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LISTEN: New Music, “Wings” by Emerson Brooks


Coming straight out of Toronto Canada, we bring you a hot new single called “Wings” from Emerson Brooks, an amazing singer, song righter and producer. This single definitely deserves to be on repeat! I love the lyrics, the smoothness and the soulfulness vibe that he brings to this track. When I first listened to this single I was drawn to his voice and became a fan! He has his own sound which makes him very exclusive; I have to agree this track has an absolute sweet uplifting acoustic sound that we need more of. Listening to this track gives me wings and makes me have a warm feel of just getting away and being at peace.

You want more Emerson Brooks? Click the link below and follow him on Twitter!

http://bit.ly/1wFZo1z

EmersonBrooks-Wings-Art-

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Listen: [New Music] Jordan Bratton


The word eclectic is often overly used to describe artists who do not fit into the confines of a genre of music. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult when searching for the best language to describe an artist like Jordan Bratton.

At the risk of sounding cliché, Jordan Bratton does it all. He writes. He produces. His visuals are creative and thought provoking and his live show is to die for. Jordan does all of these things and all at the tender age of 19. It kind of makes you wonder why no major label has been able to snag such an undeniable talent.

If you’re new to Jordan’s music, start with The Grey Area, one of the most cohesive projects to be released within the last two years. The Grey Area, complete with live instrumental arrangements and intricate lyrical content appeal to not just your ears but also your spiritual and emotional sensibilities.
From Smokey Robinson and Usher to Miguel and Frank Ocean, The Grey Area combines a plethora of elements and sounds reminiscent of all the greats who have come before him.

Press play on Jordan Bratton’s latest effort, Must Be and be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for the greatness that is to come.

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Listen: JAHKOY – Everything (p. x DrewsThatDude)


Jahkoy is heating things up once again with his newest drop titled “Everything”, produced by Grammy-nominated producer Andrew Lloyd (DrewsThatDude). With a lyrical sample from Marques Houston and lines like “I’ll treat you like a glass of wine, And sip slow all night”, the ladies will surely be taking notice to this one. This song is nothing but flames. Refill!

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A&R Talk: Attorney Leilah Escalera talks the business of music


Music is a beautiful thing to be a part of; whether it be a group of friends performing in a garage, or a band that has sold out the infamous Madison Square Garden. But how do you get from the garage to the garden? When and how do you make the transition from just making music, to being in the business of music? Behind every great artist is a great team. And behind all the shoe deals, liquor deals, and movie deals is a super star attorney. Leilah Escalera just so happens to be one of those attorneys, a gatekeeper between artists that make money and artists that create wealth well into the years of retirement. Leilah is an attorney working for the prestigious law firm of Sedlmayr and Associates. Founded by Theo Sedlmayr, their firm represents some of the biggest names in the business; Eminem, Drake, Rick Ross, and super producer Maejor Ali (Justin Beiber, Trey Songz etc.) to name a few.

We had the privilege of speaking with Leilah and asking her a few questions about the state of the music business i.e. major labels, deciding when an artist should seek legal representation, and the pros and cons of shopping a deal as opposed to letting the label come to you. Check out what she had to say below.

1.) When should an artist start seeking legal representation?

Naturally, they should always seek an attorney any time a contract is presented to them. It can’t hurt to start speaking with lawyers before contracts are thrown their way though, just so they’re not scrambling if a deal or other opportunity is presented out of the blue. It’s good to put your team together early on – not like “recording in your basement, totally unknown early on”, but once they gain a little movement and find themselves unable to focus on making music because they’re handling too many other tasks, it’s probably time to start team-building.

2.) How do you (and your firm) decide who you want to work with?

Since we are constantly receiving music from artists for consideration, it really comes down to who stands out from the others. For me personally, when I set aside time to go through the music in my inbox, I generally skip through the songs pretty quickly. It’s the moment my finger doesn’t click “next” and for whatever reason I want to keep listening to the rest of the song. If I listen to an entire song, I’m usually left wanting to hear more from that artist. That’s how I know I’m onto something special. Of course from the business side of it, we want a well-rounded artist – one who can write, record, perform etc., but overall it really just comes down to that gut feeling. “When you know, you know”.

3.) Legally speaking, what’s the biggest mistake you see made by artists?

