WHAT TO PRIORITIZE AS AN A&R

A&R is a vital role within the music industry. It is a job that involves identifying new talent, developing artists, and working with them to ensure their success. A&Rs are responsible for signing new artists, helping them develop their sound, and delivering songs to labels for release.



The responsibility of an A&R lies in finding the right artists for your label, which can be a challenging task. The only way to be successful in this role is by knowing what you are looking for and being able to identify those qualities in an artist.


When it comes to A&R, there are many things that you need to consider when making decisions on which artists will be signed by your label. This guide will give you some tips on what to prioritize as an A&R when scouting new talent.


1. Strong material (THE MUSIC!)

To me, the most important thing is the music. It has to be good enough to stand on its own. If it’s not good enough, then everything else is irrelevant. The only way that you can really know if it’s good enough is by listening to it. So that’s what I do first — listen to music.


2. A compelling story

know about what makes them special as a person and an artist, as well as what their life experiences have been like up until now. What are their goals and motivations? Who inspires them? What inspires them? Who do they look up to? What do they want their legacy to be? What do they hope people will remember about them when they leave this world? I ask these questions because I want to get a sense of who they are as a person so that I can better understand why they make the music that they make and what kind of music would best represent who they are as an artist.


3. A strong network

Another thing to look for in artists is whether or not they have a strong network of people around them who believe in them and support them unconditionally — both


4. Originality

Be sure the music is original. Look for songs that aren’t derivative of other artists or styles. It might just be the next big thing if it doesn’t sound like anything else!


5. Memorable

The song has a memorable chorus or hook. A catchy melody that sticks in your head is always a good sign of potential hit material. You can tell who wrote the song by listening to it once or twice and paying attention to who wrote it (if you don’t know already). This is true of any songwriter, but especially true if they have written multiple hits and/or had their songs covered by other artists.


6. Collaboration

Collaborating with other A&R teams - You don't have all the answers to identifying and developing great talent; other A&Rs do! So reach out to them and ask for their feedback on certain artists or projects that interest you. Let them know what kind of music you're looking for and see if there are any names they can recommend. Also, think about ways you can help them out too! For example, if they're working with an artist on a single release or EP release.


The most important thing to do as an A&R is to be able to identify a great artist when you hear one.

this is a broad topic, so I'm going to break it down into three parts:


Identifying a great songwriter/artist


Identifying a great producer or feature artist


Positioning (the best winning opportunities for your artists always)


Those are a lot of things to think about, but by utilizing all the tools and resources at your disposal, you can launch your career as an A&R in the most productive way possible. It might be a bit overwhelming at first, but with some time and patience, you can get yourself situated and prepared to meet the challenges that are sure to come. Don't be afraid to reach out if you ever need help. There are plenty of helpful folks out there who'd love to talk to you about what it's like on your side of the desk!



21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All