What is A&R in the Music Business? A&R stands for “artist and repertoire.” For record labels, the A&R reps are the people who find new artists and sign them to the label.
In reality, of course, there may be more than one person involved in the decision to sign a musician or a band to the record label. But in most cases, the A&R rep will act as the artist’s main point of contact with the label — the go-between or intermediary between the artist (or band, of course) and the label.
In addition to record labels, music publishers hire A&R reps to sign and work with musicians. A&R reps also are known as “find and sign,” although that term is used pretty rarely in the music industry.
After reading the introduction, you might conclude that you do not need to continue because, you do not see any label coming to sign you but, i tell you this, if you are really good, a label through A&R would find you and even if no label finds you , you will make it on your own terms then you can employ A&R reps to work for your own label. You don’t believe me ? Ask Around ! Let me ask you this, do you know of any A&R rep in your country ?
What the A&R Rep Does
These days, A&R reps may have a variety of roles in the music industry, depending on how their label is run and where they stand in management.
Entry-level artist and repertoire people may work to actively scout talent, attending shows, listening to demo discs and reading the industry press on new artists. Once they find a band worth considering, they may pass that information onto a higher-up at the label.
The A&R rep who initially reaches out to the musician will be at the managerial level and may have the power to make a decision about whether or not to sign a new artist (in some organizations, signing approval must come from even higher up the chain of command).
As the musicians’ point of contact at the label during contract negotiations, the artist and repertoire actually work to negotiate the deal between the label and the musicians.