Clay Aiken Meets David Novik

Thursday, August 27, 2009 started out like most others; members of the Clay internet boards were chatting, voting and reminiscing.  But, by the afternoon, the boards became very busy and the members were excited.

David Novik, the head of A&R for Universal/Decca posted a picture of Clay Aiken and himself on Twitter.  It was an outstanding picture of both gentlemen and Clay’s fans were very excited.  Besides seeing the great picture, fans were excited that the label was mentioning Clay.  People flocked to the picture and posted their support for Clay.  Within hours, the photo had over 12,000 hits.

Decca responded with a nice comment:

According to Universal Music Group, David Novik is a seasoned music executive with decades of experience in the field of artists and repertoire. Novik once owned his own successful consulting and production company, which included his work as executive producer on the Grammy Award-winning CD, Wire, by the band Third Day.  At one time, Novik was Senior Vice President of International A&R, as well as Senior Vice President, A&R for RCA Records in New York from 1992 through 2002. He worked with such platinum acts as the Dave Matthews Band, *NSYNC and Bruce Hornsby among others.  He spent the late 1980’s handling A&R at Epic Records and Columbia Records as Vice President and Senior Vice President respectively, involved with such artists as Chris Whitley and the Indigo Girls.

When Novik joined Universal/Decca in 2005, Chris Roberts was the Chairman of Universal Classics Group.  He said of Novik:

“Dave possesses an incredible ability to nurture talent in a variety of diverse genres.  I believe he will contribute to the expanding breadth of talent that Universal Classics has to offer, as well as be a valuable asset in strengthening our A&R presence in the U.S. crossover market while maintaining our strong position in score- oriented soundtracks.”

Personally, I really had little knowledge about the responsibilities of an A & R Vice President so I looked it up.  I found an interesting description of the position at

In the music business, A and R is short for artists and repertoire. Virtually every major music label has an A and R department, stocked primarily with talent scouts and experienced musicians. Their main duties include recruiting new performers, aiding in contract negotiations, finding appropriate original material and acting as liaisons between artists and management. A successful A and R person usually has one foot in the creative world and the other in the business world.

An A and R department is also responsible for finding original songs for their roster of musicians. This means that a good working relationship must be maintained between the creative world of the songwriter and the business world of the music label. A songwriter who has provided a number of hit songs in the past is always in high demand, so the challenge for A and R departments is to match the best song with the best performer. This is often a balancing act between artistic expression for the songwriter and bottom line sales figures for the label. The A and R department of a major music label often acts as the sounding board for both sides of the equation.

The responsibilities of the A and R representative have changed over the years, but recruiting new talent remains a priority.  Music labels invest thousands of dollars in the grooming, recording and promotion of a signed artist, so an A and R recruiter must be extremely judicious.

It is amazing that Clay is being promoted already, even if it is just in small ways.  Decca has responded publicly, to a remark by Jimmy Fallon, has posted a great picture and has included the fans by posting a wonderful response to the internet hits.  Already, Decca has recognized Clay as a great talent.  I can’t wait for the next step!

The following are interviews with David Novik.



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45 thoughts on “Clay Aiken Meets David Novik

  1. I am sooo excited and happy for Clay Aiken.At long last,he has a label that supports his great talent and vocal prowess.I have a very nice feeling that his new album will be just awesome and I just can’t bear the wait!!!

  2. This is so great…It’s wonderful in the little things that Decca has said and done already for Clay….amazing, cause even though he doesn’t have a CD with them yet…they are standing beside him.. Something that RCA..never did…after selling over 6 million units. Shame on RCA. But the good thing is, that is in the past, and Clay has moved ahead….

    I have loved everything that Clay has done so far in his career, but I just know this next stage of his career is going to be awesome…. And that new pic….well…..what can I say…Clay is a fine looking man. He looks so healthy and happy…and I could not be happier for him.


  3. Clay looks fantastic and it’s so nice of DECCA to share this picture with all of his fan. Finally a record label that recognize great talent.

