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MIC delves into industry and TikTok with A&R panel

by: Holly Johnson

MIC delves into industry and TikTok with A&R panel

MIC club members were able to learn more about the music industry and how tiktok has an affect during their a&r panel (Photo credit: Courtesy of MIC)

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Cal State Fullerton’s Music Industry Club (MIC) held a panel for students to delve further into the music industry through the avenue of artist and repertoire career professionals (A&R). The event hosted approximately 30 students and was held at Mihaylo Hall from 7-9 p.m.

The panel consisted of two A&R professionals: Kairo Nathan, an A&R project manager at Human Re Sources (under Sony Music); and Nima Nasseri, a vice president of A&R strategy at Universal Music Group (UMG). 

A profession in A&R primarily involves discovering new talent and signing them to a record label or publishing company. However, tasks beyond this core responsibility vary depending on the company. 


MIC delves into industry and TikTok with A&R panel

In order to be successful in the industry, proving one's passion and spirit while also being a personal advocate is key (Photo Credit: Courtesy of MIC )


For example, Nathan at Human Re Sources works on developing the new artist’s sound and maintains the artist’s musical integrity. On the other hand, Nasseri at UMG focuses on remixing and formatting the artist’s songs more than working directly with them.

As the panel moved along, the moderator, MIC president Matthew Morales, asked various questions about the intersection of social media and music making. 

Within the past few years, the social media platform TikTok has blown up exponentially, with its mirage of virality and fame ‘just one post away.’ While this may have been proven true for recent breakout artists like Steve Lacey, both panelists agreed that TikTok is not a beneficial route into the industry. 

According to Nasseri, the very nature of the app only provides for a little creative process or craftsmanship of a song. Most of the time, people join TikTok to become famous with the least amount of work. Because of this, when someone becomes famous for jumping on a trend, there is not much creative, musical or technical thought put into the content. 

Nathan took a similar stance on TikTok, saying that when music blows up on the app, many people do not go further to seek out the artist’s albums, music credits or understand their musical labor. In an instant gratification environment, the artistry can sometimes be lost when posting on TikTok. 

Various other topics were covered during the panel, including challenges of the industry and what a work-life balance looks like in an A&R career. 

In conclusion, when it comes to success in the industry, both Nathan and Nasseri vocalized that one must prove one's passion and spirit. Wanting the job bad enough will get you where you want to be, and do not be afraid to self-advocate. 

MIC club will have a fresh event schedule for its spring 2024 calendar. Follow @ csufmic on Instagram to participate in their concert ticket giveaways.