Record Labels That Accept Unsolicited Demos
This week, top searches leading people to this site mostly had to do with labels that accept unsolicited demos, record companies that take demo submissions, and so on. As I mentioned in a previous article, Unsolicited Music Demos: How to Get in the Door of a Record Label, the reality is that no one is soliciting to these demos.
Here’s a bit of reality: If you are looking for a list of record labels that accept unsolicited demos, then you probably aren’t record label material. The ironic twist is that you are most appealing to record labels when you don’t need them.
Think about this in terms of dating.
Sending an unsolicited press kit and CD to a record label is like asking for a marriage proposal when the prospect has no idea who you are. While that kind of thing might work in certain situations (mail-order brides, etc.), most reasonable people would not give you the time of day.
Getting a dream record contract is like getting your soul-mate: it usually happens because you know a bit about each other first, you have mutual friends who introduce you, you’ve worked on something together, or you have some kind of light introduction first.
Some other things to consider:
- People can smell desperation miles away.
- No one likes a cocky jerk who is obnoxiously annoying
- It’s always better to let the other person do the talking rather than waste their time with your bragging
- Your reputation often proceeds you; if they know nothing about you, walls automatically come up
How would you apply these concepts to getting a record label? For that matter, you could apply these concepts to anyone in the music industry: publicists, booking agents, a manager, promoter, etc.
im a singer i can imitate miley cyrus adele, chris brown and rihanna i deserve to be heard im not desperate but i jst want to be heard and make something of my self if u heard me u would be speechless this is my step father’s number 0115995206084 call
Please God tell me you didn’t just write that. Did you not real the article? You can forget about becoming a famous singer if this your mentality. Jesus Christ you’re also bragging about imitating those pop singers and putting your cellphone number up? NO
That was my initial response as well…but I think the user is just searching for things to spam in hopes of receiving a call.
lol.. this is hilarious. “[I]f u heard me u would be speechless.” I don’t doubt you CAN sing but this is either the definition of desperation or a troll. I’ll assume the latter to give you the benefit of the doubt. 10/10 would read again.
You’re out of your mind if you truly believe that someone who’s involved in the music business is going to read your comment and believe that you have a single atom of talent. Your spelling is atrocious. No one respects an illiterate person. You need to change that, first and foremost. Also, no one is going to believe you simply based off of you being desperate. People want to hear what you can do. Not what you say you can do. Just trying to help you out.
i bet you sound like a cat being strangled
Please listen to my freestyle
FUCK A LABEL I TOOK MY OWN…LAS VEGAS GANGSTAZ
L.V.G.’z OG STRANGER
Shit can anybody help out a young adolescent haha dam I’m just a young Mutha Fucka tryna get paid you kno hah but you gotta hear my rapping…
I can sing country cris brown the cab. And r Kelly Zach brown band and a few other people
While I agree with the content of this and the previous post, I disagree with the way in which your observations are framed. For example, your comparison of seeking a record contract to courting a potential mate implies that one should assume some kind of benevolent status upon record labels and their executives and representatives, and that there is something unreasonable about expecting support and compensation solely for one’s creative efforts. I get that this is how it works in the real world, but if we are in the business of copping to reality, here is the way I believe this truism should be framed:
Much like the broader society, record labels and those in the music business favor certain personality types over others. I’ve read a number of other blogs and articles written on this subject informing musicians that in order to succeed in the music industry they need to build a substantial network and work really hard to have a magnetic personality as if, A) this should somehow be expected as part of the work from the get-go, and B) this is even possible for a number of musicians who could not suddenly become type A socialites if they sold all their musical ability to the devil. Moreover, as you correctly indicate, money is a major concern, but I would argue that the social magnetism desired in a performer in the first place underlies this, and that the two are in large part one in the same. In other words, magnetism=money, and thus in searching for magnetism, record labels search for money.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that everything you have described is (sadly) exactly the way it goes. But you seem to be suggesting that deep down those with the power to grant record labels and an access to the industry are really just super busy talent seekers and that it is right and just that musicians accommodate them. When really, considering that effective publicizing and creative work, though not mutually exclusive, are not really one in the same, either, it is not unreasonable for musicians to wish to avoid all the bullshit hoop-jumping that constitutes the music industry, regardless of how necessary it is to jump through those hoops.
