I have been A&R’ing in the music industry for over a decade now, and I have to say: I’ve made excellent friends and was lucky to have awesome experiences. I’ve seen artists becoming “better”, more and more awesome, and even really successful (in economical terms) and being able to make a name for themselves by putting out amazing music, and I had the honor to accompany some of them. The list would be long … and one of them — who stands out in particular — is my friend Jonah Hakanson from Oregon, USA. I say “friend”, despite the fact that we never met in person, because I feel connected to him.
Jonah — and yes, I said that many times already, and I still mean it — is one of the most talented people out there. Not only with music, I think he’s a very talented writer/thinker, too. All his creative output is very inspiring. I’m happy that he asked me to be on my label again a few days back. I can’t wait to work with Jonah again, and release some of his work. It’s just way too good than not being released. Listen to what Jonah (and I) did in the past:
This is the Kassey Voorn remix:
And my remix:
Today Jonah said:
We can’t pretend we’re being heard when we aren’t. And, in order to be heard we have to be worth meeting. People in this music aren’t “pop stars” without personality. We have to be ready and willing to belong to an audience that wants to know us. Fuck the music. Music changes. This is about making people have a good time in a meaningful way. It’s about creating… making NEW things in the world. This is about being an artist. It’s about beauty. No amount of talk will change that.
I could never have said this any better.
And he said something else that really means a lot to me. It’s good to know, after so many years, that there are people appreciating what I do. Thank you, Jonah, it’s my pleasure and always has been. 🙂
The job of an A&R Manager is to help an artist to transport art to the people. It’s a bit more complicated, but that’s it, in a nutshell. You have to feel someone and his art (in this case music). Art is language, expression, communication, and it’s able to jump across borders, easily. We all know that.
I’m a lucky guy. I said that many times before, but moments like this keep reminding me of that, again and again.