Which campaigns are the most effective (virtual street teams, newsletters, videos, chats, vlogs, blogs, etc) and which ones generate the most feedback and results.
Which calls-to-action are the most effective (e. g. , sign up to the mailing list for a free download, pre-order a limited edition, autographed CD, etc). What trends or patterns are developing, and how to best take advantage of them. Which platforms/widgets are most useful and relevant for a particular artist (review demos and sign up for trials to find the best fit). Which songs, videos, images, t-shirt designs, etc, resonate with fans the most. Who the artists’ “super fans” are, and how to leverage that relationship to generate more sales.
Which questions to include in polls to figure out what the artists’ fans want. Which ways do fans most wish to engage and interact with the artist. What actionable information can be extracted from comments and feedback from fans and listeners. Where are fans clustered and what are the best ways to route a tour. What does the data reveal that will result in an increase in sales and income. What are the true costs of the artist’s operations (i. e. , what is being earned vs. what is being spent).
The above is not a strict guide as to what the manager needs to do as there is no one correct way of doing things. It serves a guide for the manager to use what serves Caracal to its best advantage. Other add on guides the manager has to take into consideration is the creation of a website if one has not been created, organise press conferences, relaunch parties for albums, exhibition of their photos on tour with the equipments they had used and photo-shoots for the media’s usage. Lastly, the manager cannot just focus on the business side of things.
The manager has to be the biggest cheerleader, biggest groupie, biggest fan for Caracal as someone has to communicate the same enthusiasm to the music business community. The manager will trumpet the band’s message to record labels, booking agents, promoters, media personnel, club bookers, independent retail accounts, etc. , in order to keep them all engaged and enthusiastic. In conclusion, once all of these are done, Caracal is ensured to at least receive up to twice the amount of performances and monetary sales both in Singapore and overseas by the end of the year 2011 as compared to the year 2010.