- Mathew Knowles spoke to Business Insider about what it was like to manage his daughter, Beyoncé, and Destiny’s Child.
- Beyoncé is apparently a perfectionist and maintains a detail-oriented, hands-on approach to all aspects of her performances.
- Knowles says Beyoncé gathers her entire crew before every show to say a prayer.
- “It’s a spiritual practice, which is very important to Beyoncé.”
Beyoncé is not a laissez-faire style leader, according to her dad, Mathew Knowles.
Having managed Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child for more than two decades, Knowles describes their evolution as music artists from their teenage years through to adulthood: “I started managing Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child [then known as Girls Tyme] when they were about 14. At that age, they could only be involved in the music and creativity side of things.”
Despite their youth, their aptitude for all-round musical development was clear. “The girls were keen to learn more about their craft. They worked with great songwriters, producers and choreographers, so they could quickly develop the skills involved,” says Knowles.
Decades later, Beyoncé still maintains a hands-on approach with her crew. “Beyoncé is very detail-oriented,” Knowles says. “She gets involved in all aspects of the production – from the lighting and sound teams to working with the band, dancers and choreographers.”
According to him, as agreeable as Beyoncé is to work with, her standards are non-negotiable: “She expects perfection – from herself and her team.”
While Beyoncé apparently does not exercise her right as a diva for outrageous requests, she does have one tradition she sticks to before every show: “Just before Beyoncé gets onstage, everyone involved in the performance – from the dancers, choreographers and band members to the staff and crew – forms a circle and says a prayer.”
“It’s a spiritual practice, which is very important to Beyoncé,” Knowles says. (Incidentally, the name Destiny’s Child was taken from a passage in the Biblical Book of Isaiah.)
Balancing Beyoncé’s interests – as a person and a “product” – proved especially challenging as a father-manager, Knowles said. “It wasn’t easy … Fortunately, my ex-wife [Tina Knowles] and I used to own a hair salon. So, I had the opportunity to work with relatives before but, with your children, you have to wear two different hats – a business hat and a parental hat.
“As a manager, I had a fiduciary duty to treat all the members’ careers the same. Sometimes, this wasn’t necessarily what was best for Beyoncé. So, there have certainly been lows – they come with the business – but there have been so many more mountains that make up for the valleys.”
Knowles now publishes self-help books (like his first work,The DNA of Achievers) and memoirs (such as his second outing, Racism: From the Eyes of a Child). With a revealing new book about Destiny’s Child on the horizon, there’s more to come from the music mogul.
Previously an editor at the Reuters news agency,Kieron Johnson is the founder and CEO of Regal Content, a creative content consultancy. He is also a contributor to Forbes and Fortune magazine. In 2017, LinkedIn recognised him as one of its “top voices.”
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