Decide what goods a retail store will sell, and how they will be marketed.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of new music, an A&R Scout finds new Musicians, Vocalists, and bands that can make profitable albums. As an A&R Scout, or Artist and Repertoire Scout, you’re likely employed by a recording label or management company, but you can also be self-employed, working solely on a freelance basis. No matter who your employer is, though, you play a pivotal role in the creation of new music.
Your spend your nights listening to the latest independent band, Singer, or Songwriter at nightclubs, often during an “open mic night.” The late nights are bound to take a toll on some, but the exhilaration of finding the next big band is sure to keep you going. A background in music and entertainment is helpful, as are flexibility and an open mind. The ability to keep your personal feelings and taste preferences out of the equation is also important, as you’re not necessarily choosing Recording Artists based on what you want to hear, but rather on what others want to listen to.
When you’re not with new Artists, you’re with other music industry professionals such as Record Producers, A&R Managers, and Marketing Managers. So put your professional face — and clothing — on and get to work ironing out the details necessary to make your band known around the world. Time management and excellent communication skills are required as an A&R Scout, since your work hours are likely to vary, and you may interact with clients and colleagues from different walks of life.
A&R Scouts who work on a freelance basis should also be experienced and knowledgeable in business management practices such as accounting and human resource management.
The hours can be long but the job is definitely exciting, and as soon as you hit the jackpot with a new band or Artist, all will be forgotten and you’ll seek the thrill again. After all, how many other jobs pay you to listen to music and help make dreams come true?