When I compare pitching to courtship, it’s mainly to highlight the importance of making a first and lasting impression and has nothing to do with the power balance or dynamics of teh relationship itself.
I’ve worked with several major labels (as well as major-label signed artists( and I can attest that while yes, there are some socialites that do rub elbows and do well, there’s an equal number of awkward, introverted, or non-social artists who just want to work on their craft. Certainly, many pop-artists are groomed in a way to help them develop a certain image or at least cultivate better relationships, but there’s a large variety of personality types out there.
There is a certain amount of luck required…but you’ll find that the harder you work, the more luck you’ll acquire.
Hello Andy I read your comment and you seem like a pretty rational fellow. I just want to tell you there an exception to that rule if you run across a prodigious talent even if No one has heard them before because good music is still a major dynamic but mind you the artist must have game changing talent like great songwriting abilities for different genres and equal producing skills and just that God giving aptitude for the craft and if someone heard him and understood the capabilities and value they will most definitely see dollar signs
ya.. it’s all who you know..at this Late time in the game I need that “Ya my wife went to college with so n so’s wife she talks to her at least once a month I can ask her to send it, she’ll do it she’s really cool!”…ya that’s my only hope! ha!
check us out on soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/gloryboy_solo/solo-x-closer-to-my-dreams
Getting tired of seeing these ‘bloggers’ linking this to searches for actual record labels that are looking for that material.
Your opinions aren’t even useful because you’re obviously on here writing in hopes to be noticed, yourself. If you knew as much as you claim on this blog, you would be IN the music industry.
No one on here should pay any attention to this blogger. Obviously its here to garner a ‘hit’ for the link, and since it wasted my time, they can fuck off.
Don’t listen to anyone who treads on your dream, regardless of the struggle. You never know what’s waiting behind any door.
Keep on dreaming – that’s your right. But as someone who as in the music industry, it’s my responsibility to tell the truth. And yes, I am in the music industry as a musician, promoter, label owner, and booking agency. I’ve worked with Sony BMG, Capital Records, Sub Pop, etc. I’ve personally played over 1,500 shows across North America and Europe as a professional musician and I’ve been featured on close to 2,000 radio stations, tv shows, and magazines. Again, it’s all advice based on my experience, but if you have useful insights as someone in the music industry, then start your own blog and share with the world. I do this as a free service for readers, on my own time, to help aspiring musicians – not to “get notice.”
Thank you so much! I loved hearing this tonight..,I will take it to heart. ❤
I’m a little late here Simon, but your comment said “to help aspiring musicians.” I get that it’s what you’re trying to do, but this article comes off more as a “give up” sentiment. Aside from telling people that they’re not going to make it, I really didn’t catch much “help.” In it. A good thing perhaps would be to let people know (since you are in the industry), if they shouldn’t send press kits or demos to labels, then what should they do to get an A&R rep’s attention?
I’ve personally seen many bands that put on an incredible show, have a great image, great music, very solid musicians, pack venues and yet….they garner no attention from A&R reps, because the reps don’t even know they exist. So helpful may be letting people know how you get their attention if not by sending them press kits or demos.
I personally would think, that with the invent or “re-invent” of the 360 deal, most labels today would be nurturing the concept of musicians sending unsolicited demos/press kits since most bands are doing more for themselves these days without labels. Labels are gradually becoming nothing more than “service providers” for bands that are working hard and gaining success on their own.
