Polishing Artists That Are “Diamonds In The Rough”: An Interview with Crystal Carr
I chatted with Crystal Carr, an LA-based creative director, artist manager, and CEO of Diamond Development VIP, a creative agency, in July. Carr, who describes herself as an independent, self-made boss, made our thirty-minute conversation interesting and motivating. We discussed her journey into the music industry, her agency’s work, and some artists do’s and don‘ts. Continue reading to learn more about her work.
“You have to be ready to fix the problem and make the change.”
From our brief conversation, I learned that Crystal seizes opportunities, studies her craft and is a go-getter. Crystal started as a model, actress, and an event host before her introduction into the music industry. That stemmed from invitations to studio sessions where she learned about executive producing. As she learned tips on sound quality and other music techniques, she recognized issues with the music she heard on the radio. She became a part of the solution by launching Diamond Development VIP. Her company focuses on artist and brand development and includes selective management services.
As a black woman in an industry dominated by men, Carr maintains her confidence and focus. But, Crystal expressed that her influences (other than God) are Miss Diddy and Sylvia Robinson, women of color that have made an impact in the music industry.
We discussed how she selects her clients and important things for artists to consider. Like most industry executives, Carr and her team work with “diamonds in the rough“: artists that have done most of the work but may need more guidance. Carr and her team have an initial meeting with the artist including a consultation. They then develop the artist’s plan, campaign, and team. This depends on the goals of the artist and his or her team. The plan includes mental support and life coaching if needed.
I asked her about the things that she notices an artist doing wrong before receiving her team’s services. The first thing she spoke of is that some artists create an ego before a sound. It’s not enough for an artist to believe they are great; the artist’s work should speak more than the artist. The second point she mentioned is that some artists don’t invest carefully in their business if they’re even operating as a business. Artists should keep records of how they spend their money. This consists of evaluating what they invest money into and if it provides a good return on their investment. Investing wisely in their business and craft isn’t solely about the money: it’s about time and commitment.
As a creative consultant, she mentions three tips that will make an artist stand out in an over-saturated music market. The first tip includes keeping the artist’s individuality to themselves. Also, a great artist should study their competition because it encourages the artist to better their craft. Finally, an artist should fine-tune their individuality, content and looks.
With Diamond Development VIP, Crystal hopes to continue her work in developing artists to secure record deals and become Billboard-charting artists. Carr is also developing the production side of her agency to launch in 2019.