How to becomes a Talent Scout for a Record Label

Robert Russell By Robert Russell, 3rd Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Music>Promoting Music

Landing a job as a talent scout requires dedication, commitment and a bit of luck. Record labels rely on talent scouts to spot up-and-coming talent as well as new musical markets and trends. Talent scouts work for the Artists and Repertoire Division of a record label and they come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of them are talented musicians in their own right while others are lacking in the musical skill department.

Tips for Becoming A Talent Scout

It is impossible to draw a blueprint that encapsulates the perfect talent scout because each talent scout brings something unique to the job. Nonetheless, it is possible to suggest a few important tips to make the journey easier.

(1) Spend time developing your own musical skills and talent. You don't have to be a great musician to be a talent scout but understanding of music from the musician's point of view provides a firm foundation for honing your ability to recognize and develop musical talent. You will be in a better position to appreciate musical talent and potential when you encounter it. The musical knowledge and experience acquired through playing an instrument and playing in bands is an important asset to have if you are seriously interested in pursuing a career as a talent scout.

(2) Expand your musical horizon. A narrow appreciation of music is a stumbling block for anyone who is serious about pursuing a career as a talent scout. Do not limit yourself to one type or form of music. Listen to a large variety of music ranging from different types of popular music, blues, jazz, folk music, world music, experimental and avant-garde. Successful talent scouts are able to recognize new artists and trends before they are popular.

(3) Pursue a college degree in music or a related field. A college degree is not a prerequisite for a talent scout, but pursuing a college degree provides you with the skills and experience that make you an attractive candidate for a talent scout position. Pursue a degree related to the music industry such as music, business or marketing. Choose a college in an environment that has a thriving music scene. This will help you to keep tabs on current musical trends and allow you to begin building a contact base with up-and-coming musicians.

(4) Apply for an internship with a record label or recording studio. Internships are unpaid positions but they provide experience and opportunity, and allow you to get your foot in the door. Select a few record labels that specialize in the type of music and bands in which you are interested. Research internship opportunities and requirements online at the record label websites. Some websites may provide a telephone number or contact information.

(5) Put together a professional resume. Your resume should emphasize your skills and experience that demonstrate your potential asa talent scout. Include your educational degrees and awards, record label internship, music related experiences and personal references. Select people to write a personal reference who are familiar with your musical knowledge and work habits, and whose recommendation has credibility and weight. References may include the person you interned under at the record label, a college professor, or someone in the music industry with whom you have established a professional or personal relationship.

(6) Send the resume to different record labels. Address the resume to the Artists and Repertoire Division of record labels for which you are interested in working. Do some preliminary research online to find out the rules and regulations concerning resumes, as well as the necessary addresses and contact information. Make use of online music resources and music trade papers to search for talent scout job openings.


Music Careers, Music Industry, Record Labels, Talent Scouts

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Russell
I play guitar professionally in a Cajun/zydeco band named Creole Stomp. We are a nationally touring band that have been together ten years. I also have a PhD in philosophy.

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