The idea of the 'Gatekeeper'
The original purpose of an A&R representative was to act as 'Gatekeeper' between the consumer (General public) and the record label. They did this by telling record companies who to sign (Who has a decent following already, who will sell well etc.) And who NOT to sign.
However, the rise of the internet has damaged this slightly (The public can choose what to listen to for themselves via youtube, I tunes, spotfy etc.)
However, the idea of A&R seems to be making a comeback now as artists look for more and more help with their own marketing campaigns
What is A&R?
R epertoire - Stock of musical material to perform, entire body of work, the range of techniques and skills held by the artist
Locate song material for signed artist
Assist development of label artist (whilst working within a budget)
Networks with/pitches to managers, producers, songwriters etc.
Brings a work, i.e an album to completion - hires everyone involved in creating it: Studio, Producer, Mix engineer, Mastering engineer etc.
what else does an A&R representative do?
Present an artist to a label
manage the artists relationship to a label
Findor establish new genres. Therefore they are very CULTURALLY AWARE
Where do A&R representatives find their acts?
- Tip sheets
- The live circuit'
- Sales abroad
- Demo Tapes
The 8 S's of A&R (What the look for in an act)
Singing (what is it like? do they do it themselves or have guests etc.)
Songs (Do the have their own songs? Are they any good?)
Style/Image (What is it? Is there a space in the market for it?)
'Star quality' (Do they have that "thing"?)
Story (If the artist doesn't have one, A&R tend to make one up for them)
Stats (Record sales, ticket sales etc.)
Squad (Building a team around the artist - Songwriter, Stylist, PR etc)
Spend (How much do you want to invest in this artist?)