Young Guru & Sean C: A&R Tips

For my culminating experience, I am working on a A&R / Artist management project. I’m not fully participating as an A&R for the Disrupción records, but that’s the field I want to learn the most about.
When Sean C and Young Guru came to Berklee few weeks ago, I tried to attend most of their sessions and workshops. I felt like their workshops were very helpful even though I didn’t really get to actually talk to them for hours. Just hearing their experience, how they started in the industry, how much they love working in the music industry, I was very inspired.
One of the biggest take aways  from their sessions was that “If you want to be an A&R, be an A&R NOW, Don’t wait for someone else to hire you and make you do the job. Sean C said just look for talent now and act like you are doing the job already. There are plenty of talented artists around us and we may not realize it, but also we need to force ourselves to make sure we are surrounded by talent. To become an A&R, we need to have the ear for the talent, and budgeting, learning how to balance can come later. Of course, you have to know how to put the record together.

We need to learn why other people fall in love with certain records, it’s easy to fall for music that we specifically like however, as an A&R, we need to figure out why other people like and why they are popular. Even though you don’t like it, you need to know that. The example they gave us was Ne-yo how he puts himself into other people’s situation. He would write songs as if he is in a female perspective. They told us to think about why other people are attached to some records. Also Young Guru was saying he brings his songs to his usual Barber shop so he can get other people’s opinion because they are the most honest people around him who would tell him they like the song or not. 

These advice may sound typical, but to me it was a wake up call. I really try to listen to whatever I want to listen to. I easily shut down the music genre I don’t like even if they are all over the radio. I always rather listened to new songs, but most likely repeat the songs I like. Before I go to bed, I should really try to think over why people like Pitbull so much now. 

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