Signing agreements without an attorney’s review! So many artists sign contracts without even knowing what they’re signing and what it really means for them. There are so many talented artists who would have incredible careers right now if they didn’t get themselves stuck into a crappy deal. I know new artists are eager to start making that money, but I can’t stress enough to them not to rush things.

4.) In working towards getting a record deal from a major, a lot of A&R’s will tell the artist to keep building their brand and wait for the label to come to them. On the other side of that coin some people still believe in creating a body of work and then having an attorney shop it. Where do you stand on this subject?

I feel it’s best (and usually necessary) for artists to build their brand first. I say “usually necessary” because the major record labels these days are a lot more hesitant to invest in artists early on, especially one who may need a lot of development. While it’s possible to receive an offer simply by shopping a body of work, the offer is typically not as ideal as those received by artists who have already built up their fan base, generated media buzz etc. The more an artist has to offer, the more leverage they have to ask for more from a major label – whether it be more money, more creative control, more ownership rights etc.

As for shopping artists or not, of course it’s ideal if the major labels are chasing after the artist, but our firm definitely shops too! This industry is all about contacts and relationships, so why not utilize them to help a client secure a great situation? Shopping talent is definitely part of a music attorney’s job. However, going back to my previous point, it’s much easier to shop an artist who has already established his or her brand. Like any job, the stronger the “resume”, the more desirable the person will be.

5.) During the initial meeting between an artist and a record label, often the A&R will ask if the artist has legal representation, and if so who is it. What do you feel is the underlying purpose of this question from the labels perspective?

How do I answer this without A&Rs hating me? Haha! I’m just kidding. I don’t know the exact reason for this but I imagine they’re just trying to gauge how much it’ll cost them if they offer that artist a deal in the future. If they’ve done a lot of deals with the attorney they generally know what kind of terms that person is going to require or at least request, so I’d think that saves them some time when putting together a proposal.

 6.) You work with artists both established and on the rise, major label executives, and CEOs of live entertainment companies. In what ways has working with people from all around the different aspects of the business helped make you a better attorney?

Working with a variety of clients has allowed me to learn all of the differing needs throughout the industry. It also helps with negotiations since we are constantly on both sides of situations in different instances. For example, if you’re reviewing a management agreement for an artist, it’s easier to know what to look out for when you’ve previously drafted many agreements on the management side. So, I feel being multidimensional makes for a more well-rounded attorney. Also, it doesn’t hurt having strong contacts in all areas of the industry. It’s nice being able to link up different clients who can help each other.

 7.) There is a common belief throughout the general population that the major labels are dying, that the money has run dry. Where do you stand on the subject?

I disagree. The major labels still dominate when it comes to radio play and global reach. Money-wise, they still cut major deals constantly, so I wouldn’t say the money is running dry either. There is a reason most of the biggest music stars in the world are all signed to major labels.

 8.) That being said, do you feel as though major label deals for artists can still be lucrative? And if so in what ways?

Absolutely. Going off my last response, the labels get artists major radio play. I think radio is what really breaks an artist and I feel this is one of the biggest reasons the labels are invaluable. In addition to that, they have large budgets for marketing, recording and other things, access to other major artists and producers, ample abilities to secure licensing, merchandising and touring opportunities and many other resources that are extremely valuable to a recording artist for building his or her brand and generating income from all angles.

 9.) With major label deals still being lucrative, how do you differentiate between an artist you see as an “Indie artist” and one that fits into the major label format?

This is an interesting topic because I personally feel like the “indie artists” that most people think of and refer to are hardly even real indie artists. Maybe they’re not signed to a traditional recording deal, but most of them are still distributed and promoted by a major label and some even pay separate wings of labels to help get their singles onto the radio. Without the help of the majors, most of these artists would have never blown up the way they did. Of course there are some real and super talented independent artists out there that do well– they tend to be less mainstream artists though.

 10.) I often learn and grow the most through my own personal experiences. What has been the biggest lesson you have learned so far in your career, and how was it learned?