Hi Mark, perhaps you missed the link in the beginning of the article (I probably should have made it more clear). As I mentioned in this post, it’s a follow up to another piece that details what to do when people aren’t listening. As I mention in that piece:
These are the tried and true steps to take in order to get anyone in the music industry’s attention
1. Tour often: After that, keep touring.
2. Get plenty of media hype: reviews, interviews, show previews, etc. You’ll need a publicist for this and, often times, a lot of touring.
3. Build a large following: That usually comes from step 1 & 2.
4. Get Licensing: Most licensing agents are looking for acts with a lot of momentum. In other words, acts who are touring often and who get media attention.
5. Learn how to pitch your band
6. Run your band like a business and prove you can make money, that you are a good investment
(Plus this is in content of a series of over two dozen articles that elaborates these points – from getting sponsors to labels, it’s a very similar process). Here’s the link: https://laststopbooking.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/unsolicited-music-demos-how-to-get-in-the-door-of-a-record-label/
The only record labels that take unsolicited material are not in the USA I checked. The ones in the USA only look at singers on stupid tv shows
My name is A. Scott Balderston and I’d appreciate any advice you can give me on my rock song writing! Here’s a link to one of my favourite creations; https://soundcloud.com/numbskul/kickin-it-preview-instrumental-garage-rock
Any tips at all will be greatly appreciated!
Have an awesome day.
Hi, most of my advice is centered around music business, less so on music writing. I have some information on best practices in my book, Music Business Hacks, but I would strongly suggest works like 6 Steps to Songwriting Success (Blume)
Check out my freestyle! Feel free to comment what you think
I’m a rapper/musician from south africa johannesburg,been rapping since 2002…rap is the craft that I’ve mastered,I don’t have much of a buzz yet & I aint known yet but I’m working on that…I wanna go international with my music & perhaps touch people through my rhymes..only problem is that I aint got the loot to pay publicists etc…not that I’m making any excuses…being the only kid my late mother had imma do whatever it takes to make her spirit proud…what advice do u have for me
Keep on reading and learning from music career websites. There’s a lot of great advice out there, even for those with limited resources or finances
HELLO, MY NAME IS LEMAINE IM WRITING THIS MESSAGE TO LET YOU GUYS KNOW THAT IT IS ALOT OF TALENT IN THIS WORLD.BUT IN THIS WORLD TODAY IT IS HARD TO GET DISCOVERED.I IM FROM BELLE GLADE FLORIDA 33430 AND I IM TRY TO PERSUADE YOU GUYS TO LOOK INTO A ARTISTS THAT GOES BY THE NAME OF PROBLEM CHILD.OR D.CATO HE IS A HARD WORKER AND A AMBITIOUS RAPPER.HE MAKES MUSIC FOR ALL RACES.HE MAKES MUSIC THAT CAN MAKE YOU GUYS A LOT OF MONEY.IF YOU GUYS WOULD JUST LOOK INTO HIS WORK.I KNOW THAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS ARTIST BUT HE IS WELL KNOWN IN BELLE GLADE YOU CAN FOUND SOME OF HIS MUSIC ON YOUTUBE/PROBLEM CHILD OR WACK PACK ENT.I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.AND I HOPE YOU ALL LOOK INTO THIS ARTISTS WORK.AND FOR MORE INFO CALL 5613512490.THANKS AGAIN
Listen to some of my music here http://www.reverbnation.com/nayto/songs
Hey, my name is Shannon Kinsella and I was wondering if I sent you a demo of mine could you give me some feedback please and some advice on how to make it into the music industry,its always been a dream of mine so if if i sent you a demo id really like some feedback and advice please you wont regret it, really hope to hear from you soon!
If you are interested in some feedback and advice, then I would recommend you set up a consulting session appointment. We can go over your goals, come up with a plan, answer any questions
I have a lot of new songs looking out for a record deal.
