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Music Industry

Isaac Dunbar

One of the most important things that you need to know as an audience is that in the music industry, and specifically in the realm of A&R, professionals are gravitated towards artists/musicians/producers etc. who have made an impact on them personally, and who are going to make an impact on others. 

Let’s take myself for example: I knew I wanted to be in the music industry when I noticed how I responded emotionally to the artists that I would see perform on shows such as The Voice, America’s Got Talent, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent (anyone remember Susan Boyle)? I didn’t really know how I was going to get into the music industry, or where I would even start because let’s be real I am not musically talented whatsoever. I kind of doubted myself, and thought that I would have to know what an octave was or how to read lyrics or even know how to play an instrument. It’s a good thing I’m more behind the scenes and in the business aspect of this industry.

I love to sing and hum, but relatively so, I do it in the shower. We all sound better in the shower. Isn’t that why it takes us so long to get out? We’re having our own little concert!

It’s interesting because I never really knew the technical term for what I wanted to do until I reached college. I would describe it to my friends, and one of them (thank you, Avery) was like “why don’t you do A&R?” And that’s when it all came together.  Those of you who don’t know, A&R stands for artists and repertoire aka discovering new talent. I am gravitated towards the artists who move me emotionally, and I feel as if I have a gift for discovering talent. 

With that being said, many have different styles and tastes of music. Not everyone is going to like the same thing that you like. The beauty of the music industry is that there are different genres and artists that you’re gravitated towards based on your own likings. Some may like hip-hop, rap, or R&B where others can like alternative, indie, or pop music. Some may even like a little bit of everything. Everyone caters differently to music. 

Now, the real reason you’re here is to see what artist I’ve discovered this week, right? I came across this artist yesterday and I knew I had to write about him. So, introducing week number two’s artist, I present to you, Isaac Dunbar. Isaac caught my eye on TikTok, he posted a video of a song he just wrote and shared a little bit of it and because of that, I was mesmerized. 

Video via Isaac Dunbar’s TikTok.

As an A&R professional, I’ve realized that we thrive off of research and data (after the emotional impact, of course). These are two very important aspects in this part of the industry.

Now to tell you a little bit more about Isaac and the impact he is making on the industry. Dunbar is an eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter from Massachusetts. According to Chartmetric, a music analytic tool, he has been posting songs since he was twelve to SoundCloud where he slowly built an audience. It’s important to know and see the data because it shows how successful artists are becoming and where they are going in the industry. As mentioned earlier, Isaac came up on my for you page performing an original song and I did some research on who he is as an artist. Once I started researching him and looking at his streaming sites I wondered why I never found him before yesterday. He is incredibly talented. He recently signed with RCA Records back in 2019. 

As for social media, he has almost 49,000 followers on TikTok and almost 500,000 likes total on his profile. His Instagram is growing with almost 80,000 followers. Social media is continuing to change the game for this industry. According to Spotify, he has a total of 93,000 followers and 1.1M monthly listeners. Deezer is another music streaming platform where he has 1,100 fans along with 60,600 channel subscribers on YouTube and 9.3M channel views (all according to Chartmetric). This data clearly shows how well he is doing and how he will progress in the industry. 

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s spotlight! I will link his socials and streaming platforms below so you all can check him out! As always send your new music finds our way — we’re just a message or email away! Have a great rest of the week. 

Spotify. Apple Music. TikTok. Instagram. YouTube. Deezer. SoundCloud. Official Website

By The A&R Guru

Kristi, founder and creator of The A&R Guru, is a recent graduate of Belmont University. She earned her BBA in Music Business and minor in Production. She is passionate about the music industry, and the up and coming artists all over the world. One of the most important things she wants her audience to know is that talent is everywhere, and as a music industry professional, she is determined to find it.

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