We’re excited to announce that the first Next Steps Panel of the new academic year will be an open Q&A session with three key industry experts in A&R. The members of the panel will discuss their current positions and experiences before opening up to the floor for students’ questions. A&R (Artists & Repertoire) is the frontline of the music industry, the department of a record company or publishing company that looks for artists and musicians, signs them, and helps to develop their sound, songs and recordings. By attending this session you’ll find out more about what A&R people are looking for in artists, bands, songwriters and musicians, and how they discover new talent. If you’re hoping for a job in the music industry you’ll also get an insight into how to get hired and how to develop your career prospects.
Next Steps is brought to you by The Hub at The Institute.
You can now book a place to attend this session through the VLE.
The panel includes:
Nick Robinson – Kobalt Music Group, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs
Nick Robinson is based in Kobalt's London headquarters where his role includes sourcing and signing new writers/catalogues, artists and music publishers; artist/writer relations and A&R/creative development. His signings at Kobalt include Alt-J, Wolf Alice, Bon Iver, Thom Yorke, Sigur Ros, Jack Garratt, Mogwai and Geoff Barrow (of Beak/Portishead).
Robinson has more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, previously as senior executive writer/publisher relations Europe at US performing right organisation BMI. There he was responsible for the signing and ongoing relationships with artists including Adele, James Blunt, Keane, Duffy, Sigur Ros and Estelle.
Prior to joining BMI, Robinson worked at EMI in A&R for five years, three of which as head of the A&R department. Before that he spent six years as News Editor and A&R Editor at Music Week magazine and also worked at Island Records UK as Head of Press. Before that, he was a journalist on a local paper/music magazines.
Will Hunt – Columbia Records, A&R Manager
Will Hunt started in music by running a club night called Off Modern at Corsica Studios in Elephant and Castle. He went on to found Off Modern Records, putting out releases by Gabriel Bruce and Fiction and did a short stint interning at Giant Men Management (Anna Calvi, Crystal Fighters, Mount Kimbie). In 2012 he started as a scout at Columbia and brought in George Ezra, Raleigh Ritchie and Purple Ferdinand.
In 2013 Will was promoted to Junior A&R Manager and again this year to A&R Manager. He’s since built a roster of 6 new acts including TALA, Lonely The Brave and Declan McKenna and continues to work on George Ezra, Raleigh and Purple with his senior colleagues.
Pip Newby – Play It Again Sam, A&R Manager
Pip Newby is A&R Manager for Play It Again Sam in the UK, the frontline label of the [PIAS] Entertainment Group. He is responsible for the discovery, signing and development of acts for the label. Play It Again Sam is home to acts as diverse as Editors, Enter Shikari, Agnes Obel and Ghostpoet. Prior to joining the [PIAS] team in 2011 Pip worked as A&R for Atlantic Records out of their London office, and ran his own label and music consultancy, Friends Vs Records, where he worked with acts such as The Joy Formidable, Fun., and Dinosaur Pile-Up.
Play It Again Sam has a strong reputation for working with a broad range of international acts across many different territories. The label’s roster spans Europe, the US and beyond. “As far as our A&R policy is concerned the borders between countries are becoming less and less important with regards to finding great music. If an act’s music blows our mind, they’re hard working and show potential, we would be excited to work with them!”