Increase your visibility when approaching labels.
The music industry can be a hard nut to crack, and it takes a lot of dedication, and motivation to ensure your success. One of the main goals for many musicians is getting signed to a music label or agency. There is a myth that getting signed to a label is near-impossible and many take a ‘one in a million’ approach, however, this simply is not true. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, the amount of record labels, and people signed to them is currently more than ever. On a global scale, the music industry has never been this big! I have worked closely with several small and large record labels, and they DO listen to every demo they get sent. Some larger labels take months to go through the pile, some have a very specific gap that they need to fill on their label that they are looking for. After all, record labels are there to sign people that they believe in.
What record labels want to see is commitment, and awareness. they also want to see that you are making progressive efforts to promote yourself, and not just relying on a possible ‘lucky meet.’ In my experience, it is more than worth sending demos. There are many things people do wrong when approaching/sending material to labels, below are some essential factors to help your demo end up at the top of the pile.
- Target labels you think compliment your music.
- Do your research, and gather a list of 20 (or more) labels you want to contact, many labels now accept mp3 submissions, so be sure to check their websites, and find their contact info.
- If you feel brave, contact the labels before sending your demo, strike up a conversation, and get a bit more info, chances are they are friendly people just like you!
- Once you have sent your demo…follow up on your CD/MP3s, don’t just wait for them to give you a call.
- Make sure you send your best tracks only, and get your tracks professionally mastered before sending (low quality tracks are a real turn-off, no matter how good your music is).
- Do your research on the label, try and get the name of the person you are sending your demo to, so that you can follow up your demo with confidence.
- Send a cover letter/email with every demo, nothing too long-winded, just say what you do, how long you’ve been doing it, and what you can offer, don’t over-sell yourself, just say it like it is. If you have impressive or concrete experience, include this. If you like, target each cover letter to the label you are sending it to based on what you have found out about the label.
- Make sure your contact info is on the CD, this may be a very obvious point, but it’s surprising how many people forget this!
- Most labels look for no more than 3 tracks, some only look for one, find out before you send your demo how many tracks they are accepting, this way, you’re a step ahead of others who haven’t!
AND REMEMBER - FOLLOW UP YOUR DEMOS….
There is no use in sending demos, and then taking a big sigh of relief, and hoping for a knock on the door! Just give them a call! If they haven’t listened to it yet, call again soon…
Your Music Industry
Many people believe that the music industry is on its back due to mp3’s, and the lack of CD sales. In my opinion, the people who are writing these types of comments are not aware of the amount of success more ‘small-time’ musicians are getting currently, and the amount of exposure possibilities now available to any musician. There’s so much available to all levels of musicians now, and so much talent around, that in my opinion, the music industry has never been stronger!
The opinion that only CD sales are a musician’s bread and water is not logical. For one, there’s gigs, which can turnover great amounts of money, alongside interviews, radio royalties, commissions, and…well… loads more!
It’s more than possible for any talented artist with the right amount of passion and motivation to ‘make it’. CD Sales may not be booming, but the music industry is! The people that are complaining are those high up in the music industry, who rely on their artist’s CD sales, but they are not musicians, and we are!
There are two things I like to remind people when they feel they have hit a brick wall, one, you have been blessed with a talent that many don’t possess, enjoy it! And two, don’t give up at the first hurdle! Most successful musicians have perfected, practised, networked, and endlessly promoted themselves to be where they are, if you have the drive….
YOU CAN MAKE IT!