Posted: Feb 7, 2022
Category: Career Goals
**Guest post written by Yona Marie, originally featured in her blog.
With so many people publishing music online these days, it is harder than ever to get the attention of music companies like independent labels. Back in the day, you didn’t need much but talent and potential in order to grab the attention of an A&R or label scout. A huge amount of time and money from a label was invested into the artist development process for fresh acts that needed to be groomed for the music world.
Now, with so much competition around, musical acts that bring a lot to the table usually outshine those who are talented but less prepared. Here are some tips that will help you reach the top of the ladder among other musicians and artists who are on the front lines for opportunities.
If you want to impress someone with your music career, it’s best to grow a following of people that can vouch for you and that will back your brand. Presenting yourself as an amazingly talented artist is not as effective as having hundreds or thousands of others that believe you are amazingly talented.
Start with loyal family, friends, and music lovers in your hometown who enjoy your style of music and build your fanbase from there. As you gain listeners and fans, keep positive reviews and feedback from important fans to share as a part of your music press kit.
Artists with many CDs and performances under their belt tend to be more talented and have a better overall image. This is usually because the artist has gone through their awkward phases and trial and error; they’ve found their groove and it shows. All performers and creatives tend to get better the more effort they put into their craft.
If you’ve only done a couple of shows or have only released a few songs, it may be best to continue your journey to strengthen your confidence and abilities on your own before considering major promotional outlets to submit to like record labels. It’s easy to let the rush and excitement of your first few achievements get to your head, but be sure to master your art as best as you can by yourself!
Related Post: How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Singing?
Professional ears at a record label have the ability to spot potential in a demo that has average or below-average recording quality, but that doesn’t mean your potential will get you a deal. There are two major reasons that average demo quality is not enough these days. For one, since most labels are accepting digital submissions these days, the competition has gotten very stiff. A band that has the same appeal level as yours but was able to invest in a high-quality recording process will most likely beat your submission.
Secondly, since self-recording has become way more affordable online, the competition has become even more hectic. A 14-year old in his bedroom may be able to produce a demo song with higher quality than the one you recorded in a local studio. You don’t want to be one of the artists or bands that are getting outshined.
Related Post: What Is A Demo And How Can It Help Your Music Career?
A lot of unsigned artists and bands make the mistake of writing original songs that are direct clones of songs you can hear on the radio from more popular artists. While it’s important to remain appealing and relevant to your genre with your music releases, it is critical to be able to stand out and have a USP (unique selling proposition).
This is especially relevant for labels, who are looking for talent to spend a considerable amount of money on in hopes of profiting off of you. A label is not going to waste time and money developing an artist that is a clone of someone that is already famous. Being unique can include your image, your writing process, your singing style, your personality, and much more to get creative.
Submitting music to labels who have publicly stated that they aren’t taking submissions won’t get you far. Sending demo submission emails that include grammatical errors and slang probably won’t get you far. Think of this process just as you think of a job-hunting process.
While labels have artists and release songs that are often wild and crazy, that doesn’t mean you should present yourself as such in the context of a demo submission inquiry. There is a time and place for everything! Your music can express anything you’d like it to, but your attitude while presenting the music must be professional.
We all know how much social media has taken over our lives. One of the major elements of social networks includes music, and here lies the opportunity to shine and impress as an artist or musician on social media. Make sure your social sites have appealing numbers, consistent updates about your musical journey, high-quality media (images and videos), and the proper “about me” information.
It is also important to make sure your social media accounts all correlate, having the same artist/band name and up-to-date information. You don’t want to confuse someone reviewing your music brand with a SoundCloud page that calls you one thing, and a Twitter name that’s completely different.
Like all things that are worthwhile, getting a record label deal is a hard thing to do. The more success the label can bring you, the harder it will be to actually land a deal. If you find yourself being offered a deal and you don't feel like you needed to do much to secure such a great opportunity, chances are that it isn't actually a good opportunity at all. Not all labels are good labels.
Follow the tips I gave you above and you will have a good chance at getting that deal! Also remember, getting signed is just the first step. Many independent artists have gotten signed but not gotten that much success due to a poor budget or the label focusing on their other acts much more. I don't want to be a Debby Downer, but I want you to be a realist! "
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