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Old 14th December 2002
Lives for gear
Curve Dominant's Avatar

posted by Jules:
Every time I walk into a NYC A&R office in a skyscraper, I look down at the ant sized people and the toy car traffic and wonder - just how the fu**k do these folks cover the whole of the US in their talent search?

In the UK you can get most places in a car in a day,

They play me a new act, I say, 'where did you find them' and they say just outside Boston, or Miami, or wherever and it 's a little mind blowing...

I forgot to mention this earlier:

The PRO's also supply the labels here with a lot of material to review. They have members EVERYWHERE, sending them stuff, which gets passed on if it's passable.

I know a small gang of people at ASCAP who are real hustlers at this. They travel around the country holding showcases, seminars, collecting CDs... These cats know the label people, the producers, the publishers, agents, management firms: Their clients. Those cats are plugged in yo.

They are a lot more helpful than the A&R peeps, by light years. They will critique your stuff, offer guidance, suggest avenues to explore, provide business-oriented reality checks...

How are they compensated for this service? I know of at least one former artist relations grunt for ASCAP who is now the senior director of A&R for a major label. I guess that's one way.

If you're a member of a PRO, you're someone who's been published in some form already, not just any little schmuck with an M-box and an MPC. Anyone can record tracks, but being published implies you can finish a work and successfully get it to market. That's the kind of screening that not only labels, but all sorts of media providers look for in product and talent.

Perhaps the role of the label A&R guy/gal has been diluted over the years by a flattening of the pyramid structure of communication that was the dominant paradigm of yore. The A&R guy is not the only game in town anymore. Artists and (their) producers can now market their talents, products and services to a whole spectrum of various media conduits in addition to A&R peeps. Get a project to "break" in just one of those outlets, and then get all the others take notice. Facilitate Synergy.

Any thoughts?