Record Labels Looking for Artists | How to Get a Record Deal
Learn how you can you get record labels to listen to your music demo. There are no guarantees, but following these simple steps can improve. Below is a transcript of an interview at the Coast 2 Coast Music Conference with Yaasiel "Success" Davis of Atlantic Records describing. 5 Mistakes You're Making When You Contact Record Labels . such as “MIA Meets Death Grips” or “Atlanta's Younger, Edgier Kendrick Lamar.
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Sure, there are still some of the old guard sitting at the top of the majors, but they all have young online promotion and social media departments actually, age has little relevance — Martin Mills, the head of Beggars Groupis in his 60s and goes to gigs several times a week. For artists such as Sheeran and Banks, who have managed to gain a fanbase before being approached by labels, record deals tend to be much more advantageous than the old type of contracts.
Some artists retain ownership of their music and some, as in Sheeran's and Labrinth's case, get their own label imprints. I used to be signed to a major publisher I signed to BMG, which was later bought by Universaland though — like most artists — I've had my issues with it through the years, I'm grateful for the opportunity it gave me. You'll make it back from the royalties the songs I write during those years will accumulate.
And if you don't, I don't have to pay that money back. You need some kind of guarantee? Just listen to these new songs I've written. But BMG signed me purely on the belief my songs were good enough to recoup their investment. Incidentally, they did make it back, and now we split the royalties with me getting more than they do. Universal Publishing even eventually agreed to give me back the songs written during my deal but had not been releasedby the time we parted ways.
The public sees the artist and hears the music, but what they don't see is the whole world of people doing things behind the scenes to help them, Gosling says. You've got to remember they've got marketing teams, press teams, radio pluggers, accounts departments and when you get bigger you need help with that stuff. You need a good team around you. OK, maybe you could hire those people yourself and set up your own label, but there's something to be said for deciding that you want to make music and be creative, and I don't want the hassle.
This will save you a lot of online search time, although you can also try to find this info on the label website, by sleuthing around LinkedIn or Twitter, or by doing a bit of Googling.
On an even more basic level, addressing your email or physical mail submission to an actual person at the label gives you a higher chance of them at least opening it.
A couple more tips: Find another way in. Do you have any form of personal or business connection to anyone at the label? Can you make a connection?How To Get Your Music Heard By Record Labels/A&R's
Creating a spreadsheet can help in properly targeting your submissions, and in keeping track of who you contacted, when, and if they replied or not. Submitting in the Wrong Format Before you send anything, find out how your potential label partner likes to be approached. Others will prefer links to your Soundcloud or Bandcamp, which is pretty much the industry standard these days.
MP3 files can also take too long to download and can seem suspicious. Which song sticks with your fans? Which song do you find yourself or your friends humming? Has a radio show dedicated to local music played one of your tracks on the air?
Panel Transcript: How to Prepare for the Record Label Meeting
Seek feedback from people you know involved in the music business, who have an ear for what works. Avoid asking people who are too close to you. Three songs is the optimal number for a label submission. Finally, make sure the quality of your recordings is good.
5 Rules for Meeting with A&R – StudioPros
When pitching yourself, you want to answer the questions label employees have about your band. Namely, why does your band make sense for their label?
Keep it short and simple.
Did a member of one of the bands currently on their roster invite you to remix one of their songs? Did you open for a roster artist at a local venue and he or she suggested you reach out to the label? On a similar note, you want to do everything you can to avoid looking like a spammer.
Create an interesting subject line.