How to get attention from record labels
With so much music, so many musicians and so many outlets and opportunities for music creation, delivery and consumption there is a plethora of channels to allow you music to get heard by people in the music industry. But like everything else in life quality is always better than quantity. I will give our burgeoning rock star an insight into how the music industry works in order to give a deeper insight into the sometimes not so obvious advantages and opportunities that await real talent.
Beyond the obvious noise of Myspace, You tube, Facebook ……and everything that comes with it in the form of popularity, hits, endorsements etc. there still as ever remains only a few people who can make the crucial decision to sign an Artist or Band. It is so important for Artists to be aware of this. Generally these people are heads or directors of A&R departments and not as some might expect, A&R scouts or A&R otherwise. Also, Managing Directors of the labels have the signing power or authorize the signing power to their A&R directors as mentioned. It is also important to note that the are a key group of influencers that can make significant impressions on those with the signing power to encourage strongly the eventual signing process but there are a number of factors as ever that eventually bring an Artist to the dotted line.
So who are these influencers, why do they alone have the power to influence and why is my social network following not enough? Well it is of critical importance to realize that there is a lot of work created for those that operate in he grey areas of the business to perpetuate the notion and that’s being nice that to get signed you need to follow this list of services to their natural conclusion and low and behold I’m on that list, but herein you will get some facts. Why facts and not truth? Well there are many truths in this business as everyone’s experience is different but there are a number of facts that remain unchanged and have done so throughout the many eras of the music business. So I’ll start with a list of key influencers and the key reasoning behind their power of influence.
- Music Business;
- Other already signed or successful musicians
- Another label showing interest
These guys come in different shapes and sizes and very different qualities and levels of influence. A hot manager for example with an already established reputation and deep contacts with the MD or other heads of department within a label can really make positive waves with regard to getting someone to your show or getting someone to listen to your demo.
The reasoning behind this is the fact that a hot (currently looking after a successful band or Artist) manager may have signed an act already to that label, is known in the industry and is respected and most importantly trusted or in fact might be someone who the label wants to work with and now an opportunity has come about to potentially facilitate that.
The reason why this select group have the clout is because these people are key persons who will most likely play a major role in your career once you have already signed or in the lead up to getting signed by the label. Lawyers and Accountants within the industry play the most crucial role. They hold the greatest influence as the most significant decisions of the industry in it’s entirety involve their input. In some cases the very architecture of any changes, reforms, revisions and developments within and around the industry are attributed to their involvement.
Before even reaching out to the influencers make sure you are as ready as you can be. Listen to your favourite artist. Do you compare on any level. You need to be top of your game and especially ready to go, by that I mean, you have honed your stage craft, image, sound and all the qualities necessary to not just be signed but to compete, then you may be in with a slim chance of having one of these influencers endorse you.
Whilst there are a number of new Artists support agencies available now providing digital distribution services in the form of digital distribution companies as well as music marketing agencies the value of theses services is based on so many factors. A new band is, without a decent manager, left to navigate these waters solo. Some services are better than others depending on what the Artist’s needs are, depending on whether the Artist actually knows their needs that is. Hence the invaluable need for a good manager.
Remember one very important fact, the day you get signed is the day that your favourite Artists become your closest competition.