Rising Star: Meet Virgin EMI A&R manager Lunick Bourgess

Rising Star: Meet Virgin EMI A&R manager Lunick Bourgess

Each week, Music Week profiles the brightest new talents in the business. Here, we meet Lunick Bourgess, A&R manager at Virgin EMI...

How did you break into the industry?

I was managing an act called Kadiata and decided to send an email to Nathan Thompson who was an A&R director at Parlophone. He loved the music and asked me to meet with him. I then messaged a manager called David Aghedo on Instagram who managed Nick Brewer, he loved my energy and gave me my first internship at his company, A-Class MGMT & Consultancy. Through David and Nathan, I met other people.

What was the first lesson you learned about A&R?

I would have to say taste! I have realised that most A&Rs have different tastes and are strong in different areas. I’ve also learned that you can’t sign everything, some things you may not have believed in will work and vice versa. The most important thing is to focus and be aware of your immediate competition. A&R is subjective, so it’s all about perspective and how an A&R can add value. 

Why is the UK scene so exciting?

The public is embracing the music more than before. We are having a pro-UK moment and I love it. The scene feels very organic and there are a lot of collaborations going on. There is also an artist-to-consumer relationship that seems to be engaging more and more people. Artists are now communicating directly with fans.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

I would say my proudest achievement is having both my acts Hardy Caprio and MoStack in the Top 40 singles chart in consecutive weeks. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the artists you have believed in and backed doing well, it’s the best feeling in the world. I would also say, being promoted to A&R manager from A&R scout. This was something I always dreamed of and when it happened I was overwhelmed.

Why would you encourage other young people to pursue music?

Because you are more likely to be successful by doing something you are passionate about. I was frustrated at times because nothing was going my way, but because I was passionate I could go through obstacles and push forward. You never know until you try and you should never take ‘no’ for an answer. 

How do you see the future of the music industry?

The future looks very bright, we are starting to see growth, and I think with streaming now in full force it’s only going to get bigger and better. I also see the industry moving into a technological space. The incorporation of music and tech is going to provide people with music content at a faster rate. I think this will ultimately spoil us with more music from different parts of the world.


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