To focus on the good. Unfortunately the music industry can be filled with a lot of greed and disloyalty. It can be thankless and people you’ve helped out a lot can dispose of you the moment you’re no longer needed. But you can’t let that bring you down. I always read back to the kind notes I’ve received from people I’ve helped and watch how their career has blossomed and it keeps me going. One kind person makes up for one hundred negative ones – at least for me because I’ve learned to focus more on the good. If you don’t, you’ll get jaded fast. Luckily, I’m newer to the game so maybe that’s why I’m nowhere near jaded yet, but I’ve met plenty of others who are. I never want to get that way because working in this industry truly is special.

 11.) Thus far during your career, what moment would you say you are the most proud of and why?

Since I’m a young buck, I can’t say that any of my discoveries have won a Grammy, YET, but I know that will be my answer soon enough! But for now, seeing them opening up sold out shows for major artists makes me happy. Seeing them writing alongside Grammy winners. Seeing their singles at the top of the charts week after week. Each time one signs their first record deal. I can’t pick one of these because each one makes me want to do cartwheels for them every time!

 12.) If you could give aspiring artists one piece of advice what would it be?

Don’t give up! I know sometimes it seems like artists become famous over night, but it’s just not the case. It takes a lot of dedication and patience, but you have to believe in yourself enough not to give up. “The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.”

 13.) If you could talk to yourself at 10 years old, what’s the one piece of advice you would give yourself?

Enjoy the hell out of that sandbox! Don’t be in such a rush to grow up. I miss the days when my biggest concern in life was whether to have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into triangles or squares. I think this is part of what makes me who I am today – I vowed a long time ago to always enjoy the small things in life and never take it too seriously, and I’ve stuck to it so far. I once saw a quote that sums it up perfectly: “Don’t take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway”.

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Artist 2 Watch: Jayd Ink


As the Toronto R&B landscape continues its renaissance in front of the world, there could be no better time for Singer/Songwriter Jayd Ink to emerge onto the scene. When I first listened to Jayd Ink’s music I was immediately drawn to her voice, there’s something unique about her tone that makes you want to keep listening. Take a listen and let the smooth vocals pierce through your speakers and remember where you heard it first. Let us know what you think in the comments.

A&R Report was lucky enough to have Jayd Ink perform live at our Northern Lights Showcase benefiting Ovarian Cancer. Gracing the stage with, mic in one hand and a drink in the other, it was only fitting; as her intoxicating voice captivated the crowd as they heard her live for the first time. It seems like this Toronto artist is gearing up for a strong 2015, definitely one to watch. Check out her new Single “You Playin” below.

Jayd Ink returns with You Playin’ the second release from her debut project Invitation Only

You Playin’features fellow Toronto artist Jahkoy and production by Deezy of the Showboiz.

Follow Jayd Ink on Twitter here: Jayd_Ink

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Aaron Bay-Schuck Appointed New Interscope Geffen A&M Records President, A&R


According to Billboard, Interscope Geffen A&M Records have appointed Aaron Bay-Schuck as their new President of A&R. He will be reporting to Interscope Geffen A&M’s chairman and CEO John Janick. Aaron Bay-Schuck previously was serving as the Senior Vice-President at Atlantic Records since 2012, which he spent a ten year tenure in total. He’s well known for developing and working with Bruno Mars; he’s gone on to work with artists like Flo-Rida, B.o.B, and many more while at Atlantic Records. Also, Aaron Bay-Schuck has been featured on Billbaord’s 30 Under 30 and 40 Under 40; can’t forget to mention that he was the first person we interviewed for the A&R Talk back in 2012 (if you haven’t seen it check out here), so a BIG THANK YOU FOR THAT AARON!

Janick had this to say about Aaron:

“Aaron is at the forefront of a new generation of executives… He brings a strong musical and creative vision to Interscope Geffen A&M. I’m thrilled to welcome him back to where it all started for him, and I’m excited about what he will contribute to what I already consider the best executive team and artist roster out there.”

Aaron added:

“Interscope Geffen A&M is the most iconic label of my generation; to be returning in this creative capacity is a dream come true… Under John’s leadership, the label continues to foster an environment where passion for artist development, collaboration, and the art of record making can thrive. Joining the team in the mission to break the best artists in the world is an undeniable privilege. I can’t thank John and Lucian Grainge enough for this incredible opportunity.”

The A&R Report Family and Team would love to Congratulate you, Aaron Bay-Schuck. We wish you the best and pure success at Interscope Geffen A&M Records!