  4. This is so exciting and its only the beginning!! Clay has found the right match, Decca has expressed their respect, support and acknowledgement for his great talents in such a simple way…they call it sharing their enthusiasm…..
    and yes you are right…Clay looks gorgeous !!

  5. What a great picture! This is a very exciting time for Clay Aiken and his fans. Thank you for the very informative article on what an A & R representative does. Very educational!

  6. I love that picture of Clay. He looks so happy and content. It’s wonderful to see him that way.

    I also love that DECCA responded to those that commented on the picture and were appreciative of the comments. Way to go DECCA!

    So looking forward to this new chapter for Clay and for his fans.

  7. Over 13,000 now! Awesome! And that Decca’s comment!

    How nice to see that his new label is as enthusiastic about Clay as we are. Thank you Decca!!

  8. I’m very glad to have heard about David Novik. I’ve watched his video blogs and agree with much of what he thinks of the industry and where it’s going. He seems very experienced, forward thinking person who may take advantage of the internet rather than fighting it. It’s an awesome pic of both of them! Clay looks… WOW.. .

  9. Great news! Clay Aiken’s charitable work shines in so many dark places of the world, this is just another example of the humanitarian he is. He doesn’t just talk the talk – he walks the walk. Very proud of him. I am loving DECCA already!

  10. Clay looks AMAZING in that picture!! so HAPPY!!!!

    Thanks for the information about David Novik and the job at an A&R representative. Very interesting!!

    I believe Decca has now done more for Clay in one day than, never mind, the past is the past. Here’s to a BRIGHT FUTURE!!!

  11. Yummy… we are getting a taste of Decca and Decca’s getting a taste of the Clay fan phenomena! So far it feels like an exchange of a whole lot of positive vibes…yummm…!

    Musicfan, thanks again for the very informative article! Can’t view the interview now, if its the same as the one I saw yesterday, Part 2 shows us that Decca acknowledges the artist’s history and build on that, not try to morph him into something else. What a great fit. I’m too new to compare labels but seems like this one actually knows how to market Clay! Don’t think they touched up that photo! Oops…but YAY for us!!!

    Those who stayed the course, I SALUTE U. You’ve supported Clay for so many years, thru ups & downs (esp the downs), and because of that new fans (like me) are able to find and appreciate him. You DESERVE to sit back, relax and enjoy, now that he is in good hands.

  12. I LOVE how Decca is coming out with guns blazing! So great that Clay Aiken changed from RCA to Decca. Thank you also for the video (right now it is Perfect Day montage from Tsu – she excels in compilation concert montages – thank you for posting it. I wish Clay nothing but the best in YEARS to come.

  13. Thank you for this great article. For me Decca is the beginning of Clay’s career..RCA was just practice. That enforced practice has made Clay stronger and much more knowledgeable about the industry…and this choice was perfect. Can’t wait.

  14. What a big smile I have on my face this morning. Thanks Decca and CANN! Can’t wait for new music. This is only the beginning.

  15. Watching the videos, especially the 2nd one shows me that Decca is on the cutting edge of innovations in the music industry. I think Clay Aiken is in the right place.

  16. Thanks so much musicfan for all this info on Decca and Clay’s superb A & R rep. What an exciting time in Clay Nation! I can always count on CANN to be right up to the minute on great happenings in Clay’s life and career. Keep up the good work. It’s much appreciated.

  17. What a great picture!! So glad that Clay will finally get the respect and promotion that he deserves. I think that Decca is lucky to have him and and they know it!

    Cannot wait for that new CD!!

  18. I think my heart actually starting beating twice as fast when I saw the photo. WOW!

    I’m a fairly new fan (less than a year) and I really appreciate all the information that you post. I learn something new about him every day.

    Thank you!

  19. I am always amazed at all the hard work that goes into CANN, these ladies do a wonderful job bringing us up to date information in response to Clays career. I have learned so much not only about Clay Aiken and his future, but about the music industry itself, as well as, DECCA. I am so WOW’d with the new picture of Clay. Clay + Decca, what a perfect union. Come on 2010. And thank you Decca for your sharing what we have known about Clay all along. WE ARE ENTHUSED.

