Monday, January 13, 2014

A&R: Finding the Diamond in the Rough

It takes a certain element to make a good artist. According to some of the renowned A&R executives this includes the perfect balance in every musical aspect and most of all, the true self. 

In the rendering of music, staying true to your artistry brings out this unique character that draws an audience.
The reality in your sound can be heard from a mile away and if it is a genuine reality it definitely catches the attention of the world. 

Tim Devine of Columbia Records calls this the ‘individualized musical message’.

In an interview with Record Labels and Companies Guide, Tim Devine lays out his journey in the entertainment industry. 

He started by being a record reviewer, then a freelance journalist, a college rep, music director, product manager and eventually A&R executive. His vast knowledge in the industry stems from his eagerness to learn about the music business and being involved behind the scenes. 

Even with this background he admits it is the star quality that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up that he truly focuses on. 

This of course does not disqualify the perceptible qualities that define an artist but it is really the backbone of the strategy.

Understanding the artists’ musical language ensures a mutual collaboration of new talent and experience. 

Mike Flynn an A&R executive at Sony Music attributes his success in finding these unique new artists to his background in music, which helps, in the creative process. 

Many of the A&R executives have a musical background that definitely helps in identifying a new unique talent.

John Ehmann, Senior Director of A&R at Interscope Records is drawn to an artist’s ‘longevity and impact’. 

In other words, the consistency and ability to impact the fans while straying away from passing trends and staying true to your sound is what draws him in.

The basics that these senior A&R executives seem to deem most important in artists therefore are consistency, confidence, and above all authenticity in artistry. 

Being consistent in material, technique and the hype that you generate among the fans ensures you stay in the game. 

The confidence exuded by an artist in different settings brings out the star quality and this ultimately creates an unmistakable icon.

            The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

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