Sending demo after demo and getting no response from anybody? Don’t worry, It’s quite normal. The industry we find ourselves in is a highly competitive space and labels are inundated often overwhelmed by artists trying to get on their label.
This is very much a process and one if you think about differently, can really help you to become a better musician and producer. This isn’t a case of just having a bio, a press shot and a few tracks, but about how you can think about record labels with a view to using this knowledge to your best advantage.
Start by understanding the artist that you are and the type of music you create. Whether your love is from country, hip-hop or house, you should start by researching not only the best record labels out there by genre, but also the small, local, independent ones. What artists do they currently have on their roster? What does their most popular release sound like and what elements are included? What is the general vibe of the label? Is it a similar sound to yours, or not quite? Take your time with this and really try to seek labels of all sizes that you would love to release your music on. Listen to as much of their music as you can, take plenty of notes and use this information inform your creative process.
Start Small, Start Local
Pitching to Warner Music without any previously released music on any other label might be a little ambitious, so we recommend that you start small. Small, local independent labels will not only get less demos in their inbox, but they are championing local talent just like you. Approach them respectfully, address them as a real person and try not to spam them with everything at this stage. Ask questions. Find out what they are looking for in an artist and use this as an opportunity to find out if this is the right label for you, rather than just dropping demos to everybody. Try to cultivate a relationship, be personable and show interest in what they are doing before you send them demos. Be open to feedback and try not to pin all your hopes and dreams on one demo. Getting music signed takes time.
Get Into Good Habits
Understanding the music your top 3 favourite local labels are putting out and the types of artists on their roster puts you in a great position to make music that you believe will be their next big success. But try to understand more than this. How does the label communicate? Do they require their artists to post regularly on social channels or write a weekly blog perhaps? Mimicking these habits early, will not only be great practice, but it will, of course, make you more of a full package and desirable artist when your time comes.
Create A Collection
Creating Collections on BandLab is really quite simple and a great way for you to ensure the tracks you feel are appropriate for a specific label are listened to. Click create then select ‘New Collection’.
You can name your collection anything you like, but we recommend using the name of the record label you’re going to send it to make them take note.
Selecting the ellipsis under each track and then add to Collection will enable you to do just that.
Create collections of 2 or 3 tracks for different labels as if this was your first release. Add artwork which is similar to the style of the label may also show that you really know your stuff and help you stand out from the crowd.
Get researching and remember, this is a process that most artists go through. Thinking what you can do for a label rather than the other way around, is a great place to start.
Now get creating!