Hi my name is Justin alias “FLAME”. I have a ton of music and I’m looking to be heard by serious scouts. Basically, my craft speaks for itself. I’ve been a hometown hip hop artist for quite some time now. Been at since 13. I’m 27 now. Just looking to expand. Can I get any Positive feedback on this? Thanks
Here’s the truth: Artists’ craft and music don’t speak for themselves. If they did, we wouldn’t have need for publicists, social media, marketing, labels or anything else. Some feedback is to learn how to pitch your music – figure out who you are audience is and how to reach them. Learn how to shape your pitch based on those elements and you’ll get much more from your efforts – certainly more than just leaving comments on a random blog about it.
Every so often tough,you hear about an artist or group who purposely used an “I don’t give an F”, approach. These are artists who might solicit a request to send in music but they will basically act not interested, by saying things such as, “we don’t care if you sign us or not,we’re too cool for your crapy label anyways”. I also remember in the Come as you are Nirvana book, it was revealed that Kurt would send demos cassettes to labels and smear a bunch of buggers onto his cover letter. And I think at one point they either also included a used Condom or they put something like Mayo all in it. That approach might have gotten something like a “these guys are really strange,we should meet them”,response from your average small Indie label. Probably not today though. It seems like r the mainstream corporate machine has infiltrated the “indie” scene these days. So pulling any kind of stunts might not get you anywhere But then again it could also be the one thing that made your band stand out from the dozens of other submissions received that week.
I think with todays internet, a basic Introductory email along with a link to stream some of the artists music should be fine,no? It gives the label a choice to listen to it at their convenience or, to not even listen at all if they choose so. More often than not,for fear of maybe missing out something big; the label’s A&R will at least give your demo a skim listen. At that point the music has to now do all the work. Hopefully there will be enough substance to draw the listener in getting them to listen to more than just quick snippets.
That being said,you want to email a link to your music page? What is a good approach in your opinion that will convince a label rep that you aren’t just another typical submission? What type of approach or even wording would you suggest using in your email submission? How are you going to get that A&R to follow your link rather than trash bin your email?
The hardest part seems like actually getting someone from the label to actually follow through and listen. In the old days label A&R’s were sent submissions that were on an actual physical,tangible media. They would have a stack of submissions always starring back at them. A constant reminder like a stack of dirty dishes. Today on the other hand, an email with a link can get lost in the shuffle. It may go to a person’s Junk folder,accidentally get deleted, or could just be overlooked lost inside an enormous inbox full of mail. There are the small risk such as those,but there convenience,and efficient speed more than make it worth while.
Another big question. Does it make a big difference if say you the artists were the one to send the submission emails? Or do you recommend having the email come from a representative of the artist? It could either be someone else or you could simply just word the email in such a way? Would you also recommend sending a first intro email without music? First,asking permission to send them a link to your songs? It may seem like the polite thing to do ,even if they plainly state that they accept unsolicited material? It might also give the label the impression that you were maybe dealing slightly bigger labels who typically only accept solicited material?
Looks like your big question was more like a half dozen questions 🙂
Relationships matter, it’s always good to have someone with credibility send something in, whether it is an artist, a manager, a booking agent, an attorney, or even a critic. It helps but it isn’t a deal-breaker. What actually matters more than the demo itself or who sends it is if the submission answers the question: Will this artist make the label money? If so, how? Labels don’t want to take a risk, no matter their size. Some gimmicks can get people in the door but once they are there, they need the goods to back it up: a solid fan base, good press, and a very robust tour schedule. In other words, like the post says, get so much buzz going about the band that they can’t ignore the artist. In the end, that’s all that matters – not the music (unfortunately) and not the tricks that get people to look at a demo or click on a link.
