Not a lot of attention is put on what happens behind the scenes in the music business. Some of your favorite artists wouldn’t exist without the people in the music labels who are helping to market the music we all know and love.

Meet Jastin Artis

Jastin Artis is an A&R for ESTABROOK ROAD RECORDS. Not only does Jastin have to have a good ear for music, but he has to have good business sense. It is a tough balance to balance the creative side and business side, but with the right team of people an artist can really thrive.

For over 15 years, Jastin Artis has been in the music business and he is only expanding his knowledge and skills. One artist that Jastin is really excited about is Demione Louis. Interestingly, Jastin appreciates that Demione is business savvy because in today’s musical climate you cannot just be a musician.

We wanted to reach out to Jastin because his story is fascinating and we had a few questions that we wanted to ask him. Luckily, he agreed to an interview with us.

Rock the Hip Hop Interview with Jastin Artis

What does an A&R do for a record label?

An A&R’s overall goals are finding and developing emerging talent that they believe will be a success. A&R has two sides: the creative and the administration. The creative side is the songwriting, production, album/single release, collaborations, studio time, branding/marketing, etc. The administration covers the registrations, copyrights, song clearance, contracts, partnerships, etc.

Who are some new artists that you are excited about?

Working independently with indie artists I’ve discovered some talented artists. But one I’m seeing results and enjoy working with is Demione Louis, a Haitian American artist in Orlando, FL. He’s Hip-Hop or some consider CHH, but I like to say he’s the perfect blend of bars & 808’s. We’re seeing results with his streaming numbers, fan engagement, and reel streams with Tik Tok and FB. Plus, he’s the only artist I know who can rap as well as he creates his brand as he’s a graphic designer. Looking forward to the next level with him.

What’s the best way of promoting a new artist?

There are many ways to promote but I think the best way is to have a plan and stick to it. We know there are no guarantees in this business so, knowing the audience and what works best for the artists will help result in promoting. Using free platforms, ads, a team that believes in the artists and one’s resources can do more than people think. Promotion doesn’t always have to be about money and knowing top-tier executives. Paying attention to the details and being authentic to the artist can create easy promotion ideas along with consistency.

What is the toughest thing about working in the music business today?

I’ll speak from two sides. From the artist’s perspective, I think scams are up. Given everyone appears to be “in the industry” artists are being scammed more often or not truly getting the results they pay for. Also, the challenge with social media and getting the numbers is a problem. Many quality artists don’t have 20k+ followers and I see artists struggle with focusing more on the numbers rather than their craft. From an A&R side, find where you stand on analytics or quality of music or how to balance the two. How much do the numbers matter or don’t they? Also, with more people having access to recording submissions have gone up but, in some ways, not the quality of music. Lastly, for both sides, the industry is accelerating quickly (metaverse, crypto) but you must maintain focus and prioritize on what’s best for the artists.

How has the internet affected your business?

The internet is my lifeline; it’s everything. Given the unfortunate pandemic, it has pushed many of us online more than ever, whether for fun or business. In the last few years, I’ve been able to build more relationships, meet executives, and be in rooms I may not get the chance because everything is online. Even sales for plugins and lease beats have been more consistent, and who doesn’t love a sale! Finally, finding indie artists couldn’t be easier. Instead of sitting through shows and events of artists you may not be interested in or looking for you can be more direct, spend less time, and speak directly to artists and their teams. I miss the consistent in-person action and energy, but the internet has kept things moving rather flawlessly.

Can artists still make money off of streaming?

Anything with the potential to add revenue to an artist must be in the arsenal. Most indie artists understand streaming can be difficult and how the rates work. It’s tough. But there are enough artists who’ve seen consistent and great streaming revenue to put in their pockets. So, yes, they still can but making it more consistent each time a single or album is released has many variables.

Do you think Web 3.0 will change the game for artists?

Interesting question as I was doing slight research on this recently. This concept of getting rid of the big corporations using consumer data sounds very pleasing. This would benefit the artists with knowing and controlling the data of their audience and adding more ownership to their content which ideally means more money in their pocket. So, yes, a game changer if these concepts materialize. We’ll have to see how this develops.

Tell us about some projects you are working on now.

Firstly, joining Estabrook Road Records has me thrilled in finding and supporting new talent. Working on my 10th project, “Love in Darkness II,” due later this year. I am A&R, engineering and have a few productions on Demione Louis’ next project, “Vibe” due later this year as well. Engineering and collaborating on a single for a songwriter’s group I’ve participated in called Melody Seekrs (no e there) that releases this year too. Also, music supervising my first short film. A lot in store for 2022!

How long have you been in the music business?

Over 15+ years, starting as a songwriter to producer, musician, engineer, A&R, and artist. Looking forward to the next 15+.


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