I have done many different A&R; panels at music festivals and conventions, and no matter the subject of the panel, most people in the audience want to know one thing -- how to get signed. I suppose it is the ultimate question asked of any A&R; person, and there is no correct answer. Within this article, I plan to address many issues confronting the A&R; representative as well as answer questions you might have as to the functions of the job.
The position of A&R; is probably the most enigmatic in the record business. People within the record companies look to the A&R; person to engineer the company's success by bringing in the best talent, but many times they don't really understand what A&R; people do. Artists, managers, and lawyers outside the record companies often place too much power on the A&R; person to give them career success and often do not know how to properly deal with an A&R; executive. Let me make one thing clear: If you believe that getting a "deal" is the final goal, you have a lot to learn. Getting a record deal is only the beginning of a long, arduous path.
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