Chris kicked off with a breakdown of the different ways artists can turn their music into currency; intellectual property, live performance and fan relationships. Giving specific examples, Chris explained step by step how to start making money from your talent. Find his slides here. We also heard stories from each of the panelists on how they put their own advice into practice. Atlantic Records’ A&R Director Twin B, for example, told us about Jess Glynne’s initial mistrust of A&R advice and illustrated how collaborating with Clean Bandit was a good idea.
Alec shared a vital breakdown of the growing role of an A&R. The job has shifted in line with the changing climate of the music industry; it used to involve pulling together singers, musicians and producers to create powerful musical compositions. However now, being an A&R (artist and repertoire) involves talent scouting, artist support and creative development. It also includes working with artists, to connect them with projects and to individuals that can progress their career in the right direction. “For me,” Twin B explained. “What a label brings, is what I want for all the artists I work with; longevity.” He went on to point out that although A&R’s get a bad reputation, it would’ve been an A&R that introduced Michael Jackson to Quincy Jones – which created a historical musical connection. So they’re not all bad.
Anne-Sophie contributed to Industry Takeover’s monthly seminar with masses dynamic knowledge. She packed her answers with figures and data that contributed real stats to her ideas. As a promoter at Live Nation, Anne-Sophie has been involved with some of the biggest UK tours. Her advice was to avoid common mistakes: Don’t overstate your crowd-pulling ability to a booking agent. If you can’t fulfil those promises, you’ll find your name stops coming up when people want to book acts.
Play Hard’s founder Siavash Khatiri explained how a manager can support your career. Khatiri’s evaluation of the pros and cons of having a close friend manage you, compared to a seasoned professional with 20 artists on their roster. “The manager ultimately needs to be someone who you can connect with, who understands you and can put up with your nonsense. A lot of times a friend understands your circumstances. Someone that’s busy running around managing 20 artists, hasn’t got time to worry why you were late for that session that day or why you’re struggling with this song. They generally tend to be like ‘Get the job done and bring it to me’. Whereas your friend will understand how to help you in every situation.” A manager is there to support you in dealing with your early success, not to create it. “Find out who your fans are,” he explained, “find out who would listen to your music and find a way to promote yourself. That’s the most important part and it won’t be solved if you just find yourself a good manager. He might be able to guide you or believe in you or give you confidence… but ultimately he’s useless unless your music starts connecting, which comes down to you as an artist.”
Red Bull Studios was filled with an overwhelming sense of inspiration and determination. After the main sessions, UD Creatives were given the opportunity to fire questions at the panelists one-on-one.
Every month we’ll be hosting exclusively curated seminars at Red Bull Studios, London Bridge. Next month’s session – ‘Getting Started and Building a Team’ - is going to support artists with practical advice on how to surround yourself with a hard working team that’s tailored to making you, and your career, a success.
Get your tickets to the next seminar.