A&R Representatives is an acronym for (Artists and Repertoire) are record company personnel whose job it is to discover new talent and help develop careers. This is the gatekeeper to your deal. Chances are if your music is good, there is a A&R looking for it right now. The job itself is not easy, very stressful & has a very high rotation rate. The average life span of an A&R rep at a major is about three years, almost as bad as a car salesman. Since we’re on the subject let’s compare both professions. A car salesman first checks your credit history then presents the deal to the floor manager for final approval. It’s up to the floor manager to authorize the sale, and the sale of the car gets accredited to who? Yes the salesperson. If car salesman does not sell enough cars per quarter then he’s out. An A&R does exactly the same thing. Let’s say a car salesman had to go out and find a qualified car buyer to make his quarterly quota, where do you think he would go? He would go look in all the right places. Would he go looking for a qualified buyer at an unemployment office? A&R’s have to be proactive in finding talent to survive, and they are very good at looking for talent in all the right places. The sooner you put yourself in the shoes of an A&R Representative the sooner you’ll understand where they go to find what they need to survive. Unlike the car salesman the A&R Representative has to have a pulse on the latest musical trends. In other words what’s hot and what’s not.
A&R’s must be extremely proactive in finding fresh new talent year in and year out just to survive. As a result they have a keen set of instincts, and know exactly where to find the next big band or artist. The sooner you understand where A&R’s go to find fresh new talent, the closer you are towards achieving your goal. Below are just some of the basic places A&R’s go to evaluate money making potential in a new band or artist.
-Social Media and Internet
-Independent record labels
-Listening to college radio stations
-Attending local club performances
-Reading reviews in local and national trade magazines
-Attending annual music conventions and conferences
-Keeping a watchful eye on Sound Scan reports (a service that reports album sales figures by tracking registered bar codes)
-Network with local studio owners to see what new bands are recording.