Hi Simon. I agree with you. I want to pursue my dreams because singing is a passion of mine and I love it as well as writing songs, but Music don’t speak for themselves. you have to work hard at it and accomplish something other than bragging about yourself and bugging people to put you through to the music business. I came on here, because I wanted to know information about how to become better at my singing and how to get notice. after I read your article, it is all clear. you have made your point and I’m happy to say that I appreciate you being honest with us on here. You are in the music business, so you definitely would know what to do and how to do it. so thank you for the advice. I’m glad I ran into this page. : )
excellent issues altogether, you just gained a brand new reader. What may you recommend in regards to your put up that you made some days ago? Any certain?
Hi, I’m not quite sure I understand your question. What do you mean by my put up?
Rap artist looking for some one who will help me get heard, put me n da studio n watch I do numbers, invest a lil time n me promise I’m worth it, 2282972375
Hey everyone im a las vegas local rap artist tryning ro get views plays likes and comments on my music please if you have anything to say about the music good or bad please comment it im tryning to get serious answers about my music you can listen at THA REAL TAE HUSTLE thanks for you guys time
Herokill3rs Records is accepting unsolicited demos! They are looking for Electronic Music (any genre) http://www.herokill3rs.com or send them an email to email@example.com
gee – nice to hear someone admit its all about who you know.
if u want to hear it then google it, if not don’t worry,,,
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and we want to sell oue song at cheapest price soo dat with that money we can make our new song.. a party song.written by me..
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Wow, I think maybe I should just correspond with some A & R people for a while before even pitching any songs. Over time, maybe they’ll be like “Hey, weren’t you a songwriter or something?”
Check out my 2videos..your boy p.Tizzle
Check out my Facebook earnesttreadwell@Facebook.com
Truth be told if you are doing all that work trying to get a record deal you might as well be smart and be independent and invest your own moneyinto yourself and start up your own label and promote and sell your own music and make more money just do open mics and get noticed
Hello, everything is going well here and of course every one is sharing
information, that’s actually good, keep up writing.
Across a variety of genre; rock, classical, country, etc., I believe the percentage of “one-hit-wonders” is around 20-25%. No matter what type of business you are running, you wouldn’t thumb your nose at that number of potential clients. If I were a music producer, I’d read everything I received!
This article title is link bait. It doesn’t even address what it is titled for, which is “Record Labels That Accept Unsolicited Demos.” You don’t give a list at all, but your title suggests that is what the article is about. That is why people are attacking your blog post. It appears you created that title hoping people who are seeking a list of labels would land on your site, but you’ve only frustrated everyone by posting your opinions and not giving the information that is being suggested by the title. It’s like bait and switch.
If you are so successful as you tout, then why are you using a free blog? I pay for hosting and it’s not that much, I really really doubt you have any real experience. I personally won’t return to read further from your blog.
I often issue a regular post based on search results of traffic already coming to the site or on requested subjects. What is bait and switch is the idea that a record company will offer any decent deal from a cold submission. That just isn’t reality. This site is about providing free music advice to help people advance in their career.
A free blog isn’t really the measure of success. Why should I have to fake success by paying for a blog? That doesn’t make sense either. It’s all about content. Feel free to doubt my experiences or advice, I write it as a free service for people. You’re not obligated to read it or listen to the advice. But for those who do listen and succeed, it’s working for them. That’s who I write for.
Excellent points, somerandomgirl. I was thinking along the same lines when I clicked the link and began reading.
Looking for my shot to the top gave it o me and I wont let u down
My music link: https://soundcloud.com/temaculate1
Just to tell you people there are people who are becoming famous without the record labels and their fans are knocking on the radio station doors asking to play their songs. Then the record labels start banging on those singers doors and the singers say no we rather just sell our cd’s by our selves. So who is going to be laughing when the record labels go out of business because the only thing people need to be famous is the agencies. Who get the tour buses and send the singers to sing on stage.
There are many paths to success. As I’ve mentioned with the post, artists are going to get the best deals and get the most attention when they have their own momentum behind them.
