Music Industry Talent Scout /A & R www.musicstudentinfo.com Chris Baker9th October 2012 www.musicstudentinfo.com
Music Industry Job RolesA&R aka Talent ScoutA & R = Artists & Repertoire
A&R Primary Function• Artists and repertoire / Songs and Performers.• Responsible for talent scouting.• Overseeing the artistic development of recording artists.• Acts as a liaison between artists and the record label.
A&R Responsibilities• Responsible for discovering new recording artists.• Expected to understand current tastes.• Be able to find artists that will be commercially successful.• A&R people are often young.
A&R Responsibilities Cont.• Contract negotiations will typically be carried out by rival entertainment lawyers.• Increasingly look to social-media web sites myspace, & youtube.• A&R executives rely mostly on the word of mouth, critics and business contacts.• Their decisions are rarely based on unsolicited demo tapes.
A&R The Recording Process• The A&R oversees the recording process.• Helping the artist find the right record producer.• Scheduling time in a recording studio & advising on making a recording.• Choose the best songs to record.• Assist in finding songs and songwriters (if artist does not write)• Maintain contact with their counterparts at music publishing companies to get new songs.• May assist in suggesting ‘the single’ track which can be used to market the record on radio.
A&R Additional DutiesAssisting with marketing and promotion• Once the record is completed, the A&R department (with assistance from marketing, promotion and the artist) chooses a single to help promote the record.
A&R Signing ArtistsGetting offered a record contract is a small step towards a career in the music industry but it is not a guarantee (1:9)Artists should consider• If they have empathy with the company.• How many people at that company like the artist (key man clause)• The record companies ability to ‘break’ new acts.• How much control is being offered.
A&R Signing Considerations Cont.• The ‘reach’ of the company. Are they strong only in the UK or other countries?• The reputation of the company.• What artists on the label are saying about it.• The press perception of the label.
Types of Record Contract• Singles deals.• Leasing deals.• Production deals.• Combined publishing and recording contracts.• Some contracts offered can be exploitative and not signing.• Full funded recording contracts.• Check any written contract before signing with an industry lawyer.
A&R Recent Changes• Digital distribution has changed the relationship between consumers and the music they choose.• Some commentators argue that the wide selection of music on digital services has allowed music consumers to bypass the traditional role of A&R.• Declining record sales, a large number of A&R have been terminated.
A&R Classroom Exercise• Name some famous Talent Scouts.• Name the artists they discovered.• What music ‘crazes’ were generated by A&R / Talent Scouts?