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