What Does Artist and Repertoire Do? (A&R Representatives)

When it comes to careers in the music industry, the artists who sell millions of records, tour the globe, and show up in commercials and halftime shows usually come to mind first. Which makes sense, they’re the ones we listen to on the radio and streaming platforms. But it takes the involvement of a lot of people to make them sound so good.

Some music producers carry the same kind of caché as the biggest bands, including the likes of Dr. Dre, Quincy Jones, Rick Rubin, and others. In many cases, the artists themselves become producers, expanding their reach over the music industry. While you may aspire to those heights, many in the music industry make pretty good careers behind the scenes.

Ashley Calhoun, Rahki's manager & co-author of Recording Connection for Music Business Curriculum
Ashley Calhoun, Rahki’s manager & co-author of Recording Connection for Music Business Curriculum

Lesser-Known Music Industry Jobs
Making hit records is a collaborative effort between the record labels, artists, songwriters, audio engineers, and producers. But it takes contributions from many others to ensure the success of those collaborations. Many of which have never played an instrument or had to carry a tune.

Ashley Calhoun is the L.A.-based manager of Grammy-winning producer Rahki (Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Aloe Blacc, Lecrae) and author of the Recording Connection Music Business Curriculum. Calhoun is an expert on the business side of the music business and has created a course outline that details careers found outside of the recording room.

What is Artist and Repertoire (A&R Representative)?

This isn’t to say there’s no involvement with the recording process. In fact, one of the most prominent jobs outside of the creative realm is responsible for getting those creative types together in the first place. A&Rs put people together to create the music you listen to every day.

“I would say the most popular career that people on the business side are interested in is A&R,” Calhoun said. “Putting the artist in with different producers, songwriters, what have you, and really being a liaison between the artist and the artist management with the rest of the record label.”

A&R people also head up the artistic development of songwriters, artists, producers, and others as well as acting as a liaison between the artists and the record label. This job can be held as part of a record label or independent of a recording company. It definitely caters to the extroverted because you’ll need to be in constant communication during the production of a record or album.

Other Music Industry Jobs

There are other careers suited for the communicative, requiring interaction on a daily basis with others. As we said before, there are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to producing music. You can find work with major labels, publishing companies, promotional outfits, and more.

“If you’re a people person, luckily there are a lot of careers that would suit you,” Calhoun said. “Definitely A&R where you’re interacting directly with artists and every record department of the record label. Also, artist management, writer management, producer management – you’re communicating with everyone involved in the team at all times.”

With marketing and promotional work, you’ll be dealing with the press, radio stations, and streaming platforms to get your artists as much attention as possible. Becoming familiar with syncing is a major plus because then you’ll be able to work with ad agencies, movie studios, and other visual production companies.

Build a Foundation for Music Industry Jobs

The Recording Connection Music Business Course was designed to give students real-life experience in an immersive environment. Working with a mentor inside their studio, you’ll find out how to make connections, what different positions do, and how to keep watch for talented (and marketable) up-and-comers.

“It gives a really good overview of different careers within the music business and its roles,” Calhoun said. “ It’s the overview of the music business from the other side of the desk, the business side of the desk.”

Because you’re working from the inside, you’ll begin to make beneficial connections from the start. Why spend four years at a university when you can start getting experience now? If you’re ready to start a music career on the business side of the industry, apply today and Amplify Your Life.

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.