In our latest edition of Rising Star, we meet Warner Chappell A&R Darryl Parkinson, who reflects on his music career so far and talks emerging acts...
Where did you get your first break in music?
“My career started straight after university, when I landed an internship with Warner Music UK’s brand partnership team. From there, I then moved over to the Warner Music UK commercial team in 2012. My real passion lay in discovering new music and I knew I wanted to work in A&R, so once my foot was in the door I started actively looking for new talent and going to as many gigs as possible. One year, I gave up my holiday allowance to spend two days a week interning in the A&R team at Asylum Records. I was invited into their meetings and would bring in new music. That was a great learning experience for me and opened my eyes to the world of A&R. The time interning was invaluable in helping me land a role as an A&R scout at Warner Chappell in 2016. I have been at the company ever since and worked my way up to the position I hold now as senior A&R Manager.”
What has been the hardest moment of your career so far?
“It took me a while to get a full-time A&R job, and required a lot of patience and persistence. They are both really important qualities to have – something I still keep in mind today.”
I live for the moment when you discover something great
Who are you tipping for big things in 2022 and why?
“One writer that I’m really excited to see continue to grow and develop this year is Harlee. She’s an amazing songwriter and has already had some huge credits on Joel Corry’s Lonely, that charted at No.4, and his Top 20 single I Wish. She’s also launching her artist project this year, so make sure you keep an eye out for that! Gotcha [producer] has already had an amazing few years but he’s such a driven individual. He had a No.1 single last year producing Tion Wayne and Russ Millions’ Body and has had plenty of other cuts. He’s always producing and creating and just wants to do more and more. He’s developing his sound and working with some great artists, so I can’t wait to see what he does this year. I’m excited to see what new artists and writers come through this year in general. I think we’re in an exciting time in music with artists being creative in how they release music and how they are building huge audiences through their phones.”
Every good A&R person should...
“Be passionate about the artists and writers they work with and make sure they know how they can be of service to them. I’m very lucky that I get to work with some amazing artists and writers, but it’s vital to remember we’re here to help them grow and develop, and to enhance their careers.”
What’s your vision for the rest of your time in music?
“I want to continue developing and helping my existing roster. And I hope to sign more exciting new artists and writers that create incredible music that can shift the culture. I live for the moment when you discover something great and you know you have an important song or artist on your hands!”
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