The A&R focus groups are designed to help those hoping to embark on a career in A&R or music management. The sessions are held at major label or associated music companies, where each candidate can gain valuable feedback and experience.
Nick Raphael started out as a nightclub promoter and DJ, before taking his first corporate job at London Records UK. He went on to sign Jay-Z for the UK while at NorthWestSide Records. Throughout his career he has signed and developed names such as Sam Smith, 5 Seconds Of Summer, Paloma Faith, Charlotte Church and Scouting For Girls.
Most recently, he signed Dreya Mac and Felix The 1st’s viral track Own Brand Freestyle to Capitol Records through the A&R focus group. Earlier this year, he exited Capitol, which he headed as co-president alongside Jo Charrington.
Nick Raphael said: “Cre8ing Vision’s A&R focus groups are underutilised – as an A&R source, for both new artists and future exec talent. The last record they tipped me on that we signed has already generated over 100m streams since December!”
Manager of Felix The 1st, and A&R focus group member, Marley Azu said: “The focus group was where I met Sodiq PKA Finch Fetti – who produced the amazing banger that is Own Brand Freestyle, the track that put my artist Felix The 1st on the map! I can go on forever but the focus group is a place I can call home and Nicki, Andrea and Kwame have created that home that you will always feel comfortable in, and are more importantly only a phone call away!”
Cre8ing Vision’s founders, Andrea Euell, Kwame Kwaten and Nicola Ossai fr Charles, have been working for over a decade to help young people gain the tools and skills needed to begin careers in the music business. Their portfolio includes the A&R focus groups as well as initiatives such as The Ultimate Music Circle and the Ultimate Seminar, which have helped them discover new talent.