Interview with Motown Vice President Rex Rideout

Rex Rideout
VP of A&R Motown/IDJ

By Ruben Rodriguez


MENTORS: Bernard Drayton, Barry Eastmond, John Dee

What is your work phylosophy? 
Consistency, hard work,being open .... learning from everyone in order to stay relevant.

What is your most memorable moment?
Receiving a call from Stevie Wonder at 2am.

What are your thoughts, in respect to A&R, on new artists and existing major artists?
At Motown, as we are looking to break new artists, we have to make sure that our exisitng major artists are given the best chance to flourish. We have to assess the challenges as each artist moves deeper into their career.  It's just as exciting to help deliver a new, incredible project from an artist on his/her 5th LP as it is to work on a new artist project.

What are your thoughts on developing new artists?
I've signed two new acts to Motown.  It's alot of work , dedication and focus to bring a new artist to market.  The stakes are so high now. There is crazy competition.  But it always starts with the right artist and the right SONG. 

How do you work within tight budgets?
It's not always how MUCH you spend, but How and WHERE you spend it. especially now as revenue margins are tight.

Do you believe in taking risks?
That synonymous with the entertainment business.  It's what we do with each artist, song, venture or whatever.
Risk and the anxiety and excitement that is generates, makes the rewards all the better.

Skip Dillard, Rex Rideout and Ruben Rodriguez

How would you sum up "Believing"?
Are you confident?  Do you believe what you say and what you are selling?.. especially when you run up against an obstacle?  Only then is your belief tested. This runs hand in hand with risk taking. You have to be willing to step up, step out in order to win.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Working with Luther Vandross and then producing a Tribute CD, which garnered my first Grammy nomination.

What are your thoughts on the internet and how it relates to the music industry?
We've only seen the tip of the iceberg.  The ability to go directly to the consumer and for the consumer to totally control their choices presents a huge challenge.  For someone to buy an entire LP, the scrutiny is on another level.  The internet, on the other hand, gives us a chance to check the forecast... float something out there see the reaction with a relatively small investment.


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