The Evolution of A&R in Hip Hop
Friday, March 18
12:30PM - 1:30PM
Austin Convention Center
531 E 4th St
Our power packed panelists have not only worked with some of the biggest artists in music like Jay-Z, Rihanna and J Cole but they are also responsible for helping launch the next generation of stars including Logic, Bryson Tiller and Jhené Aiko among others. Panelists will share keys to success in finding talent and building careers, revealing behind the scenes stories and lessons learned along the way. They will also give insight into how the digital space has shaped the modern role of an A&R.
The panel will be moderated by Hard Knock Tv’s Nick Huff Barili
Ibrahim "IB" Hamad
Pres & Artist Mgmt
"Lenny S is a veteran music business executive that has helped to shape modern hip-hop culture as we know it. Born and raised in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop, Lenny got his start in the mus...Show the rest
"Lenny S is a veteran music business executive that has helped to shape modern hip-hop culture as we know it. Born and raised in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop, Lenny got his start in the music business as a member of the Bad Boy Records street team. After snagging a once in a lifetime internship opportunity at a then fledging Roc-A-Fella Records, Lenny began his working relationship with Shawn "JAY Z" Carter, working with the iconic rapper to A&R several of Jay's multi-platinum albums, which have garnered over 55 million records sold worldwide.
During his tenure as A&R at Def Jam, Lenny worked with artists like Ne-Yo, The Roots, Ghostface Killah, The-Dream, Jadakiss, and Raekwon to name a few. In 2013, Lenny S rejoined JAY Z as SVP of A&R and Artist Management at Roc Nation, signing groundbreaking acts such as Vic Mensa and ROMANS, while managing Hip-Hop heavyweights like Fabolous and Meek Mill.
In addition to his credits as an A&R, Lenny S is well known for his passion for photography,garnering the nickname "KODAKLENS" while documenting iconic moments hip-hop culture with unprecedented access to today's top tier talent. An avid sneaker collector, Lenny S built on his passion for footwear and high end street apparel by co-founding the Brooklyn based boutique, Roc N Sole, just steps away from Brooklyn's Barclays center."Hide the rest
Hard Knock TV
Nick Huff Barili is a journalist, television director, radio producer, and the founder of the premier multi-platform video production and entertainment company, Hard Knock TV. Launching HARD KNOCK...Show the rest
Nick Huff Barili is a journalist, television director, radio producer, and the founder of the premier multi-platform video production and entertainment company, Hard Knock TV. Launching HARD KNOCK TV in 2005, Nick recognized the need for credible in-depth coverage of Hip Hop culture and the emergence of new media. In 2006 Hard Knock TV became the FIRST Hip Hop show to create original content for Youtube. Hard Knock TV’s Youtube channel has over 80 million views and 170 thousand subscribers, featuring the most viewed video interviews for some of today's fastest rising stars such as J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Iggy Azalea, Childish Gambino, Logic and Big Sean, just to name a few.
Nick has accumulated an impressive list of exclusive in-depth one on one interviews with music, entertainment and sports icons such at Pharrell, Chris Martin, Kevin Hart, Kevin Durant, Andre 3000, Eminem, Nas, Wu-Tang, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Rakim and Chuck D, among others. Nick’s experience, musical knowledge and highly sought after in depth interview style has also lead him to conduct interviews for BEATS MUSIC, The GRAMMYS and SXSW. Nick also speaks on and moderates industry panels at SXSW, CMJ, Soho House, USC and is regularly featured as an industry insider on Revolt LIVE.
While starting Hard Knock TV in 2005, Nick also produced and hosted segments for MySpace TV. Nick worked at MySpace during the height of its popularity, directing video segments for such artists as Lady Gaga, Diddy, Pitbull and Lil Wayne, for clients like Honda, Adidas and Coca Cola.
Nick graduated from Occidental College with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and speaks both English and Spanish fluently. His passion for film and cultural anthropology have lead him into the documentary world directing a documentary for Sony Music based singer Nneka. Nick is currently in production of several feature documentaries slated for 2016 releases.Hide the rest
Def Jam Recordings
Noah Preston is a young executive who works toward empowering true creativity and seeks to protect the integrity of music culture. Noah began his career in music as an intern for Def Jam’s radio pr...Show the rest
Noah Preston is a young executive who works toward empowering true creativity and seeks to protect the integrity of music culture. Noah began his career in music as an intern for Def Jam’s radio promotion department in 2009. Subsequently he became a scout at Sony Music in 2010, where he worked under the mentorship of A&R Maureen Kenny. In 2011, while an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University, Noah was hired as an A&R Representative for Def Jam, working directly under No ID. Noah’s first signing was Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jhene Aiko. He also signed rapper Logic and singer August Alsina, and was the A&R for Teyana Taylor’s debut album. In 2012, Noah received his BA in Political Science from LMU and was later promoted to Vice President of A&R in 2014.Hide the rest
Sr Dir A&R
Tunji Balogun began his career as a marketing intern at Warner Bros. Records, where he was hired as an assistant after graduating from Pomona College in 2004. At WBR, he worked on marketing campaig...Show the rest
Tunji Balogun began his career as a marketing intern at Warner Bros. Records, where he was hired as an assistant after graduating from Pomona College in 2004. At WBR, he worked on marketing campaigns for E-40, Talib Kweli, Lil Scrappy and Top Dawg Entertainment's Jay Rock. Transitioning to Interscope Records in 2007, Tunji was instrumental in bringing Kendrick Lamar to the label and helping both Lamar and labelmate ScHoolboy Q create their debut albums. Working in Interscope's A&R department, worked on projects from The Game, Eminem, 50 Cent, Keyshia Cole, OneRepublic and many artists signed through Interscope's partnerships with Bad Boy Entertainment and Shady Records.
In 2014, Tunji signed Atlanta rapper K Camp to IGA and contributed to Kendrick Lamar's sophomore album 'To Pimp A Butterfly.' Additionally, he discovered and signed new rappers Isaiah Rashad (for TDE) and Cozz (for J. Cole's Dreamville Records venture with Interscope), while also introducing Nas' Mass Appeal Records imprint to newcomers Fashawn and Dave East.
Leaving IGA after nearly eight years in April of 2015, Tunji accepted a position as Senior Director of A&R at RCA/Sony Music, where he signed Louisville, Kentucky based R&B/hip hop singer/songwriter Bryson Tiller.Hide the rest