Signing, developing, and advocating for the writers and producers who are responsible for today's biggest hits is one of the most nuanced roles in the modern recording industry. These publishing A&R executives are leading the way by innovating on behalf of artists who include Grimes, SOPHIE, The Lumineers, Ryan Tedder, Tiesto, Micah Premnath (Selena Gomez, Lady A), Seb from 1Mind (Don Toliver, JuiceWRLD), Piso 21, Danny Ocean, Ximena Sariñana, Llane, Juan Pablo Vega, and many others. Join this session to learn how they scout talent and create opportunities for songwriters and producers.
1. The Art of A&R Publishing: For the Record
Benjamin is a 30 year music business veteran having worked for the majors, opened the 1st U.S. office of Kobalt Music (Exec VP, 10 years) and has been running his own publishing company, Brill Building and label, We Are: The Guard since 2016.
Past Signings: Grimes, SOPHIE, The Lumineers, Ryan Tedder, Greg Kurstin, Savan Kotecha, Tiesto, Kelly Clarkson, Caroline Polachek, Jake Torrey.
Francisco Granados, VP Creative and A&R for Sony Music Publishing US Latin, is a former journalist and radio host, who decided to turn into an A&R.
In 2014, Francisco moved to Mexico from his hometown Venezuela and started his career in the music industry at Sony Music Publishing Mexico, where he played a key role in the signings of Julio Ramírez from Reik, Mario Bautista, and the renewals of José Luis Roma, Carlos Rivera, Noel Schajris, and Zoé. He also supported the discovery, signing, and development of the early songwriting careers of Danny Ocean and Keityn.
Andre Herd, 29 is Senior Director of A&R at Artist Partner Group (APG). Starting as an artist/songwriter, Andre dropped out of college at 20. He then interned for APG. As an intern, Andre found the band ARIZONA who ended up signing to APG and Atlantic. From there, Andre left to start a publishing company called Unrestricted. While at Unrestricted, Andre helped place #1 pop record "Stay" by Zedd ft. Alessia Cara as well as worked with artists such as XXXTENTACION.
In 2018 Andre left Unrestricted to manage singer/songwriter JP Saxe. Andre & JP then put out the grammy nominated hit "If The World Was Ending" ft. Julia Michaels. In the middle of 2020, he then got brought on by Mike Caren at APG and is now heading up the alternative/pop side of the company. During his time at APG, Andre has signed Lexi Jayde, Octavio the Dweeb, Ronin's "All Girls Are The Same", and chart topping rock/alt producer WZRD BLD. Andre is currently building out his staff and department at APG.
With over 20 years of experience in music publishing and songwriter development, Paige Parsons currently serves as Sr. Vice President of A&R for Scooter Braun's Atlas Music. In addition to overseeing the indie publisher's Los Angeles operations, Parsons signs and develops burgeoning talent by facilitating writer collaborations and procuring song placements. Her current signings include but aren’t limited to: Nick Lee (Cuts: Lil Nas X, "Dolla Sign Slime feat. Megan Thee Stallion)", Julia Lewis (Cuts: Youngboy NBA, G-Eazy, DC The Don, Rexx Life Raj, BOSCO, Foushee, Too short, E-40, Lil Wayne), and lan Jeffrey Thomas (Cuts: Bryson Tiller, iann dior, NCT127, Yung Bans, Kevin Gates, Dani Leigh) to name a few.
In 2018, Parsons conceived, organized, and facilitated the first all-women songwriting camp ever to take place in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Atlas, Parsons held the post of Sr. Director of A&R for Kobalt Music Publishing based in Los Angeles and signed and developed Grammy/Golden Globe/ASCAP/ BMI/SESAC/Juno award-winning talent, like BONGO By The Way (Cuts: Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, etc.) David Hodges (Cuts: Maren Morris, Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Carrie Underwood, Lady A, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Perri, Keith Urban, 5SOS). Nolan Lambroza (Cuts: Tate McRae, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Kehlani, Kelly Clarkson, DJ Khaled, Fifth Harmony) to name a few.
Previous to her Kobalt tenure, Parsons served as Director of A&R for Kara DioGuardi's Arthouse Entertainment, a publishing and management firm, where clients included Greg Wells, David Hodges, Eman, Mitch Allan, James Poyser, KC Livingston, and Ari Levine. Formerly, she worked as an international song plugger for EMI Music Publishing in New York City.
Parsons' creative song pitching and collaboration efforts have resulted in hit placements with a wide breadth of world-renowned recording artists, such as Lil Nas X, Shawn Mendes, Kelly Clarkson, Ellie Goulding, Mary J. Blige, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Little Mix, Wrabel, Galantis, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Maren Morris, Big Sean, Flo Rida, and Trey Songz, among others. She has also placed her clients' songs with international artists spanning the globe.
Siara Behar is the Senior Director of A&R at Prescription Songs. She oversees a roster of writers, producers, and artists, in addition to scouting and signing new talent. During her time at Prescription Songs, she has signed or helped promote the careers of songwriters and producers that have contributed to Grammy-nominated works and Billboard chart-topping songs by artists such as John Legend, Maroon 5, Doja Cat, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry. Some of her recent accomplishments include new signing Micah Premnath (co-written songs for Selena Gomez and Lady A) and Seb from 1Mind (Don Toliver, JuiceWRLD, and YoungBoy Never Broke Again). With Cuban roots and growing up in a bi-cultural household, Behar is incredibly passionate about Latin music and has helped facilitate songs for artists including Ozuna, Nicky Jam, and Manuel Turizo. Prior to her time at Prescription Songs, Behar worked at Artist Publishing Group / Artist Partner with songwriters and artists such as Madison Love, JHart, and Ava Max.
- Worked for Chris Blackwell and Gloria Estefan
- Recordings as a songwriter include “His Song”; as a lead vocalist, “More and More” and “Love’s Ocean” Editor of Pop Music Theory
- Artists and repertoire project manager for 45 commercial record productions with major and independent labels, including work for Elton John, Parliament-Funkadelic, the Gap Band, the Bar-Kays, Rick James, Sly and Robbie, Jack Kerouac, Kelly Joe Phelps, Fleetwood Mac, and MGM soundtracks
- Started the production company MonoMyth Media in 2008
- Developed a new record label model at Blackroom Records in 2001 that emphasizes the partnership between label and artist, with each sharing 50 percent of the album proceeds
- Developed curriculum through StrengthFinders that evaluates student’s personal strengths to facilitate self-awareness of natural talents
Member of American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)