Okay, so, I’m going to do a quick blog to clarify my statement on twitter from yesterday. I said that I think A&R people should JUST be A&R people and not songwriters and producers too. If you are not in the music industry, you may not really have any idea why I would say this. Here are my reasons.
1. There really is a lack of GOOD, traditional, skilled, knowledgeable A&R people out there today…and has been for a while. That is part of the reason bad songs and bad artists have flooded the market, making it hard for people to justify spending their hard-earned money on music.
2. If an A&R person is a songwriter and/or producer, they may be drawing part of their “salary” from that…like a commission based sales position. With labels cutting costs these days, many times they will restructure the contract or job description to say that they A&R person will get paid a fairly low salary, but they can make up the money by placing some of their songs on artists’ records…hmmmm, can you say, “Conflict of interest?”
The job of A&R is to find the absolute BEST songs for an artist, NOT to push their own songs onto the artist, so they can still make a six figure salary at the expense of good songs.
3. If an A&R is truly a great songwriter and/or producer, they probably won’t have the time to be able to become a great A&R too…they’d be so busy writing and producing that their A&R responsibilities would get pushed aside, thus causing the artists they are in charge of to suffer from lack of attention, planning, effort on the A&R’s part.
I can’t say that ALL A&R people should NOT be songwriters/producers too, because there are exceptions where someone may really be that talented to be able to do it all…but that is an exception and NOT the rule.