Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label or publishing company; every activity involving artists to the point of album release is generally considered under the purview, and responsibility, of A&R.
1.1 Finding talent 1.2 Overseeing the recording process 1.3 Assisting with marketing and promotion
2 History and influence 3 Regional variations 4 Recent changes 5 See also 6 Citations 7 References
The A&R division of a record label is responsible for finding new
recording artists and bringing those artists to the record company.
Personnel in the A&R division are expected to understand the
current tastes of the market and to be able to find artists that will
be commercially successful. For this reason, A&R people are often
young and many are musicians, music journalists or record
An A&R executive is authorized to offer a record contract, often
in the form of a "deal memo": a short informal document that
establishes a business relationship between the recording artist and
the record company. The actual contract negotiations will typically
be carried out by rival entertainment lawyers hired by the musician's
manager and the record company.
A&R executives rely mostly on the word of mouth of trusted
associates, critics and business contacts, rather than on unsolicited
demo tapes. They also tend to favor the bands that play in the same
city as the record label's offices.
Overseeing the recording process
The A&R division of a record label oversees the recording process.
This includes helping the artist to find the right record producer,
scheduling time in a recording studio and advising the artist on all
aspects of making a high-quality recording. They work with the artist
to choose the best songs (i.e.repertoire) to record. For artists who
do not write their own music, the A&R person will assist in
finding songs and songwriters. A&R executives maintain contact
with their counterparts at music publishing companies to get new songs
and material from songwriters and producers.
As the record nears completion, the A&R department works closely
with the artist to determine whether the record is acceptable to the
record company. This process may include suggesting that new songs
need to be written or that some album tracks need to be re-recorded. A
key issue is whether the album has a single: a particular track which
can be used to market the record on radio.
Assisting with marketing and promotion
Once the record is completed, the A&R department consults with
marketing, promotion, the artist and their management to choose one or
more singles to help promote the record.
History and influence
The tastes of particular A&R executives have influenced the course
of music history. A&R man
John H. Hammond discovered Billie
Holiday, Bob Dylan,
What you've got now is huge multinational companies where most of their A&R staff are businessmen. They’re people who look at music from the standpoint of marketing, not from the standpoint of music and talent. They will say, "Go out and get me anything that's popular now."
Regional variations According to Rhythm King Records and Lizard King Records founder Martin Heath, the A&R community in the UK is more integrated than it is in the US, being very London-centric and encompassing a relatively small number of people. "If scouts are chasing a band, you’ll see the same thirty people in one room. You get a herd mentality in the UK, but also some very diverse signings as well," he said in an interview with HitQuarters. Heath believes that in the USA it is more typical for A&R to wait until a band is established – having attracted other offers or achieved a level of sales – before taking action, a technique which often works out as being more expensive. Recent changes See also: 2000s in the music industry New forms of digital distribution have changed the relationship between consumers and the music they choose. Gerd Leonhard and others argue that the wide selection of music on digital services has allowed music consumers to bypass the traditional role of A&R. In the wake of declining record sales, a large number of A&R staffers have been terminated. It is unclear whether A&R executives will shape the future of musical tastes as they have in the past. See also
Chas Chandler Clive Davis Kara DioGuardi David Geffen Loren Israel John Kalodner Clyde Otis
^ Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's
Albini, Steve (1993), "The Problem with Music", The Baffler, Chicago:
v t e
Companies and organizations
ARIA BVMI BPI Music Canada FIMI IFPI (worldwide) PROMUSICAE RIAA SNEP
BMG Rights Management EMI Music Publishing Fox Music Imagem MGM Music Music catalog Sony/ATV Music Publishing Universal Music Publishing Group Warner/Chappell Music
Major: Sony Music Universal Music Group Warner Music Group Independent: Independent UK record labels
CTS Eventim Live Nation LiveStyle Ticketmaster
Avant-garde Blues Contemporary R&B Country Crossover Dance Disco Drum and bass Easy listening Electronica Experimental Folk Funk Gospel Hip hop Instrumental Jazz Latin Metal Motown New Age Operatic pop Pop Punk Reggae Rock Soul Soundtrack World
Sectors and roles
Arrangement Composer Conductor Disc jockey Hip hop producer Horn section Record producer Recording artist Rhythm section Orchestrator Session musician Singer
Backup singer Ghost singer Vocal coach
Billboard Hot 100
Brasil Hot 100 Airplay
Canadian Hot 100
Gaon Music Chart
Irish Singles Chart
Italian Singles Chart
GfK Entertainment Charts
Entertainment Monitoring Africa
Billboard HitQuarters Hot Press Kerrang! Mojo Musica e dischi NME Q Rolling Stone Smash Hits Top of the Pops
CMT TheCoolTV Fuse Heartland Juice MTV MTV2 Tr3s MuchMusic The Music Factory Viva VH1 The Country Network
Idol franchise Popstars Star Academy The Voice The X Factor Rising Star
Music award Best-selling music artists Best-selling albums Best-selling albums by country Best-selling singles Highest-grossing concert tours Highest-attended concerts Global Recording Artist of the Year