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During our time being a musician, one decision comes across all of us. The decision to approach a record label with the aim to get signed and eventually released. When this day comes, you want to be prepared and make sure you got your perfect game on.
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I have been a musician for quite some years now. After a couple of years being an artist myself, I wanted to contribute something to the community and help young artists get released. I wanted to enable them to make the next, maybe even the first, step in their music career, and hence I founded my very own record label in the summer of 2015.
Since I faced the situation in the past of approaching record labels and receiving many emails and applications of artists on a daily-basis, I gathered a list of things you should do and things you should avoid doing, when approaching a record label.
There will be different types of people reading this article. There will be readers, who think they do everything right. But maybe there are things they have not considered so far or things they have done completely wrong without noticing. Some may have never approached a record label. Furthermore, there will be the ones who stumbled upon this article because they have realized that they did not receive many responses by record labels and thus searched for help in the internet.
These three types of readers have one thing in common, they want to learn and improve their way of approaching record labels and increase the chance of getting signed. I believe that each one of you can make use of at least one bullet-point to improve your record label application.
Before I start my list there is something I would like to mention. Please be aware of the fact that many applications are simply ignored by the staff of record labels due to limited amount of time. There is a scare capacity for reviewing applications of new artists. But nonetheless there are things that you can do to stand-out of the mass and get the attention by the record label.
BUT before you can even consider to apply for a record deal, you want to make sure you got a couple of high quality tracks, which are finished and ready to release. Without a good track you won’t be likely to get a record deal.
You can check this off the list? Great, the first step is taken.
Here is my list of what you SHOULD do, when approaching a record label.
Send a Reminder
You did not receive a response within a week? Don’t worry, you can send a friendly reminder or call the record label directly. Makes a good impression and maybe something came in between while working on your application. As well, you know afterwards if it is worthy to wait or to move on.
Also respond to labels who declined your inquiry. Make sure you are polite – you never know if you meet again. And hey, maybe they might be interested in a future track. You can also ask them if it would be okay to stay in touch.
Draw a conclusion after you received responses by the record labels on your list. Maybe you should re-consider your track choice or you could try to make a new list and repeat the process.
In the next article I will go over the things you should avoid when approaching a record label. In the meantime, I would like to hear from you guys, what do you think one should do when applying for a record deal? Is anything missing on my list? Post your thoughts in the facebook comments, I will gather a list and update the article with your ideas.