A&R rightly get a lot of grief from everyone else in the music industry.
All too many simply don’t have the talent to do the job and it becomes the parody that the video below pokes fun at (Don’t watch if you’re easily offended!).
But, there are some good A&R people – who can bring improvement, direction and clarity to an artist’s work.
A&R scouts, the workers of the music industry entrusted with finding and developing new talent, have come in for much criticism over the past decade. Most people don’t know what they do, and those that do, disagree with most of their decisions. Disgruntled, overlooked bands hate them for not signing them, and the record-buying public hate them for feeding them bland, intelligence-insulting music, or incomprehensible hipster nonsense which no-one living outside the E1 postcode will like.
But is the A&R-bashing justified, and, if so, what can be done about it?
Oh, and it really is like this: