Artists and repertoire, or A&R, is also known as active research by AVENUEAR's Ken Komisar. A&R oversees the signed artists, writers, and producers of a record label and are the gatekeepers of the industry. In addition to finding new artists, they act as intermediaries between artists and record companies. To get signed by a label, independent artists, writers or producers need to submit music to A&R.
If you are looking to send your music to A&R executives or top tier playlists today or want to learn more about record label A&R song submission services, you can contact the top A&R executives in the music industry that are using AVENUEAR: an innovative platform that connects artists directly with professionals in the industry with a guaranteed feedback.
Here are the top 10 tips for directly contacting music industry professionals and A&R at major record labels. Everything you need to know about how to submit music to A&R and 10 tips to get in touch with them.
1. How do A&R managers find new artists?
The first step in submitting music to A&R is to understand how they find artists. Most A&R reps spend their time listening to new music, attending live shows, and scouting social media and blogs for new talent. In addition to listening to demos sent in by artists, they also conduct their own research through companies like AVENUEAR. Artists are discovered through social media, press coverage, or word of mouth by A&R representatives. It can be beneficial for an artist to be associated with other well-known bands or have contacts in the industry so that they can be discovered by an A&R representative.
2. What do major label A&R look for in an artist?
It is no small investment for A&R reps to sign an artist, and they cannot afford to take risks. With more and more competition and fewer budgets, the music industry is constantly changing. When A&R wants to sign an artist, they must be pretty confident that the artist will be a solid investment. During A&R scouting, certain factors and statistics are considered. First of all, A&R reps look for artists who create buzz. TikTok and Instagram are two popular social media buzz platforms that can generate fans in a local music scene. Additionally, they look for artists with a strong fan base. Being well-followed on social media, streaming well on platforms like Spotify, or even just getting a good turnout at live shows can show having a solid fanbase. Stats like these are crucial when A&R is looking to sign new talent. Signature sound and strong identity are the two most important factors that A&R executives look for.
3. How do I contact A&R at record labels to submit music to?
It is possible to contact A&R reps directly if they haven't discovered you. Getting their attention can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to improve your chances. These 10 tips will help you successfully submit music to A&R.
Tip 1: Creating a signature sound is the first tip
Every artist needs to perfect their signature sound as the first step to advancing their career. In reality, this is much harder than it sounds. Today, it's easy to follow the trends of others. Despite the increasingly saturated music industry, it has become more difficult to stand out. Writing songs based on trends could lead to losing one of the key elements that makes an artist special: authenticity. You should spend time creating music that is unique and speaks to you. Authenticity is the key!
Tp 2: The second tip is to be self-sufficient
In order to attract A&R reps, you need to be able to record and produce your own music, have a solid fan base, and even pitch your music properly. The modern artist must wear multiple hats to succeed. It is not enough for them to write great songs, they must also market them effectively in order to reach a wider audience. In spite of this, being self-sufficient doesn't mean you must do everything yourself - and you shouldn't! By identifying your project's weak points, you can take charge of it and make it work for you. Do you need a sound engineer to mix your demos properly? Find out what the rates are at local studios. Do you need a video that will catch your audience's attention? Make a list of potential directors you could work with. Professionals are everywhere, and you can collaborate with them. Don't have the money? By researching on Google, you can learn how to do things on your own- if you have the will, you can do it. One important part of being self-sufficient is being organized.
Tip 3: Create a strong brand identity and develop your storytelling skills
It would be wonderful if songs could speak for themselves, but this is not the case today. Creating a strong identity and developing your storytelling are crucial before submitting your music to A&R reps. Successful artists should be able to present a complete package. It will be possible for you to stand out from the rest of the crowd if you build an entire universe around your music. It is essential to include high quality photographs and videos of live sessions or clips in your presentation. Growing your fan base, sparking interest, and bringing listeners into your world can all be achieved with strong storytelling and a strong identity. You can find our article all about how to work on your storytelling here.
