Record label

What is a record company looking for?

(Hypebot) — Are you trying to land a record deal and looking for a way to stand out? Well, if you follow the tips below, you could be discovered.

A guest post by Tony van Veen of DiscMakersBlog.

These five questions are the ones a record label needs answers to if you hope to gain attention and a potential deal.

If you missed any of the previous articles or videos in this series exploring the pros and cons of being signed to a label versus staying independent, you might want to read”Should I sign a recording contract or remain independent?” and “The advantages and disadvantages of a contract with a major” or watch the videos on our Youtube channel first.

Today I want to address two key questions about signing a deal with an independent or major record company.

Number one: Who, and what, does a label look for when signing an artist?

Number two: How do you organize yourself to maximize your chances of being approached by a label?

I get emails and messages from artists that say something like, “My music is awesome, I’m ready to be on a label. How do I do that?”

Inasmuch as

You gotta make the record company come to you

Since there is a music industry, the chances of getting signed to a label just by submitting a demo are infinitesimal. What you need to do is position yourself so that the tag comes to you.

OK, but how the hell do you do that? Well, let’s start by asking the question of what a record label is looking for. And that may not sound romantic or artistic or creative, but since a label is first and foremost a business that needs to make a profit, each label is looking to sign an artist that they think they can sell and get enough exposure.

music to take advantage of it.

If you’re really lucky and find a label that’s willing to focus on your development as an artist, they might not even need to make a profit right off the bat on your debut album, but they certainly will. make a profit on your music. during the term of your contract.

So what makes a label think signing with you will make them a profit? Here are five questions a record label needs to answer to be interested in your act.

1. What have you accomplished so far?

To start, the label examines what you have already done as an artist and what you have achieved.

  • How many recordings have you released?
  • How many followers do you have on social media?
  • Do you have an active mailing list? What is his size?
  • How many people do you attract during your live performances?
  • How many streams have you accumulated?
  • What about YouTube views? How many YouTube subscribers do you have?

Basically, if you’re already successful as an independent artist, they’ll be interested. If you’ve been working alone in the studio, not performing live, and just hoping they like your excellent demo, your chances of getting signed are next to nil.

You see, the old music industry dream of “recording a great demo, submitting it and getting signed” was exactly that: it was a dream. He never really existed. Today, every artist has to prove they can create magic on their own and build their own fan base. Only then, when you can prove it with your statistics, will the label be interested in you.

2. Do you have momentum?

Beyond accomplishment, a label today seeks artists who have a positive dynamic. It’s not just the size of your fan base, but how fast it grows. Yes

you’re a band with a lot of buzz, labels will want in on the action. This is why, for many artists, it takes several singles and albums to finally be signed. Each subsequent release should generate more streams and sales than the previous ones to show that you have positive momentum.


3. Do you have talent?

Of course, having talent is a given, isn’t it? Yes, but the label has to like your music and they have to think you have what it takes as an artist. Of course, as we all know, taste is subjective. One A&R rep may think you don’t have what it takes, while another may think you’re just perfect.

4. Are you fit?

Beyond talent, a label needs to know that you fit their existing roster and goals. This not only includes the kind of music you play, but also (to touch on a sensitive topic) things like your age. There are plenty of older artists who still dream of signing, and while it’s not impossible, it very much depends on your style of music. I mean, if you’re hoping for pop stardom or hip hop or EDM or any of the big mainstream genres that appeal to young audiences and you’re past your mid-20s, your chances of getting signed are not not big. Now, there are definitely niche genres where age is less of a factor. Blues, jazz, maybe world beats and others, but for traditional pop, mainstream, fair or not, youth is the name of the game.

5. Are you ready to work hard?

All the talent and promise in the world isn’t worth a bucket of hot saliva if you’re not willing to work hard. Whether you’re independent or on a label, you’re the one who benefits the most from your success. So you must be prepared to work for it. Can a label see the fuss you’ve had from your accomplishments so far? Can they

see the work you have done? Have you networked a lot in the industry? Do you actively interact with your fans on social media? Are the streets lined with your flyers every time you play? Do you send regular email updates to your fan list?

6. Do you have a unique angle?

There’s a sixth factor that can come into play as a sort of wild card: do you have a special or unique “angle” that helps you get noticed?

What do I mean? Well, Kiss had their makeup and GWAR had their cartoon outfits. Is there something a little different, a little special, that makes people notice you a little more? An unusual look, an unusual sound, a compelling story you can tell, an unusual background – things like that can help spark label interest along with the other five traits mentioned above.

Is getting signed right for you?

What does all of this mean to you? When are you actually ready to be signed? Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, but in general you need to be an artist who has multiple releases with an established and growing fan base with good chops – you know, talent – to play and compose, with a drawing fan experience in your orbit with an established marketing and social media presence.

Does that mean that if you don’t have all of these things, you’re not signable? No of course not. Every now and then we see love at first sight with an unknown singer landing a big recording deal. But the best and most reliable path to a label deal is to start making your own music as an independent artist. To market your music, build that fanbase, grow those streams, and get discovered. Of course, at this point, once you’re a successful, established indie artist with your own fanbase that you fully monetize, does it make sense to sign to a label and give away up to 90% of your royalties? to someone else?

I let you think.