On Friday, September 30, Belmont hosted a Morris Family Mentor/Lecture Series in the Johnson Theater featuring Clint Higham from Morris Higham Management. Higham shared his philosophy on artist management, his experiences as manager for country music star Kenny Chesney and the importance of being a self-starter in the music business. Higham is a 1995 music business alumnus who has recently supported a scholarship fund as part of Belmont’s We Believe campaign.
Higham shared that his philosophy for being an artist manager is to be behind the curtain, protecting the brand and franchise of the artist. He stated that if he believes in the act enough, he will help the artist realize their dreams. In the “art business,” Higham said, doing it for the money isn’t enough.
He also shared his experiences managing Chesney saying that “Kenny was the least likely star of his time,” but today he is one of the only ones still standing. He shared that while Chesney didn’t have a door open for him, he honed his craft while the spotlight wasn’t on. The work Chesney did, Higham said, built and sustained his career bit by bit. Higham then shared with students how to become a go-getter in the business. He advised listened to be loyal, have a good work ethic and be self-starters. He shared that the worst traits to could possess in the business is entitlement and laziness; because the music business is emotion-created, it must be approached with passion, hard work and a go-getter attitude.
Higham concluded his time on campus saying “it’s a great time to be at Belmont” and that getting a degree is a definite seal of approval when applying for jobs. He advised students to continue working towards getting their degree, be authentic and know their brand. He was introduced by Harry Chapman, Belmont’s director of special projects and major gifts.