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Click to email Chris What A&R Reps Do
by Christopher Knab - Fourfront Media & Music - 2008

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What exactly is an 'A&R' rep anyway? We hear the term all the time, and most of us have a certain picture in our mind. But it is correct? Here's a short job description.

An A&R Reps Primary Job:

Seek talent by:
  • Auditioning demo tapes (solicited, as well as unsolicited, depending on record label policy.) If interested, ask to see artist perform live.
  • Attending live shows at clubs, showcases, concerts, and other venues. Also visiting artist/band website and social neteworking sites like MySpace and Faceboook.
  • Following leads from any ‘buzz’ created by artists.
  • Checking industry insiders (managers, agents, attorneys, concert promoters, label promo reps, retail contacts, trade and consumer press tips, regional ‘scenes’, or other sources.)
  • Watching for talent on other labels, who’s contracts are expiring.

Other Responsibilities

  • Evaluate talent and match with potential audience tastes.
  • Sign talent to label with executives approval.
  • Search for new songs for existing talent on the label.
  • Coordinate label relationships for an artist, once they are signed to the label.
  • Provide creative input and direction on artist’s material.
  • Find suitable producers and recording studios.
  • Plan the recording budget with the business affairs department.


Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: chris@chrisknab.net

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'Music Is Your Business' is available NOW from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.

Visit the
FourFront Media and Music website for more information on the business of music from Christopher Knab.

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