A&R which stands for ‘Artists and Repertoire’ is a relatively new job role in the music industry and whilst a lot of people seem to claim the title, it is still largely unclear to most what the role really entails. In this article, we explore the term in some detail and consider what it is to work as an A&R.
1. Scouting talent
‘Artists and Repertoire’ is the division of a record label or music publishing company responsible for scouting talents. A&Rs are crucial in helping labels scout for new artists, instrumentalists, producers, and songwriters. You would usually find them at shows, music events and just about any other place where new talents can be discovered.
2. Overseeing artistic development
Another important role of A&Rs is overseeing the development of artists. By virtue of the fact that they act as a bridge between the label and the artists, A&Rs are also responsible for ensuring artists have everything required to reach their full artistic potential.
3. Overseeing the recording process
A&Rs can also assist artists during the recording process (before a final version of the song is exported). As expected, A&Rs can work as an additional set of ears – ensuring that the purpose of the song is realized (e.g. suggesting changes to lyrics, song titles, song arrangements or melody compositions).
4. Sourcing features/collaborators
A&Rs are socialites of the industry and part of their job is connecting artists with fellow artists, producers, and songwriters who can fit into their sound or music style. This can play a major role in aiding the artist’s development.