We recently ran a survey to find out the biggest questions producers have about getting their music released. The most common question we were asked was how to get signed to labels.
Drawing from our experience of getting our own music signed, helping others get releases and working in the music industry, here are our five top tips to get you on the path to that Grammy…
It’s often much easier to get signed to small labels and start up building your profile and getting your name about. You should still keep in contact with your dream labels, but don’t forget the smaller guys as they will be much easier to contact, less picky and far more open to interacting with you.
If you sign to a small label, a big label will still be able to sub-licence your track if it’s a smash. This happens all the time, Disclosure and Gorgon City being prime examples.
Also those big labels weren’t always big you know.
Take a moment to think about how you react to the different messages you receive. Do you respond well to spam or people you don’t know trying to ram products and services down your throat Probably not, we guess.
Most producers come across like this :
“SIGN MY MUSIC!!!”
A&R’s at record labels are real people like you, so make the effort to approach them in a friendly manner using their name and start to build a relationship. There’s a famous saying :
If you want to be interesing, be interested.
You can also go one better than emailing by meeting people in person to start getting connected. Label folk can be found at most music meetups, gigs, music events and even record fairs nowadays.
Don’t Give Up
There’s a not-so-famous quote we came up with :
“If you don’t hear back, it doesn’t mean your music’s crap!”
If a label doesn’t think your track is right for them, bear in mind that Decca thought the Beatles were a load of shit and didn’t sign them (oops!).
Labels get sent more music than you can shake a stick at, so it’s possible that your track hasn’t even been listened to. Which brings us to the next point…
Keep in touch
Stay in touch with labels on a regular basis. Can you send then one track every month? This will get you on their radar and they’ll be more likely to check out what you’re up to.
Also make the effort to interact with them through other channels like social media or even – shock horror – the telephone (see our point on being personal).
We keep seeing countless examples of artists being overlooked because their artwork is crappy. There’s no excuse for not having attractive artwork on your tracks, Soundcloud and other channels. Even for demo tracks.
If you’re not a designer or artist then get someone who is. Fiverr.com is great if you’re on a budget.