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Frequently Asked Questions

  • I'm interested to get into the music business, particularly in the A&R field, can you tell me how to get in the door?

    First, why on earth you want to venture into a field that is clearly shrinking by the hour is beyond me. But that being said, I do get a ton of emails addressing this subject.

    Personally, I am not an A&R man, I am not even connected with any record labels. At one time I knew many more than I do now. As a recording artist, I have been personally signed to 4 labels, so I understand A&R, but it is not my profession. Having said that, I have even presented artists to many labels, so ostensibly my role as an A&R guy has been periodically as a freelance one. But it is not my world, and I'll be honest, I wouldn't know the first place to go to get information about it.

    But if I was starting out and I wanted to get into that side of the business, here's what I would do....

    Record labels are simply not interested in hiring any old person to fill a position in the A&R dept. In reality, established A&R people are being let go because they are not meeting their quotas, or those artists that they have signed are simply not selling enough records. No one is. The business is changing,. The model is changing, so don't expect a job to last long even if you get one.

    You might be able to get an internship somewhere. Who knows where. No money, but you could put the position to good use by meeting people and learning about the business. Perhaps you could try contacting some labels.

    I would network with bands and artists on the live scene. Become really knowledgable about your local music scene. (Use MySpace & Facebook). Get good at meeting people, including professionals in the music business. Be active on forums on the internet. Ask questions. Get out of the house. Want it really bad.

    My biggest advice is to first learn all you possibly can about the music business, THEN be an entrepreneur. Manage a band. Learn how absolutely hell it is to baby sit a band who refuses to learn how the music business works. Find out how much you really want it.

    1) Buy this book, All You Need To Know About The Music Business. You HAVE to understand the business, if you get this business, people in the business will get you. Trust me.

    2) Stay on top of current pop trends. Know who's hot, know who's dropped and know exactly where any band might fit into the marketplace. Read Billboard online.

    4) Contact record companies here and see what happens.

    5) Read every article in the A&R Online article directory. Now go do it!

    6) Good luck!

 


The A&R Registry Includes regional A&R contacts not listed in any other directory. Lists entire A&R staff, direct dial numbers & assistants names! More info

The Music Attorney, Legal and Business Affairs Guide Lists music attorneys, record company legal & business affairs depts, film & TV More info

The Film & TV Music Guide Lists all movie studio, TV network & independent production company music depts & music supervisors
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The Music Publisher Registry Lists all major publishers and significant independents in LA, NY, Nashville, London & Toronto
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