A&R Assistant

Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters.

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Also known as:

  • A&R Coordinator
  • Publishing A&R

Skill Level:

Entry level

What does an A&R Assistant do?

Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label or publishing company; every activity involving artists to the point of album release is generally considered under the purview, and responsibility, of A&R. An A&R Assistant can be responsible for supporting any and all A&R administrative tasks. Specific responsibilities of this position often include office duties, helping to scout new bands, artists, and music, as well as attending shows and acting as a liaison between the A&R rep and the record label. This position must often maintain and develop relationships directly with artists, scout and research new artists, songwriters, and producers, review demo submissions, cover shows, coordinate detailed bi-weekly A&R research reports and carry out other scouting projects.

As an A&R assistant you will be the frontline of the music industry. You will be overseeing the writers/producers within the company catalogue, also scouting/signing new repertoire to the company developing their creative career. Within the job role you will manage and build relationships with producers/managers/sub-publishers/music supervisors facilitating collaborations and the creative process. You will also be the intermediary for artists and management as their point of contact and business affairs/copyright departments. Building new contacts for the company’s database. Also, you will help assist the marketing side of the artist for campaigns and press plans.

Watch and read (links to videos /cases studies):

What’s an A&R Assistant good at?

  • Multitasking over different projects at the same time
  • Working with strict time constraints
  • Very organised
  • Great networking skills
  • Identifying new trends within music including via analysis of data
  • Strong understanding of the music industry and a passion for music
  • Proactive person

Tools of the trade:

  • Sodatone – Artist database
  • Social Media – Twitter, Instagram etc
  • Music streaming services

Who does an A&R Assistant work with?

A&R assistants work with songwriters/producers in conjunction with A&R managers and artist management. They also work with various departments within a music publishing company including business affairs, finance, marketing and copyright and royalties.

How do I become an A&R Assistant?

Although many executives working in A&R do not have qualifications in music, the following courses may be helpful within the role:

University Degree: Music, Music Business/Management (Non-Essential)

College: Music course

Apprenticeships: Within a record label or publisher

Search for jobs:

  • MPA Jobs:
  • Music Week:
  • Music Business Worldwide:
  • Complete Music Update:
  • Record of the Day:
  • LinkedIn:
  • The Dots:
  • Art Jobs:

Volunteer work always give you a good idea of the music industry, also a chance to network with music professionals. If you’re a student or recent graduate currently seeking work experience or a paid internship within one of the Music Publishers Association Publisher member companies you can fill out a form and upload any supporting documents by clicking here. All information collected here will only be shared with MPA Publisher Members and will be destroyed after 6 months. There are many different websites that advertise work experience and internships within the music industry, such as The Big Music Project, UK Music and Arts Council England. You can take a look at UK Music’s Careers Pack here. The MPA endorses UK Music’s Internship Code of Conduct and do not support unpaid internships.

Is the role a skills shortage?

No, A&R is a highly coveted role.

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