In your job role in A&R, what factors were you looking for when scouting for the next big artist?
Authenticity, originality, passion, belief, drive and an incredible talent to perform, sing or write… preferably all three.
Following from that, what are the top skills and qualities do you think are needed for a role in A&R?
To recognise all the above ha! We are all individuals with unique taste so it’s important to go with your gut and not try to sign artists who you think fit a criteria. It’s always the artists that you least expect that have the most success. Listening, understanding and being able to communicate an artist’s vision is vital.
Social platforms, TikTok in particular, are enabling artists to become more discoverable than ever before. How do you think this is impacting record labels?
Well, it’s great that new platforms appear and are promoting new and old music. TikTok has huge reach which is great for music. However, is TikTok a platform that discovers new artists or promotes tracks? Probably the latter to be honest. There will be many artists that will come through to have huge success and it won’t be through TikTok. TikTok is used as an essential tool for labels to see how tracks are performing or an artist is building early profile.
Photo Credit: Solen Feyissa
What advice would you give to emerging artist trying to get noticed by a record label?
Don’t spend your time trying to get a record deal, spend your time building your own community and the labels will come to you.
First gig, last gig, favourite gig?
Simple Minds at Lyceum Ballroom ’82, Sam Fender at the Motorpoint Arena on November 26th, and Rolling Stones (too many to mention).
By the way I believe Sam Fender is the real deal and an incredible songwriter and performer. The other night in Cardiff just blew me away... unbelievable artist.