What is ‘A&R’?

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 (singers, instrumentalists, bands, and so on) 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 can be considered under the purview, and responsibility, of A&R. – Music Careers

For any unsigned artists, a record label’s A&R can quickly become their Virgil, guiding them safely through the inferno that the music industry can be. Though, the quality and embroiling nature of the A&R can be very different from label to label, one thing will always remain true: The best A&R will work solely off of their professional opinion, and will do their best to obtain what the label needs while maintaining their relationship with the artist. 

The balance that an A&R person – from the admin to the Vice President – must maintain can become fragile, but being able to toe the line is what makes a great A&R, and eventually (hopefully) a legendary artist. The level of A&R involvement with an artist can vary based on the needs of the record label, and what the A&R deems appropriate. This may or may not change over time, and will depend on the trust that an artist can build with the A&R based on the strength of a number on things, including: music, brand, and fan base. 

Scouting can be the toughest, and most sought-after, job of an A&R rep in the field. However, it can also be the most difficult; the pool of possible candidates has opened into an ocean through social media. Pacience and interaction are key when a label rep is looking for artists; we’re looking for eagerness and perseverance, just as much as we’re looking for incredible talent. At the end of the day, an A&R is only as good as the artist they discover and develop.

EDGEOUT’s development is quite involved; we are the classic textbook definition of A&R. Everything from, start to album release, our A&R is involved with and staying on top of. We make sure our artists are fully mentored by incredibly experienced industry professionals, who teach them how to be successful artists in the business.