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Do A&Rs do anything today
Old 8th April 2007
  #1
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Do A&Rs do anything today

Guys I know what the traditional definition/role of A&R is and I know it went out of the window ages ago. But, in the past A&Rs actually looked for good artists.

Does this happen at all anymore?
Old 8th April 2007
  #2
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Mount Cyanide's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
They smoke your weed
and tell you to make your hook hotter.
Whatever in the hell that means.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #3
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🎧 15 years
mine works his ass off, securing placements, and getting writers to write to the tracks i produce, amongst other various things...

so in my experience, yes... they do.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 15 years
They say, "that sounds dated" a lot.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 15 years
my experiance is.....yes & no......(almost like an A&R answer ha!)
but seriously, these days id say there are 2 different kinds of A&Rs.

there are the ol skool type, that still look for new talent, push talent, develop artists etc
these are the guys that actually LIKE music & have lots of guts and big balls.....when you find one of these guys dont ever let them go.

then there are the ones who have no guts or balls....these are typically marketing graduates who dont really give a crap about music.......they will wait until one of the 1st type of A&Rs is interested in something before getting serious themselves....they are like sheep.

Although my experiance is only based on the industry in the last 4-5 years. I would say this has probably always been the state of things. BUT the main change is the actual AMOUNT of A&R guys around these days. Baiscally as the A&R departments shrank(continue to shrink) so do the ratio of A&Rs with balls.....

Last edited by meagsy; 8th April 2007 at 04:18 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid Viscous ➑️
They say, "that sounds dated" a lot.
I wonder what are some of the things they look for when pulling the "dated" card out...other than the very obvious stuff.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by meagsy ➑️
my experiance is.....yes & no......(almost like an A&R answer ha!)
but seriously, these days id say there are 2 different kinds of A&Rs.

there are the ol skool type, that still look for new talent, push talent, develop artists etc
these are the guys that actually LIKE music & have lots of guts and big balls.....when you find one of these guys dont ever let them go.

then there are the ones who have no guts or balls....these are typically marketing graduates who dont really give a crap about music.......they will wait until one of the 1st type of A&Rs is interested in something before getting serious themselves....they are like sheep.

Although my experiance is only based on the industry in the last 4-5 years. I would say this has probably always been the state of things. BUT the main change is the actual AMOUNT of A&R guys around these days. Baiscally as the A&R departments shrank(continue to shrink) so do the ratio of A&Rs with balls.....
You are right. These two types have always been around.
I have always assumed that with the AnRs that never sign are of the "you can't be a loser if you never play" philosophy. They want to move up the company ladder in the safest possible way.
The ones that truey believe in what they do certianly go out and risk their careers by signing what they think will work.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 15 years
There are still many A&R's that work hard, looking for and improving artists' careers, but recently, I've heard a lot of stories of the label A&R interns being the people behind most "discovering" new artists these days. An interesting twist, as I see it, but so far, it certainly hasnt been for the better
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exsanguis ➑️
There are still many A&R's that work hard, looking for and improving artists' careers, but recently, I've heard a lot of stories of the label A&R interns being the people behind most "discovering" new artists these days. An interesting twist, as I see it, but so far, it certainly hasnt been for the better
that's not a new thing. in my experience, I always got the following calls:

assistant calls (gets your tracks, likes them, wants to find out more about you before he puts it on the AnR's table)

AnR calls (assistant gets tracks, listens, lets another assistant listen, they decide to scan the AnR cause the stuff is good, the AnR likes it).

head of AnR calls (because you've already convinced the assistant and the AnR a couple of times heh the AnRs praise you in unisono)

head of AnR calls (because you've already convinced the assistant(s) and the AnR(s), the AnRs praise you in unisono and the entire board of the label decided you are worthy of entering The Millionaire Boys Club heh.......or not: attn: once you've reached that level, all your tracks go directly to the head of AnR - don't mess it up!!!!!)

pres of the label calls you (now you can ask for an AnR job, executive production work, work with the promotion people directly, etc...)

so the most important part in this equation are the assistants (especially, since many of them were determined enough and jumped up the ladder pretty fast - look up my amigo Kevin Liles)
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #10
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🎧 15 years
My experience has certainly gotten me cynical to the point of being happier playing in my local dives for beer, maybe dinner, and a little cash then worring about getting a record deal. All the A&R people I've dealt with in the last 11 years (with one exception I can think of) are sheepy corporate types that just wanted to keep their jobs and look cool hanging in the hip parts of town (or SXSW) seeing the flavor of the week. They either didn't know diddily about music, or if they did, they were like "yeah, I know THIS is better than THAT, but THAT is what the company wants and there's nothing I can do."

