We caught up with our Guest Scout Ben from Virgin EMI for a little chat. Read below to find out what he had to say, and get an idea of what kind of artists he’s on the look out for, it could improve your chances!
Don’t forget you can push your music to Ben until December 19th 2016, as part of our Sound Advice month!
SU: What was the first that you bought?
Ben: Oh, Inverted World – The Shins.
SU: Which song is your secret guilty pleasure?
Ben: Mhmm… Call Me Al by Paul Simon.
SU: What are your ears being treated to at the moment?
Ben: It took me a while to get into the album but my ears are now loving Bon Iver’s 22, A Million.
SU: What makes you excited about an artist?
Ben: I always get excited when hearing an incredible song that feels both bold and ambitious.
SU: What would you say is your proudest achievement so far in your career?
Ben: I have to say it’s probably establishing myself here at Virgin EMI and developing an in depth understanding of the music industry, it’s a mad industry!
SU: So, Virgin EMI, what’s the best thing about working for them?
Ben: I get to work with an incredible, inspirational team every single day and develop an ethos around exceptional talent. What more could you ask for?
SU: The song that kickstarts your day is?
Ben: Easy, definitely Pretty Pimpin’ by Kurt Vile.
SU: What is your average day to day as an A&R?
Ben: The main and obvious part of my day is listening to a lot of music! Meeting managers and artists about their new projects and trying to facilitate as much development as possible.
SU: What would you say is the biggest hurdle for up and coming artists?
Ben: Getting noticed without a doubt. With streaming a person can listen and discover a huge amount of music, so it’s all about standing out!
SU: And the biggest mistake unsigned acts make in your opinion?
Ben: Trying to get a record deal! Instead, artists are best placed developing their music, building a fan base, and we’ll eventually come to them!
SU: How did you get your start in the music industry?
Ben: I co-founded a music blog called Crack in the Road and just made sure I met as many different people as possible, and eventually convinced someone to give me a job!
Stay tuned for more interviews with our A&R Guest Scout Craig!