Gangs of Ballet

Brad Klynsmith, lead singer/band manager of Gangs of Ballet, shares the business lessons he learnt from running a band.

In this fifth episode of Working better, together., we chat to Brad Klynsmith, the lead singer and manager of Durban-based band, Gangs of Ballet.

Gangs of Ballet was formed in 2011 when Brad wanted to play bass in a band and persuaded his brother to be the drummer. The band was an almost instant success and started building momentum from their very first live show, going on to playing big shows and winning music awards including the MTV Africa Music Award for Best Alternative.

They recently played their last show and have since disbanded to follow separate career paths — Brad will be studying abroad soon and pursuing other business goals.

Some key learnings from Brad (whether you are wanting to start a band or a business):

1) You work for momentum, and momentum creates success.
2) There’s a big difference between doing it for art/fun, and doing it as a career.
3) Say no to sponsors you don’t relate with. Invest your relational time in brands and people you believe in.
4) 99% of relationships fail because there’s an ego involved.
5) Remember, there are no rules.
6) What you do next, should be better than what you did last.
7) Put time aside to think.
8) The more you understand yourself, the more productive you become.
9) Get 8 hours of sleep a day (Jeff Bezos seems to agreewith Brad).
10) Work with your strengths, this is where the fruit will come from.

Enjoy! Hit play ▶️ above to watch the interview video.
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Timestamp notes:

3:02 — Signing a record deal doesn’t mean you’ve made it. This is step 1.

4:16 — Brad shares some of the toughest decisions they’ve made over the years.

8:20 — How to maintain the culture & create a great network of partners.

11:15 — It’s important for everyone to pull their weight and be open to giving and receiving feedback.

12:40 — Your approach is more important than the product. The product is the easy part, getting it to people is the hard part.

13:40 — Brad shares about the next phase of his life, and how he spends his day-to-day.

18:30 — What Brad’s been reading.

20:15 — How to reach Brad: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter.

If you have any feedback, comments, ideas or suggestions, please get in contact with us on twitter @giveahi5 or email us on [email protected].
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