Reading these responses is painful…No wonder we don’t accept unsolicited music. Most of you are completely ignorant to the business. Business in general and of course MONEY! DUH!. If you think posting “check out my music” Is going to get you anywhere you have failed to begin with. Secondly If you actually are on here posting “I sound just like so and so” You are not worth anyones time. No one should bother listening to you. You probably should just stay under the rock you have been living under. Wow there is no hope for music…I can imagine getting thousands of these idiots sending me there crappy cut and paste music…*shudder* AND! those same people completely missing the area of the brain that comprehends BUSINESS!!! If anyone with half a brain can understand this and put what I have said to use you can be very successful. BUSINESS! BUSINESS! BUSINESS! MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! Or go indie! MOST of them are used to being broke.
I found out people have brain transplants so you can have no brain and still be living. Music is more about heart then your brain. And I already have people who like my music. I believe its not a record label people need its the agencies that people need.
No I put my videos on YouTube and on Facebook and people like my music. If I become famous it will be without the record labels I still owe money for selling one of my song to a record place and I dont get why its called selling a song if your paying
Here is a good list of record labels currently accepting demos: http://droptrack.com/record-labels-accepting-demos/
You forgot broken bow records. I called them and they say they listen. Broken bow records is jason aldeans record label. And I called them im still waiting for them to get back to me.
Just be yourself as an artist, network with orher artists and find communities to be part pf both online and in the real world. If you ever got a deal you would need very gopd communicational skills.
At the end of the day if one is willing to search hard enough and start off with a smaller lesser known record label they would in fact ind several that will accept not only unsolicited music but also mp3s and even simple links to a website, YouTube, MySpace etc.
I say good for the ones willing to work harder and start off small as for everyone else who starts off aiming for the top, you’re going to bump your head and learn a very hard lesson.
Was wondering if you could take a look at me sing.
Honestly, I feel like if your music doesn’t express you why would want to be heard you would never be yourself But that’s just me I make music that is about me so at least I know I’m true to myself. But understandably they look for the next big thing but still! It’s true they only want you when you don’t want them! Sad Truth! 😀
Very interesting read. The comparison of courting labels the same way you would a soul mate is illuminating to me. Admittedly I’m basically clueless about the business aspects of music, but I hope to get better at it. I was a part of a small diy label in my hometown for a while, and I’ve released a few records, (most recently http://oliverwaterman.bandcamp.com/ ) but found that without even a modest amount of capital, trying to make a job out of original music is mindbogglingly difficult. It cost me close to two grand to make the record (a third what it costs at the bigger studios around here) and I make about 50 cents for every disk I sell. I’d love to tour, and tour rigorously, but it doesn’t seem wise without enough money for food and gas. I don’t think I’d have any trouble booking a tour that would do well (regionally) but taking the chance that i’d make enough money to survive seems like a bad idea. This little he-cup is why I still do these searches and try to learn as much as I can. Any advice on how to start small and constructively build, so I can get out of my hometown someday and maybe not have to work on anything other than my craft would be greatly appreciated.
I was able to get some local press for the release, which did seem to help, but not to the extent that I would have liked. Should I expect about the same type of response in places outside my home town?
The reality is that starting a business in any industry is challenging. Whether you want to open a restaurant, create a software company, or flip real estate, it requires capital investments and a good strategy. Touring should be treated the same way: is it always about profiting for tour? Well, it depends on what your goal is. If it is to expand your market, sometimes it requires an investment (loss lead). But there are ways around it to cover costs through finding lucrative opportunities (such as colleges) or finding investors (through sponsorships and partnerships). It just depends on your business strategy.
In terms of press response, it depends on your pitch and what you have to offer them. I write about that here: https://laststopbooking.com/2012/09/23/pitching-your-band/
Getting press helps get more press, but usually relationships count for a lot more, which is why hiring a publicist is a very good idea for that. But press doesn’t always mean it will drive traffic to shows or to the website, it’s a combination of factors.
Speak with a friend of mine, have them show you my music. Boom. Desperate, no?