Which, in some ways, I can understand that...to a point. I'd almost feel sorry for them, if I felt they had a clue. Then I would see the crap that was being signed. Of course, this was back when boy bands were all the rage... *shudder*

And, "artist development?" What's that? Not viable in this day and age, my friend. No company has time for that it seems. Especially not the majors.

With radio representing the sliver of music that it does, It's not suprising. Radio feeds this mentality as much as the record companies feed radio's mentality. It's just a never ending cycle of tritones.

I'm sure that since I was always in the bands that were never told "yes," I'm biased in some unhealthy way. I'm sure there are more exceptions to the rule than I know now. But I'm also honestly really happy to not give a shit anymore. It's like, liberating, dude.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #11
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🎧 15 years
Are you guys sure your music just isn't trash, and that's why you have a dislike for AnRs? It's not their fault your **** is wack.

Honestly, i've never had a negative experience with an AnR before. They love me and vice versa.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #12
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Big 3rd's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Traxx The Don ➑️
Are you guys sure your music just isn't trash, and that's why you have a dislike for AnRs? It's not their fault your **** is wack.

Honestly, i've never had a negative experience with an AnR before. They love me and vice versa.
LMFAO.....


So true. I've checked out some cats music on this forum and I've actually been in tears laughing at how wack they were. I'm sure someone will think my shit is wack...but it definitely won't be often. heh I've only had my music heard by one A&R and they actually pulled me out the crowd of about 200 folks to talk business...after having hearing my sample disc. Nothing came of it though.

I'm holding my cards as of right now.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #13
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See...this is one of the problems with the industry right now.

****THE DEFINITION OF NO ORIGINALITY*****
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big 3rd ➑️
I wonder what are some of the things they look for when pulling the "dated" card out...other than the very obvious stuff.
Could it be the same things that The Killers. Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, Shiny Toy Guns, and a million other big retro type bands do?
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Traxx The Don ➑️
Are you guys sure your music just isn't trash, and that's why you have a dislike for AnRs? It's not their fault your **** is wack.

Honestly, i've never had a negative experience with an AnR before. They love me and vice versa.
LOL Good question. I'll volunteer. I asked the original question (and I have no real negative experience with A&R to speak of, I just don't think their jobs are as relevant as they once were. I have nothing to hide musically. Feel free to speak your opinion.


https://gearspace.com/board/attachme...8&d=1146882274

https://gearspace.com/board/attachme...3&d=1141849429


And in the event the myspace player actually plays today:
www.Myspace.com/thepoisondart

(I stopped posting a link to it because it never actually worked great, but who know, you know Easter and allheh .
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #16
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Most of the cats Ive met who do the job of A&Rs are Ent. lawyers
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 ➑️
Most of the cats Ive met who do the job of A&Rs are Ent. lawyers
Exactly
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
AnR's cant stop telling me how great i am. They think my Music is THE BOMB.

Then i say "so we're going to cut it?"

and they say "oh, God NO! I sais you have great music i didnt say ANYTHING about actually putting on an artist hahaha silly kid"
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #19
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Sid Viscous's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Artist development is what has gone to shit. It's a crazy situation. They want developed artists with story and audience and they only want to offer what artists were offered in the late 70's (80% of 10 songs, all recoupable).
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #20
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Blatboy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Traxx The Don ➑️
Are you guys sure your music just isn't trash, and that's why you have a dislike for AnRs? It's not their fault your **** is wack.
Boy, I left myself open to THAT one.... NICE.

