In the past I have written about how artists can Get An A&R To Represent Them. But in today’s article I’m going to flip it, and speak to all those who want to get into the music industry and become an A&R (Artist and Repertoire.)
For all of you who would like to know some of the responsibilities of and A&R and how much they get paid please refer to this article What Does An A&R Do
So there are many of you out there that want to get into the music industry not as an artist but as a person who represents the artist. You can become a manager or an A&R. Despite what you’ve heard A&R’s still exist. An A&R’s main job is to scout for talent and act as sort of a mediator between the artist and record label executives. A successful A&R has knowledge of the music industry. He/she knows how the music industry operates and knows what it takes to get an artist signed. So your first objective as an up and coming A&R is to familiarize yourself with as much as the music industry operations as you can; specifically artist management, contracts, and business negotiations.
If you want to take it a step further it wouldn’t hurt to take a course in business administration, business development, product management, sales or even music management. You should also equip yourself with good communications and analytical skills. You have to be a person that thinks out the box and can get really creative. these are all strong things record labels are looking for in an A&R. now only for the sake of getting sign, but you should have these skills and qualities even if you want to work as an Independent A&R.
Another key to becoming a great A&R is compiling a reliable list of music industry contacts. Keep in mind that if you are signed as an A&R to a record label they will provide you with all the music industry contacts you need. Only those of you who want to become and Independent A&R, scouting their own talent and trying to broker an independent or major label deal for their artist.
some of the music industry contact you’re trying to collect are: music media outlets, dj’s, producers, music publication editors,music website/blog owners, radio program directors, promoters, sound engineers, label executives, artist managers etc. All these individuals can help you get your artist to the forefront only if you learn how to develop a strong relationship with them. The saying has always been true that it’s all about who you know, and when it comes to the music industry it’s no different. If you befriend people in high places, or someone who can get you a meeting with someone in a high position within the music industry, then you’re set. You just have to have the right communications and negotiation skills to seal the deal! Get involved int the music community. Start attending performances, appearances, seminars and music festivals. These are the common places you can find music industry professionals, and your job is to locate them and start building a relationship with them.
The last thing you absolutely have to have is ambition and the willingness to take action. Ambition without action if failure. You must have both in order to become not only a success in the music industry, but successful in life. You have to want this bad enough; you have to do it for the love, this has to be your passion. Because the truth is at first you won’t be making much money. You have to have the burning desire to want to push through the tough times until you see good times. Ambition+ Action always= Success. I hope all this info helps and I wish you the best in your devours on become and A&R.