Honestly, if you have any original material, just go to a local recording studio, there are lots around. Spend a little money and put a CD out there. If you are legitimately talented then you will be found. it worked for me
Here’s the reality of sending your demos to record companies, big or small; they don’t care. When I first started out writing my own music and teaching myself how to record and mix my own music, I started sending my demos to countless record labels all around the states. I never got the consideration. The only time I have ever received a reaction from a record label was of Joan Jett’s record label called “Blackheart Records” basically telling me that they received my submission and if they were interested, they would get back to me. Overtime, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t good enough at that point in time to be sending out my under-produced and premature material to record labels, so I vowed to myself that I would no longer send out my music and that I would spend every single day working and striving to be the best musician, songwriter and singer that I can be. It’s not that you aren’t talented if a record label doesn’t accept your demo, it’s just the fact that you have to earn a reputation in your own right and make THEM want YOU. You can’t go out of your way to send your demos to record labels in hopes of them reaching back to you, because they indefinitely won’t and in the process, you’re just making yourself look desperate and look like a fool. I know this from experience. My advice to you is this; create a YouTube channel or a Soundcloud, or any kind of social media outlet that allows you to put out your material, create an email address to use for inquiries in case people are interested in possibly working with you and never brag about your talent. If you’re good, you’re go somewhere. It takes time, effort and patience. This will never come to you overnight.
I really like this article BC I am an unknown Hip Hop/Rap artist, and I was submitting unsolicited demos a couple months ago, it’s crazy BC I was wondering why I hadn’t received any responses from these record labels I now see that if I’m going to get signed to a record label I need to put my talent to the test get my music known in a low key way just public enough to where my music is noticed on a buisness level I’ve been writing lyrical content since the age of 5 and Rapping since I’ve been 10, thank you for the person whose written this article BC I have a better understanding of my part in receiving notice for my music as well as probable deals etc.
This is my newwest song, only the unmastered version but i beleive that you guys will find it interesting! Trying to take my career to the next level, if any one has any information, help, advice for me, here is my email : firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you very much!
– Jay Kolka
This is bullsh*t patronising stuff
I wish it was the other way round
Labels desperate for musicians
For the seller of juice tends of
Make more cash than the juice
And it s#cks so hard
Unfortunately, there are far too many musicians than labels…and far too many people stuck in the old paradigm of making music for a living. The majority of musicians making a living with music now are independent ones. And the majority of acts being signed by labels aren’t ones pitching to labels, but being sought after by labels because the artists create their own momentum.
I agree with not seeming desperate, but you have to start somewhere. If that means a demo submission, so be it. You can just play music and expect somebody to just magically find you. Tweeting a producer with a link to a YouTube video could garner a response, especially if it’s gaining popularity. Nobody is going to ignore a fire set right at their feet and potential money.
Errr… it’s not really like finding a mate. It’s really – very literally – like sending in a resume for a job. In most other industries, you don’t need a contact to submit your resume or have it reviewed – in fact, in some, it would disqualify your application. Record companies may like to fancy themselves as some soul-mate worthy of wining and dining, and artists tend to be willing to bend over and take it, but let’s not put record labels on that high a pedestal.
It really comes down to this: “The ironic twist is that you are most appealing to record labels when you don’t need them.” Simple as that. Labels want to make money. Someone who can make money on their own is more valuable to them as it’s a quicker return. Now, it could be argued it’s to the detriment of music as a cultural force (bands effectively needing to be corporations and take on the role of business persons themselves kinda files down the teeth and clips the nails of any counterculture relevance popular music once had), or whatever crap like that… but that’s a different issue entirely. If you want to be signed by a major label, go with their illusions and wine and dine them, so they can feel like they’re the tastemakers atop their thrones… and sure as hell better hope you’re not one of those musically/culturally brilliant yet socially inept iconic recluses of yesteryear.
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