One of the most important things that artists look for when starting out is a label. A label is very important to many artists and they always aspire to get one. It is a great thing to have, but is not always needed. This article will start with what labels help out with and then list ways to get a label and how to do things on your own.
Labels help with so many things. They help you pay for things such as tours, merchandise, and recording. They also help with creating shows and other performers to work with. Labels also help with distribution and marketing. They do a lot of the business side so you don’t have to.
YouTube is a great way to get your music noticed. Labels go there looking for what’s new and making waves. It shows a lot about you and your music. Live videos will show them how fans and people react to you as well as show your stage presence. Music videos show your artistic side and even what your songs are about. They’re easy to link to and easy to find.
Having good music will intrigue them. You want something that will stick with them and they won’t forget you. The more you make unforgettable music, the more likely they’ll want to check you out. It can’t just be good to you. It has to be good to everyone. Have honest friends listen to your music and tell you what they think about it. Have music that stands out and doesn’t sound like everything else out there. There are popular sounds out there, but you still want to stand out amongst those sounds.
You never know who’s going to show up to a live a show. Labels will sometimes send out their A&R people and sometimes they’ll just show up on their own terms. You can always go to music industry conferences, such as SXSW, or find a local venue that holds industry night shows. There will be some venues who have nights where people from the industry will show up to check out new artist. Most of the time you will have to bring a significant amount of people in order to just play there.
When contacting labels, you want to make sure you are contacting the right label for you. You want to make sure the label is helping out other artists like yourself and working in the same genre. Always look over the website before sending anything in. It will show you a lot about the company. It will show you what kind of music they work with, who’s on their roster, and how to send your music to them. Every A&R person will have a way they want you to send in music. If it doesn’t say, send them a link to your Bandcamp or SoundCloud. It will be easier for them to stream it rather than download an mp3 or finding a CD player.
If a label doesn’t respond right away, don’t get give up hope. They are most likely busy with other artists sending in their music and plenty of other things their job requires them to do. After a week or two you can send in a follow up email to remind them that you are still out there. Be respectful and understanding when doing so.
Owning a website is always a great thing to have. It has everything in one place. Links to music, videos, social media, merchandise, and news. Labels will be able to go to one place to get everything they need. There are plenty of domain owning sites out there to help you, you just have to find the right one for you. Like everything, shop around before settling with just one.
Artwork can be anything, it just needs to catch the eye of the people you want. Come up with a logo that is pleasing, eye catching, and shows what your music is about. It can be very basic or very extravagant. Photos are the next things you need. It can be artsy and help show things about you. Shows how you look and describes the music you produce. Filters help show more than what a basic photograph can.
Labels are now looking for artists who can handle things on their own. They will be there to help you out, but only after you are signed. They want you to be able to do things on your own before signing and even after signing. You have to know how to get fans on your own, have some music already recorded, and how to handle things that come to your music. Shows how passionate you are about your music and that you don’t have to rely on others to get things done.
Relationships are the most important thing in any business. It builds a connection between yourself and the other person. Try to build one with anyone at the label. Be genuine about it. Talk to them about themselves and get to know them. They will be more willing to help you with what you need. Don’t assume they are going to help just because you are being friendly. That should be left up to them. Do this before sending in music, otherwise it might not work out the right way. Follow them on social media accounts and strike up conversations with them about some of their posts. It may take awhile, but it will be worth it in the end. If the company is near you, go in and try talking to them face to face. Keep going in and trying to talk to their A&R person and become friendly with everyone in the office, including the receptionist. Sometimes connecting with the first person you see when walking in is the best.
Looking for the right label takes time and patience. Make sure you are ready before looking for one and have all the details about what you are looking for and what they are looking for. Build relationships and connect with them. Have followers and music to send them. You want to make sure they stay interested and won’t forget you.