To submit music to the best record labels, you need to know one small detail
Record labels and the music industry is a big place and a cut-throat industry. If a particular band or style is doing well, then in no time the industry will be flooded by wannabes good and bad.
Are there any insider tips? Is there anything that could increase your favour with the record labels, to make yourself known within the vast music industry area?
Well the simple answer is no. Unfortunately this is the case with most groups and artists. Make that statement be the reality to you, your wake up call if you must. The best way you can make the record labels notice you is to have some sort of experience behind you. Whether that be:
1. doing gigs
2. distributing your songs to the world wide audience
3. getting DJs to drop your tracks into one of their sets. An artist (Leafy Lee, strange name I know, and track "Little Arrows") went from one DJ to another asking if they could play his song on CD format (knowing their format is a must). A lot of asking, walking and probably rejections occurred, and at the end the DJs played his song, the clubbers liked it and it was played even more, if the clubbers hated it then it wouldn't of been played at all, full stop.
4. being played at parties/ clubs and pirate radio stations (this is how Daniel Beddingfield with "Gotta get through this" came to light. Victoria Beckham then liked the song, that got into the newspapers, he got signed up (the label asked Daniel to incorporate more strings) and then he got to number one.
All the above prove one thing, the audience already likes you. You have been tested and you are a safe bet. the record labels love that!
Don't believe me, well Simon Cowell of Pop Idol fame wrote this in his autobiography (which is a good read actually) and I quote "Artists do not appear from no-where, it seems like they do but they don't, they all come from somewhere, without some pre-existing context it is highly difficult to be signed, it is nearly impossible to launch an unknown into a solo career."
Simon gives some nice pointers in his book but doesn't go into too much detail on how to crack the music industry, he also talks about the UK and US Pop Idol, his past history, how he got to where he is, his views on some celebrities. The book is a bit ego led but then If you want an enjoyable read, then " I don't mean to be rude, but..." is for you.
Pop Idol works on the fact that the audience will vote for their favourite, the top record labels (who have contracts with the top three) are testing each and every one of those artists. They are guaranteed to sell records as the audience who voted for them will buy them, a simple yet a brilliant formula.
A record company will not fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars of advertisement, training, mastering and recording space to anyone. If you have a track record that someone likes your tunes then you will be much more likely to make it.
Therefore the 4 bullet points at the top will help you. They will also help you to refine your sound, to judge what people like about your music, what to change, and what to supply them with. It is a great learning curve. But be critical, and don't get angry when someone points out a problem. If it is a DJ from a stomping club they usually know their business and audience so take note (by the way this is how Liam from the Prodigy started).
Sending off demos to various record labels wont hurt you neither. However there are a few pointers to heed by. The main one is to send the demo off to a relevant label. Sending off techno tracks to a rock label wont do you any favours at all- a waste of your time and theirs, and a waste of your resources.
Here are a few points from top record labels to help you out
They are not in order, however the main one (that always gets forgotten) that I will put down first is this:
Make your presentation look great. If it is written in biro- don't bother- you can't be bothered so why should we listen to your tracks? A good, clear, well drawn colourful presentation states professionalism, intrigue and effort- it will get priority for listening.
No minimalist drones. It's not art.
Always insert your name, contact details, and one or two sentences (max) on your inlay. Also, in a neat way try to put contact details on the CD itself just in case the CD and inlay get separated.
Try to have a little soul (the heart and "meaning" sense, not meaning the style) and groove added to your tracks rather than a soulless piece of electronica.
Be yourself, and do not copy an artist. Have a similar style, but their style is theirs, yours is yours. Improve and make better that is the key.
3-4 tracks is enough to get a rough picture of what you do, but no more than 8. If it's not an album, put different styles on the CD so they know what you can do, but don't sway away from the label's music style.
No instrument presets, originality of the music is a must.
Find your best track, your defining number, and then place that one first. Boring start = non stop ticket to the record labels bin. Catch their attention at the start with a cool intro that sucks them in and doesn't let up until the end.
These are the key findings that I have researched from a large amount of music labels that mainly deal with techno music.
There are only really two places that I would recommend if you want to know about building or making your own record label or promoting yourself with the record labels.
Galaris Musicians Directory
Who are the top record labels ? Have you noticed though that some of these labels are elusive, where do you actually send demos, get in contact with labels, or just have a list of possible contacts?
Galaris is what you need. It is not known unless you are within music circles and it is not talked of much.
Well if you had 1600 pages of industry listings, gig places- contacts, and much more, would you tell your competition about it?
Galaris is the bible, and contains a huge wealth of information that any budding potential musician could do with.Check it out here.
Record Label Business Plan.
This business plan has been built with the musician in mind. This is quite unique as most will go about it from the accountant point of view.
I would call this a record label in a box. From giving you the paper work (all the letters you could want) through to building your artists a web site (which is so needed) and a whole web portal so that other musicians can contact each other and successful artists can leverage other less successful artists.
Pretty cool package for anyone wanting to go down the record label route. You can check it out more here.
Want to make your own tunes? Click here to make your way into the record labels