What is an A&R and how do you become one?
You probably heard the term A&R before or seen the title across music industry executives’ names.
But what really is an A&R?
A&R stands for artist and repertoire. You’re probably thinking what the heck is repertoire?
Well repertoire means a stock of skills that a person habitually uses and being an A&R that is exactly what you do. An A&R wears many hats in the industry but their main goal is to guide an artist through the recording process to get music out. A&R’s are the ones who connect artists with producers, set up studio time, and help develop an artist and their music projects.
A&R’s are also considered the “gatekeepers” of the music industry. They are the ones in charge of discovering talent and presenting them to record labels to get signed. After they sign an artist, they guide them through the recording process and help with the release and promotion of the product.
So now you know a bit more about what A&R’s do, but how do you actually become one?
The first step is to find an artist. Without the artist, A&R’s can not do their jobs. So, find an artist that you believe in and want to support them through their career journey.
So you found an artist you want to work with and now what?
It’s time to use your networking skills to connect the artist with people that will help them through the recording process. Connect your artist with relevant producers, songwriters, vocal coaches, etc. Gauge your artist’s influences and direction and connect them with people that will bring their vision to life.
When the project is being recorded, use your expert ear to determine which songs can get the single release treatment and find a balance between releasing music that your artist is passionate about and music that is marketable as well.
Now that you know more about the A&R role and how to become one, it’s time to put your skills to the test.
Join A&R University where we are helping aspiring A&R’s and artists develop their skills and reach the next step of their career. Learn more about overseeing the recording process, promotion and rollout, touring, and so much more!
Live sessions guiding you through the music industry struggles are hosted every week via Zoom by former VP of A&R at Epic Records, Zoë Young.
Join using the link below
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