Republic Records A&R manager Kristina Grossmann knows a good thing when she hears it. Much like the judges on the hit NBC music-competition show The Voice, Grossmann has a gift for spotting talent.
That’s part of her career calling with Republic, where she oversaw iTunes recordings in The Voice’s first two seasons. A rising star herself, this music industry major seems to do it all, from handling contract negotiations to coordinating writing and producing sessions to offering creative input on mixes to tackling the marketing end.
Grossmann’s permanent position at Republic grew out of a game-changing co-op there, despite attempts by several other labels to woo her for a full-time gig as soon as she finished school.
Her trajectory has not gone unnoticed: Just two years after graduating, she was named one of the music industry’s “30 Under 30” power players by Billboard Magazine. She’s had a hand in creating the soundtrack for The Hunger Games; A&R’ing releases for Youngblood Hawke, Mayer Hawthorne, and Gotye remixes; and signing artists such as Until The Ribbon Breaks, Alex Clare, The Cab, and Atomic Tom. She’s also played a vital role in the relaunch of Republic imprint Casablanca Records, and runs monthly writing camps that bring producers and songwriters from around the country to craft new songs and beats for Republic artists.
“The best signings are from the gut and from the heart,” says Grossmann. “There’s a certain feeling you get when you hear something special, and whenever that happens, I stay with it.”
That said, Grossmann is not naïve about the challenges her industry faces: decreasing attention spans, a cluttered digital marketplace, and plummeting sound fidelity.
“It’s rarely easy,” she acknowledges, “but I always have my eyes and ears peeled for that next sound, that next idea that will change everything.”