Articles

Category :

A&R

Getting a record deal



Getting a record deal







Getting a record deal seems to be getting harder every year. With the introduction of the internet, it seems as if anyone with a guitar, microphone, and laptop is all the sudden a professional recording musician.


So how do you, as an aspiring musician, stand out with the gluttony of music that’s currently out there? Is your talent alone enough for the record labels to take notice? The simple answer is, probably not.


Gone are the days of artist development. With the state of the music industry, most notably declining records sales, labels are more than ever looking to lessen their risk. The more of a finished product you can bring to the table, the better the chances of a major label getting behind your career.


So what does this mean for you?


It means it might be time to start asking yourself some tough questions. If you believe you have paid your dues, so to speak, and yet no one still seems to be paying any attention, maybe there is something you are missing. Below are some question every aspiring musician should ask themselves when trying to get the attention of record labels.


Does my music have commercial appeal? Your fourteen minute song featuring a five minute bassoon solo might seem like an artistic extension of who you are as a person, but lets face it, it has no commercial appeal. No one is ever going to buy it, much less a bunch of people. Record labels like songs that are radio friendly. If you couldn’t imagine hearing one of your songs on the radio, chances are they can’t either.


Do I have a big enough fanbase? Like I stated earlier, the more you can bring to the table, the better. Having a fanbase is no different. This is probably the most important thing label and managers are looking for. How many people are coming to your shows? How big is your mailing list? How many records and merchandise have you sold independently? An established fanbase will give labels more confidence that consumers will purchase your music.


Is my demo good enough? A great demo cd should be no longer than 3 to 4 songs. Put your best song first and go from there. Leave off or edit any song with incredibly long intros or outros. A&R guys are overwhelmed with submissions and no one has time to sit through your four minute intro, before getting to the meat of the song. Have, at the least, “good” production value. If it sounds like it was recorded in a dumpster, chances are that’s where it going to end up.



Do I have a press kit - Now that you have a good demo, the next step is making sure you have a good press kit. In the music business, the folder that contains your photo (current), bio, press clippings, and demo CD is called your press kit. So it better look good and contain everything you need others to know about you and your music.


Do I need management - Is having a well connected manager really that important? Absolutely. Record labels receive on average several hundred submissions a week. From friends, manager and attorney’s they have a previous relationship with, as well as “unsolicited” submissions from artists themselves. With only so many hours in each week, their time for dealing with new submissions is somewhat limited. So they generally start with the top of the pyramid of submissions and go from there. In other words, the top of the pyramid are the people they already have the closest relationship with. They at least know that the material being sent to them by a manager they have a relationship with will at least be worth listening to, because someone has staked their reputation on it.



 Article Banner - 4.jpg


2 Biggest Promotion Budget Mistakes

Consumers Are Starving For Your Music

How To Send The Perfect Demo

6 Music Industry Myths

Creating the Perfect Set List

Loving what I used to hate

Cliches You Need to Stop Using Now

Why You Might Need a Producer

10 Worst Song Demo Mistakes

Why Vocal Training is Important in Becoming a True Artist

The A&R Guy

THE RECORD LABEL EXEC.

It's Not The Tools That Don't Work, it's The Band

Artists Should Build Lifelong Relationships with their Fans

7 Tips to Increase Your Exposure and Potential

8 Steps to Your First Song: From Idea to Professional Production

Letting Go of Perfection

Unbundling the Album: A Business Case for Releasing Single Songs

From Riches to Rags

What Are The Best Books on Music Promotion and The Music Business?

So…the CD is dead? The trick is to Diversify.

If I Never Made a Dime

What Are Your Fans Saying About You?

How To Change Key Successfully In Your Music

What Are The Essential Features Of a Hit Record?

The Importance of Being a Frontman

How to Do a Great Cover Song

What's The Real Cost of Signing A Major Record Deal?

Want a record deal? Here is what you need to do.

Inside the Mind of an A&R

What Record Labels Are Looking For When Scouting Artists

Finding The Best Record Label For Your Style Of Music & Goals

Defining Your Style

The Truth About Mainstream Success

How Releasing Holiday Covers Can Skyrocket Your Promotion

Why Streaming Your Music Is A Good Thing

Being a Well Rounded Musician VS Mastering One Instrument

3 Tips For Landing A Record Deal

How Youtube Can Get You Seen, Heard, and Trended

Why You Should Care About Your Image

3 Simple Tips for Getting Noticed In Today's Music Industry

Signup Free