Tip 4: Establish a solid fanbase
If you have a solid fanbase already, this shows A&R reps that you have potential to be commercially successful. You can establish a solid fanbase in a variety of ways. If you’re just starting out, think small to begin with. Share your music with your friends and family and they will pass it along. Play shows and engage with the audience afterwards. If you’re not much of a people person, you can always establish a solid fanbase on social media. Try to focus on just one or two platforms where you can begin to build a community. Social networks work in different ways and have different audiences, so make sure to find one that suits you. The two most popular platforms where musicians can establish a solid fanbase are currently Instagram and TikTok. Of course, Youtube also can be a great place to grow your fanbase if you’re sharing live videos. Musicians have also been livestreaming their sets on Twitch. Get creative with it and have fun! Check out our article on how to manage your social media accounts as an artist and stand out.
Tip 5: Make sure your demos are ready
You should have something new to show an A&R executive when you submit music to them. Including past releases is good, but you should also show them new demos so they can see your recent work. Regardless of whether you are recording at home or in a professional studio, take the time to prepare quality demos. Usually three or four demos are needed to catch the ear of an A&R manager, so you don't have to send 20 songs. It has even been said that sending just two good-quality songs can be enough to spark interest and make an A&R executive want to hear more. You should invest your time and energy into making your demos solid because they are your best sales tool.
Tip 6: Look for labels that match your project's needs
Choosing the right label for your musical project is not an easy task. Research labels that you might be interested in working with and that might be interested in working with you. The first step in finding labels that match your project is to look at artists who are similar to yourself and find out which label they are signed to. Considering whether you want to work with an independent label or a major label, as well as what they can offer you, is an important decision. Record labels are often associated with automatic success, but that's not true for all artists. It is true that major labels may have more financial resources, but independent labels may have more time and energy to put into developing your project.
Tip 7: Make sure you send your music to the right A&R person
As soon as you've compiled a list of labels that might be right for you, it's time to contact the A&R person. Most record labels have contact forms or email addresses where people can reach out to them for general inquiries. However, keep in mind that record labels "do not accept unsolicited demo submissions" For example: Universal Music posts on their website, Demo submissions should be directed to UMG's record labels, but kindly note that we are unable to accept unsolicited material. Typically, demos are recommended to one of our labels' A&R departments by a manager, agent, producer, radio DJ or other industry professionals. Some Universal Music A&R executives can and will receive demo song submissions through AVENUEAR only. If you wanna make sure your music gets listened to, you should dig a little deeper or sign up for a free membership at www.avenuear.com. Determine which artists they worked with if there are more than one. Are there any A&R reps that would be most interested in your style of music? You can find A&R representatives' contact details by searching the AVENUEAR database of A&R executives.
Tip 8: Choose the right time to send your music
In many cases, independent artists contact A&R at the wrong time or too early in their careers. However, most A&R reps are interested in projects that have been developed a bit more. It's positive when an artist is able to demonstrate that he or she has built a solid fanbase and launched his or her career on their own. It's possible that you won't get a response from A&R if you're still figuring out your sound and identity. Additionally, if you just released new music, it may not be the best time to contact A&R- unless you have unreleased demos to show them. While sharing past work is great, reach out to A&R reps when you have something new to offer.
Tip 9: Take the time to personalize your message and pitch your idea
The time has come for you to pitch your project! Depending on who you are contacting, make sure to personalize your message. Has their label been on your radar for a while? Does the company work with artists you admire? Make them feel that you are invested in what you do. If you send mass generic emails to your entire contact list, you won't succeed. Briefly describe yourself and your music, and pitch your idea. Include any press coverage or concert dates you wish to share. Include links to your social media pages or website so they can learn more about you. Include a press kit as an attachment if you have one. The most important thing is to send your demos a private AVENUEAR or Avetune songlink. This is preferred over sending WAV or MP3 files. It saves them the time of downloading anything.
Tip 10: Be follow-up-oriented
If you haven't received a response after a few weeks, don't be afraid to follow up. Submissions sent directly to A&R reps via email can easily be overlooked but using a submission system like AVENUEAR or Avetune will be a guarantee.
As soon as you have all the tools you need, you can get started! Top 4 places to start are AVENUEAR, Avetune, Artist profile, and Fandivvy. They can get guaranteed feedback and potential opportunities for your music.