Steve Robertson works in A&R at Atlantic Records. He has worked with Paramore, Day to Remember, Shinedown, and many more incredible artists.
Steve’s career in the music industry was sparked at a young age. Since he was 8 years old, Steve knew he wanted to work in radio. As he was figuring out what to do after graduating high school, he found a school that prepared him for radio. While there, Steve discovered his love for alternative rock, and made his way to become an assistant music director at WRR in Orlando.
Once Steve finally got his dream job and became an A&R for Atlantic, his only task was: “Go sign bands”.
However, he had a couple learning curves:
- Even though he liked songs, it didn’t mean that millions others would,
- The risk is significantly higher than the radio side,
- Not everyone wants to be signed by a major label,
- You have to work hard- get out there and become known.
“In A&R, you will definitely fail most of the time”
Not everything is smooth sailing, but after the learning curves, he shares his experiences of working with Paramore and how he discovered Shinedown.
Steve explains the “beautiful thing about a label” is that they can pick out a young artist, help him write better songs, find his band, say “I believe in you” and help guide him.
“It’s his vision. I didn’t do it. I just rode shotgun and scheduled things and helped things. He’s the one that said “I think it’s called Shinedown’.”
Why Nashville? As the industry began massively downsizing because of the loss of CD’s, his colleagues started moving to Nashville. He heard big things were going on. He also began acquiring a taste for the americano/ country sound like Kacey Musgraves and Jason Isbell.
The industry is not an exact science.
During the interview, Steve goes more in depth with the way radio works, how technology shaped the industry, the top characteristic in signing an artist, and much more.