WNY Music Industry Spotlight: Damon Bodine | Arts & Culture
A&R stands for Artist and repertoire they are known as the liaison between artists and the record labels some of the duties include finding talent, overseeing the recording process as well as being involved in the marketing and promotion. In the past it was the A&R execs that were known to have a huge impact on music scene. In today’s digital music climate with new forms of digital distribution and declining record sales the duties of A&R are taking on non- traditional roles.
I caught with Buffalo native Damon Bodine who works in NY as A&R for Fearless Records for an interview.
Getthebuzz716: Tell me how you got started in the music business?
Damon Bodine: My first gig in music was an unpaid street teamer in high school. I worked on campaigns for a company called Streetwise. I worked on Ozzfest campaigns every year with product distribution as well as online campaigns. After moving to Buffalo, NY I attended University at Buffalo. While going to school there I threw some parties and started meeting a lot of people in the music scene. That led to booking touring bands.I grew that hobby into a career slowly but surely.
Gethebuzz716: As an A&R scout tells me what the job consist of? How has the social media outlets made an impact on your
Damon Bodine: I go to a ton of shows and talk with people about upcoming music and movements. A&R is all about being in the know and being ahead of the curve. I try to stay in touch with as many social media movements as possible. I have a lot of go to blogs that I visit and people within the music research community. Social media is the heartbeat of an A&R in the current music industry landscape.
Getthebuzz716: What are some of the pros and cons when dealing with talent and the business?
Damon Bodine: I think artists for the most part are pretty genuine. I love meeting band members and hearing about there experiences on the road. I think the reality of the music business is that it is just that, a business. However it is something that a lot of people get involved with because they don't really feel comfortable working in any other aspect of society. It is the only thing that makes sense for them. I think the con of that is that the people that work in the industry have a hard time to adjusting to society outside of music. Music is all encompassing.
Getthebuzz716: What advice do you have for artists and/or anyone trying to break in the business when trying to approach a Label and what do labels look for when scouting?
Damon Bodine : I would tell an artist to work on doing as much as they can on his or her own. Labels want to see a product that is already in motion and generating income. That is the new model of the music business. Very rarely will a band that hasn't had some accomplish catch the attention of a label these days. There just isn’t enough potential in record sales to sign a band that hasn't proven it can succeed to a degree on its own.
Getthebuzz716: What is your take on the music business model as it stands its changing at such a rapid pace I mean you been in the game for sometime how did the change affect You?
Damon Bodine: I think I have thrived as the music business changes shape. Everything has become much Internet based these days. Growing up in the Internet generation I considered learning the Internet as much of an asset as learning traditional school subjects. These days so much communication is done by email. I like the constantly changing environment.
Getthebuzz716: Now you just host a benefit recently here in Buffalo back in March how did it go and what is the future for the cause do plan on doing more?
Damon Bodine: The fundraiser was amazing. It exceeded all of my expectations by a mile. Over 350 people came out that night and we raised over $1700 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I plan on doing a lot more fundraising throughout the year and am currently planning a few new events in Buffalo over the summer.
Getthebuzz716: Now if you can change one aspect of the music scene in WNY what would it be and why?
Damon Bodine: In all honesty I love the WNY music scene. At times I wish radio were more supportive of developing artists but I under their limitations. In general I think we have so many hardworking artists and I hope that they all get the national recognition for their talents.
join us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Getthebuzz716
follow us on twitter: twitter.com/#!/Getthebuzz716