Photo & Article Via Billboard

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Producer 2 Watch: Lord Quest


Music is a labor of love. It’s a labor of love that often takes more than a single individual. But have you ever stopped to ask how many thumbprints are on the three-minute record that you just can’t get out of your head? Have you ever wondered who was the mastermind behind the baseline that subliminally has your foot tapping on the floor?

Producer Lord Quest, a Toronto native, just so happens to be one of those individuals leaving his thumbprint across several predominant bodies of work thus far in 2014. A producer / emcee that initially started making beats out of necessity for personal use, Quest was recently nominated for 2 BET awards for his production and it seems as though he has found his stride. Evolving into his own Quest has slowly been grabbing my ear after securing placements with Talib Kweli (“Demonology” and “State of Grace”), ScHoolboyQ (“Blind Threats” feat. Reakwon), and most recently G-Unit (“I Don’t Fuck With You”)

Of the for mentioned records I would have to say my favorite is Blind Threats off of the ScHoolboyQ album Oxymoron. Although biased being a big ScHoolboyQ fan and Wu-Tang fan from the jump, Blind Threats is a record that just feels good. A song that almost never saw the light of day until Quests’ friend Tunji, an A&R with Interscope records, suggested he show the beat (that eventually turned into Blind Threats) to ScHoolboyQ and Q loved it. ScHoolboyQ then forward the beat along to Raekwon and Blind Threats was born.

Producer Lord Quest is surly on the rise. And after such a successful start to the year you can bet that Quest will be popping up on your radar more and more in the future. Check out his song Blind Threats below along with the video for Talib Kweli’s State of Grace.

Keep up with Quest Love on Twitter: @lordquestmusic

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Artist 2 Watch: Khalil


Khalil is not new to the game. Much like his famous mentor, Justin Bieber, Khalil was discovered on YouTube. Shortly after, he flew to Atlanta to work on music with L.A. Reid then signed to Def Jam’s Teen Island label.

In 2010, Khalil’s “Girlfriend Ringtone” spent 13 weeks on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” chart. Unfortunately, the single did not break onto the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. But he kept on working.

Three years later, Khalil released a joint mix-tape with YMCMB’s Lil’ Twist, 3 Weeks in Miami and watched his popularity incline with “Hey Lil’ Mama’, his most successful song and video to date. But it is Khalil’s latest effort, A Long Story Short, that is projected to open his fan-base to a whole new wave of music enthusiasts.

ALSS features collaborations with Justin Bieber, Birdman, Blake Kelly, Tory Lanez and production by Mike Dean, DJ Mustard, J-Hawk, Soundz and many more. Band$ Up, ALSS’s standout track, featuring Johnny Rain and Birdman, starts off with vocals from Tupac that pay homage to the late great MC but also readies your ears for a bass riddled and gritty record that is sure to take over the clubs and airwaves just as soon as The Biebz gives the word.

Don’t believe me? See for yourself. You can download A Long Story Short here, kick back, turn up the volume and enjoy.

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Artist 2 Watch: Anna of the North


Anna of the North, upcoming artist out of Olso, Norway and reminds me much like Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberrry, Likke Li, Ellie Goulding in her music style. More over her sound is electro and synthpop, which is really hitting right now; She is experimental and is willing to collaborate with Rap/Hip-Hop Artists. I know she wants to collaborate with J.K. The Reaper (we have featured him on here before), which would be great to see. These two collaborate with her captivating vocals and his raw, dope flow. She’s only been out for a couple of months and already has people’s attention, which is why you should take a listen to her music below.

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Artist 2 Watch: Redway


Redway is another artist that shows Toronto’s hip-hop strength. His passion for music was nurtured by his upbringing in Toronto’s west-end. More recently, Redway moved to NYC to garner more inspiration and to attain growth and maturity in his music. To date, Redway as shared staged the stage with artists as diverse as Wiz Khalifa to legendary Dancehall artist Beenie Man, each performance of Redway’s is both an experience and a lesson in passion.

His latest project “Years Ahead” is a true mark of Redway’s growth in his music. His impeccable writing ability is complimented heavily by production from the young & talented Grammy-nominated producer, Wondagurl (Jay-Z, French Montana, Travis Scott, among others). If this is any implication of Redway’s future, we will undoubtedly be seeing much more of this talented artist on the rise.

You can purchase “Years Ahead” on iTunes here.

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