This week’s guest lecture for level 2 and 3 Music Production students was by Danny Roberts – A&R at Decca Records.
Danny did a brilliant job of unravelling the mysterious world of A&R and gave the students a great insight into the role of A&R in these challenging times for the recorded music industry.
Decca sits within the structure of Universal Music Group – one of the ‘big three’ major labels and Danny explained his day-to-day duties, including liaison with managers, agents, lawyers, producers and publishers. He travels a lot and he stressed the importance of networking, communication skills, and making decisions – sometimes risky ones. Studying statistics, nurturing and developing artists, and keeping up morale, also feature heavily in his role. Surprisingly, going to gigs was not particularly high on the list.
The stakes and budgets are high in the world of the major labels and I could sense that Danny’s job comes with a lot of pressure. He looks like he can handle it though 🙂 and he gave us a fascinating talk, which particularly highlighted to me how many roles there are in the music industries, and how many people are involved to support the career of a successful artist.