I'll be taking me and my bad attitude back to my corner of the room. Please accept my apology for raining on anyone's parade. Carry on...
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok ➑️
Then i say "so we're going to cut it?"

and they say "oh, God NO! I sais you have great music i didnt say ANYTHING about actually putting on an artist hahaha silly kid"
you should call it "The AnR/Manager" syndrom. heh

if you're honest with yourself that tells you two things:
a.) they really think your music is great, but THEY don't have the skills to see an artist on it (don't have the skills to find a fitting one), so they won't risk their jobs
b.) they play the "Your Best Pal" game, because they don't want to tell you to fuuck off......and your music ain't all that.

most producers are too cocky........it MUST be A, right?
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #22
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusColeman ➑️
you should call it "The AnR/Manager" syndrom. heh

if you're honest with yourself that tells you two things:
a.) they really think your music is great, but THEY don't have the skills to see an artist on it (don't have the skills to find a fitting one), so they won't risk their jobs
b.) they play the "Your Best Pal" game, because they don't want to tell you to fuuck off......and your music ain't all that.

most producers are too cocky........it MUST be A, right?

never seen an A&r play the best pal game for the sake of someones feelings. Usually they Get OFF on telling you they dont like it... i think a lot of the time its that theyre in NO POSITION to actually get superstar artist in the studio, until its been approved by their boss, the artistse manager and the artist themselves.

That AND the fact they KNOW they cant get in trouble for hiring Powlow Da Don, even if he fux up. "Hey what was i supposed to do? Its POWLOW! he SOOO HOT right now. How was i supposed to know the sung sucked,, what? you want me to use my ears or something??!"
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #23
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok ➑️
never seen an A&r play the best pal game for the sake of someones feelings. Usually they Get OFF on telling you they dont like it...
it is about your feelings (directly or not). if they don't play nice and your stuff is "almost there", you will simply never come back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok ➑️
i think a lot of the time its that theyre in NO POSITION to actually get superstar artist in the studio, until its been approved by their boss, the artistse manager and the artist themselves.
it is only the boss. the artist manager will always kiss ass (and you know it) and the artist will follow the manager's tongue (and you know that too).

nurturing artists today is a producer's job. (un)fortunatly.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #24
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🎧 15 years
no, from my experience i'd disagree with all that... Evry situation is different, but AnR's dont give a FVCK weather you ever come back---plus what producer in their right mind would NOT come back to a major label AnR just cuz he said he didnt like the music... they say that ALL THE TIME...

also i'm not even sure about what your saying bout managers---i had a song get sent to rihanna BY the manager, cuz he loved it, and Rihanna herself wasnt feelin it, so no dice.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #25
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Heres the other thing Ive noticed in the industry, in general: If whoever you are shopping your music to really digs it and they are for real, very shortly after your pitch you will either 1) receive money or 2) receive a contract (this is the more likely of the two)
Professionals have no time to waste on bullshit or games. Its a buisness, after all.
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #26
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 ➑️
Heres the other thing Ive noticed in the industry, in general: If whoever you are shopping your music to really digs it and they are for real, very shortly after your pitch you will either 1) receive money or 2) receive a contract (this is the more likely of the two)
Professionals have no time to waste on bullshit or games. Its a buisness, after all.
yea i agree with this
Old 8th April 2007 | Show parent
  #27
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 ➑️
Heres the other thing Ive noticed in the industry, in general: If whoever you are shopping your music to really digs it and they are for real, very shortly after your pitch you will either 1) receive money or 2) receive a contract (this is the more likely of the two)
Professionals have no time to waste on bullshit or games. Its a buisness, after all.
Also, it's been my experience that they're usually good about letting the artist make the record the way they hear it, otherwise, why would they pick you up in the first place. I think they know that's the fastest way to wreck a new project. The other side of the coin is that it's easy to get dropped if the project doesn't sell.

The thing that always torques me is how fast A&R guys and girls change jobs; either from one record co. to another or into another line of work like management.

What happens often is that the A&R person who signed you leaves/gets fired and then nobody there cares as much (or at all) about your project and they do the 'contractual obligation - drop the crap in the racks with no promotion' deal.

But that wouldn't usually be that A&R person's fault; lots of shaking up going on in the record biz right about now.