  20. What a fantastic photo of Clay. He is looking so relaxed. Love the tan. Thanks for the all information about Decca you have been providing. Kudos to both Decca and CANN for promoting Clay Aiken so effectively.

  21. WOW! What a fantastic picture. Thanks for all the great information. CANN is the best – and all the work done to keep it current and informative is really appreciated. Kudos to all who do the work on this site.

    I’m so excited that Clay Aiken is with Decca now!

  22. musicfan…as always you bring us the most up to date information regarding Clay Aiken and the music industry. Clay chose very wisely in going with Decca which really seems to be on the cutting edge of the future of the music industry. It seems that Decca’s admiration of Clay is equal to the admiration from Clay’s fans. We will all be rewarded in 2010 when Clay releases his new music through his new label!

    • PaulaBear…..many thanks for all your support. I have learned so much by writing this blog. I just hope the readers enjoy the information.

  23. Thanks for explaining what an A & R does- I was not sure. It appears Clay has a great one in David. Thanks to Decca for the great picture and for the reply tweet. They seem to have a real desire to promote Clay and value him as a performer. This makes me extremely happy!

  24. At long last Clay Aiken is getting some support from his record label! I am so happy for him and can’t wait to see what is in store for us.

  25. Yesterday was the happiest we’ve seen ClayNation in a long time. It was great to seeing everyone eeeeeeeeeeing !!!
    And can I just say I have a thing for the sunglasses on the head.

  26. This is totally the beginnin of a new era in the music industry; I am so hopeful and happy that Clay chose DECCA,
    they seem like they are involved in the best interest of Clay Aiken; a wonderful move on his part.

    Thanks for all the information – appreciated as always

  27. I so love the picture. And, it is wonderful that Decca is supporting Clay.

    I really appreciate the information on David Novik and what his job description is. I know nothing about the music business except what I have learned here.

  28. Again, thanks for such a great informative article about David and DECCA. I am thrilled so far with DECCA and such a great picture of Clay! He is gorgeous. Cant wait to see what 2010 brings.

  29. Great blog, thanks for sharing the Clay Aiken enthusiasm!

    It’s so full of information I have put your link in my new blog. Thanks!

    Have a great weekend!!

  30. Musicfan,

    Thank you for another educational, yet thoroughly enjoyable, blog about Clay’s first chapter with Universal/Decca. What an exciting time to be a Clay Aikn fan!

    Have a great weekend!


  31. What a great picture! He looks happy and AMAZING good. Love the tan!!!
    Thanks to Decca for a gorgeous picture, and for reply to the fans.

    It’s wonderful that they are supporting Clay!!!

  32. DECCA/UMG seems to already be involved in Clay Aiken’s new “beginnings” (he never left, this will slay the critics); I’m looking forward to an incredible “Clay oriented” CD in 2010 … I’ll be the first to order (probably off Amazon). Can hardly WAIT !!

    Thanks for the insightful blog re David Novik and Clay;
    great pix – very appreciated.

  33. I am loving that new picture of Clay with David Novik. He is looking mighty fine and in great shape. I love how they have been so supportive of him…especially when they twitted to say they were glad we were sharing the enthusiasm of Clay. I think Clay and Decca are a great team. I will be waiting for new music in 2010 and will be first in line to purchase it.

    Also, thank you for the informative article on David Novik’s A&R work. I really didn’t know what those initials meant till I read the article.

  34. GAH! Clay looks so hot! I can’t get enough of that picture. I love it. I also love the respect that Decca seems to be showing Clay, so far.

  35. Looking forward to the new CD!
    Thanks for sharing the info about Decca.
    I have high hopes that Decca will utilize
    this man’s talent!
    Clay, I am loving the long hair.
    Good luck to you!
    We are behind you all the way!

  36. I’m starting to believe the best really is yet to come. It’s great seeing so much excitement in the Clay Nation again.

  37. WOW!
    I am glad to see Clay shine and he sure does in that picture. Can’t wait for the new music. Iam sure it will be great. Decca seems to be on top of everything. Good luck to Clay. Joyce

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