Most A&R people I know are big fans of music and they want their acts to succeed.

I could never do A&R because I would have turned down so many huge acts. Like Kid Rock; I would have walked away from that like it was the plague. And it sold a bunch, so there you go.

I remember talking to a girl I knew in A&R at Interscope. I asked her what she was up to and she said she was signing Donnie Wahlberg's little brother. My friends and I initially laughed our asses off about that one.

Old 9th April 2007
  #28
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok ➑️
no, from my experience i'd disagree with all that...
heh damn, you always seem to meet the wrong people heh

Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok ➑️
Evry situation is different, but AnR's dont give a FVCK weather you ever come back---plus what producer in their right mind would NOT come back to a major label AnR just cuz he said he didnt like the music... they say that ALL THE TIME...
the usual response to a demo (that someone really listened to) is, "sorry, but we don't feel THIS particular CD. we don't need any of these songs right now. feel free to send us NEW material in the future"

ain't that "nice"? it means that you don't suck completly and that you should send them material, when and if you've got better songs. but it sounds so much better and motivating than fuuck

they DO give a **** about whether you come back or not - but only if you come back with what they need.
because if there was soooo much great material around and they wouldn't give a **** about you, every song on the charts would be a #1 hit. and every album would be filled with "#1 hits leftovers", making every album a possible "Thriller"

instead, there are enough people with #1 material who don't give a **** about the AnRs or the Big Machine in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filterayok ➑️
also i'm not even sure about what your saying bout managers---i had a song get sent to rihanna BY the manager, cuz he loved it, and Rihanna herself wasnt feelin it, so no dice.
the majority of the posts in this thread are in regards to producers trying to get signed or get their artists signed; tryng to figure out why that did not/won't work and who's the one to blame.
so I tried to explain how I feel about WALKING that path, instead of chasing someone's ass.
that's my Rant#2.

hypo. speaking; you have a promising artist, you have some credits up your sleeve (you are not Timbaland or Storch, but you had a release or two). you work with that artist and some AnR says "ok, change everything the artist stands for! rewrite the whole image and I'll cut you a check".
the manager trying to get an advance won't give a **** about you. the artist will chase the dollar sign in the manager's eyes. if you don't want to join the "ass chasing race", you'll be left behind with nothing.

THAT'S what I was talking about. THAT'S the reality of the business for most of the people, not JT not liking my track, because he doesn't like piano melodies or my last name.

btw, I would love to hear what Rhianna doesn't like (no sarcasm), so if you got the time to, PM me a link please.
Old 9th April 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
i think futher extension of great A&R guy is the 'hook up dude'
as Producer\Engineer folk I dont think this should be overlooked.

although they might not always want to buy everysingle beat you send them....or sign everysingle artist you push to them.
if you can constitantly impress them with great quality material\production....and develop a relationship with them....i think you will find the 'hook ups' start coming & from that yen will flow.

by 'hook up' i mean A&R guy introducing you to other more established
producers\managers....which will lead to more work.....
but this takes time...obviously an A&R isnt going to risk his connections unless you can come up with goods consitantly.

something else MarkusColeman said was right on the money too, when he refered to how you get to a stage where your beats\production go straight to their desk.
I would agree 100% with him that when this starts happening it is extremely important to go for quality over quantity....you want to keep them hanging for more.

I was once told to treat A&R like a hot girlfriend....weird hey...but true.
think about all the games that are played before getting into bed with fine women...& try and translate this to your relationship with A&R.....

when your with them...make them feel like they are your favorite...and dont talk heaps about other A&Rs\labels....but DO a little abit......

...always make sure your next beat is better then your last.....keep them hanging...keep them intrigued.....

....when they offer you project\placemnt dont freakout & seem to eager....but dont be apathetic about either....




and Blatboy.....keep banging away man....i dug your myspace stuff! thought that C64 stuff was tight!.....but be careful...word is timbaland is on the prowl again!
Old 9th April 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusColeman ➑️
btw, I would love to hear what Rhianna doesn't like (no sarcasm), so if you got the time to, PM me a link please.
i dont know, its pop, but it sounds like a hit to me
(i wrote, and produced, and mixed this 100%)
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